Avoid These Common Mistakes with Google AdWords

by Emily Retherford

2 min read

Google AdWords can be a great way to market your small business. However, there is a lot more to managing Adwords campaigns than meets the eye. If you want a rock-solid marketing strategy, avoid these common mistakes.

Using the Wrong Keyword Match Types

Developing a sense for appropriate keyword matches is critical. This is not the same thing as finding the right keyword terms to use, although that is another must-have skill.

Keyword matching refers to the process through which you organize different search bids to reach targeted audiences.

Here are some common keyword match types:

  • Broad match: The default Google match. Suppose someone searches for “Frank’s Meat Shop.” Using the broad match query, Google can display ads on variations such as “Frank’s shop,” “meat shop,” “raw meats,” or others. In many cases, this produces the least efficient return on your ad spend, because your ads often show up in front of the wrong audiences.

  • Phrase match: Surround your keywords with quotation marks to activate the phrase match. A phrase match requires that the keyword search terms are found somewhere in a Google search. For instance, the phrase “Frank’s Meat Shop” must appear in a search before the ads show up. So this would work for “frank’s meat shop prices” but not for “frank’s meats ontario.”

  • Exact match: Google only displays ads when the exact search term shows up.

  • Broad match modifier: Get to know the broad match modifier, even if you settle on another match type. By adding a plus symbol before a word, you tell Google that searches must include that word before an ad may display.

Not Grouping Keywords Into Ad Groups

AdWords allows you to tailor different advertising campaigns to different audiences. This tool is incredibly useful for strategically targeting users in an informed, data-driven manner. If you sell more than one product or service, create different ad groups and segment those ads towards those keywords that are germane to each product.

If you have a product campaign and a content campaign, build a unique ad group for each. Potential customers just looking for a great product or service might react positively to different ads than readers who want more information.

Don’t go crazy with your keywords. Limit each group to 20 keywords. Your AdWords results tend to improve along with the quality and specificity of your keywords.

Leaving Out Negative Keywords

Identifying keywords is challenging for almost everyone, but you’ll struggle less by using negative keywords. These help you avoid wasted impressions by keeping your ads away from audiences who search related items but are unlikely to buy your product.

Negative keywords are words or terms that you choose not to target. You can also exclude specific words at the group level rather than an entire campaign.

Not Following the Data

Set up a strong process for tracking impressions and conversions. A lot novice business owners forget to implement tracking for their ad spends, and this limits the amount of useful feedback they receive for their campaigns. Google provides excellent support around attribution models.

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