Those who engage in digital marketing know that using Google AdWords is an excellent alternative to publicize a business and generate traffic to the website. However, it may be costly if you do not know how to best to handle it. The trick is to understand how to use AdWords correctly and how to manage the different campaigns to get the most out of the investment.
A poorly-managed campaign may end up costing more than the initial investment, and a well-managed campaign can keep business going. It all boils down to how much you know about AdWords and how you can handle campaigns and interpret data.
Leon Krishnayana, CEO of Spionage.com, on the Kissmetrics blog, discusses how people handle AdWords campaigns with their customers. In this article, Leon goes through the most common mistakes made in Google AdWords. By avoiding these mistakes and following the alternative tips provided, you are on your way to a highly successful AdWords campaign.
Mistake 1: Not correctly grouping keywords
AdWords is set up so you can create campaign ad groups to manage different types of campaigns. (If you have a product campaign and a content campaign, each campaign can be managed separately.) In each campaign, you may divide your ads and keywords into ad groups.
Not using ad groups based on keywords is one of the biggest mistakes people make. Instead of targeting your ads to groups based on similar types of keywords, they group all of their keywords into one ad group and show them all the same ad.
Mistake 2: Not using the right keywords matches
The next big mistake people make is not to using the correct broad match, phrase match or exact match.
AdWords allows you to add keywords to a campaign in one of the three ways mentioned above. You can add them as a broad match, a phrase match, or an exact match.
A broad match keyword means your ads will show up if the keywords are used in the search, regardless of the type of search. For example, if you use “Nike shoes”, your ad will be displayed whenever people write “Nike shoes,” “free Nike shoes,” and “Where can I buy Nike running shoes?”
A broad match means your ad will show up on a search as long as the keywords are used in the search in one form or another. To enter a broad match term in AdWords, simply enter the term without any punctuation before or after the term. In this example, simply write Nike running shoes to add it as a broad match keyword.
A phrase match means that the keyword phrase must appear in the search as a complete phrase, exactly in the order in which it was entered.
And why does all this matter? It matters because the type of match you use will have a big impact on the ads. A broad match will offer more impressions, but it will be less accurate, as it can be displayed for terms that are not directly related to what you offer in your ads.
On the other hand, a phrase search and exact matches often lead to a higher conversion rate, but they can deliver significantly fewer impressions, which means that you cannot reach as many people as you may need. However, you are reaching users who are specifically looking for what you offer.
Mistake 3: Not using negative keywords
Another common mistake is not using negative keywords. AdWords allows you to use negative keywords as a way to exclude keywords that are not suitable for your product.
Negative keywords can be added both at the campaign and ad group level. So, if a word is to be excluded from a single ad group, you can exclude it at group level; but if you want to exclude it from the entire campaign, you can also do that.
Recommendation: Find words to be excluded in the search terms section or in Google Analytics, which has more detailed information about specific keyword searches.
Mistake 4: Relying on numbers more than on your own creativity
You should always be testing your own text creation. You can test two different title variations; the same headlines with different body copy; or the same copy but a different call to action. Trying out different variations will help you know what works best. Sometimes, mentioning a benefit will increase clicks and/or conversions. Other times, a different headline will improve your results.
Once you start testing, do not limit yourself to any version of your text. Once you have between 20 and 40 clicks, choose the one that gets the best results. This means the highest click rate, the highest conversion rate, or the lowest cost-per-acquisition (CPA), depending on what makes more sense for your business.
We recommend to always run tests. Once you have a winner for the test, turn off the loser and try again with another ad text.
Mistake 5: Not trusting your own business or brand
Many people make the mistake of not making an offer or trusting their own business. They assume that, once their own brand is positioned, it is not necessary to advertise it. That's one way of looking at it.
Another is to realize that if you are not advertising for your business, other companies will. They will use your brand name for an ad group and target their visitors. Yes, you will rank first for the organic term, but your competitor can advertise directly on that result.
In many cases, it makes sense to place a higher bid for your own business, since the people who are looking for your company are the ones that are most likely to convert. You have to make sure that you are at the top for your own brand, so you can spend more in branding terms.
Mistake 6: Not knowing the lifetime value (LTV) of customers. (Lifetime Value)
Have you ever calculated the LTV for your customers? Otherwise, there is no way of knowing how much you can spend on AdWords per acquisition.
Let's say your LTV is $10. This means that you will earn an average $10 over the lifetime of doing business with your customers. If you are paying $6 per acquisition, then that is fine, because you are earning more per customer than you are spending. But if your LTV is $4 and you are spending $6 per acquisition, eventually you will leave the business.
As an e-commerce business, you may lose money at first, but earn it back in the course of doing business with your customer.
Mistake 7: Not testing the ideal position of your ad
If your goal is to improve the brand, it is a good idea to be in one of the first two ad positions, but if your goal is to get the best results, sometimes it is better to be in positions 3-5.
Can this really be true? Could it be better to rank in a lower position than first or second? The answer is yes, because people tend to select the first two positions. They may click, if they are seriously interested or not. But if your ad ranks in positions 3-5 (or possibly lower), it is not the first thing people will see.
Without prior testing, there is no way to know which ad position is best for your business. Sometimes being in the top two positions works great, but other times 3-4 provide a better return.
Mistake: 8 Not knowing your competition
Another common mistake is not knowing what kind of ads your competition is running. You need to know who you are competing against, what keywords they are using, and how their landing pages look.
Specifically, you should put yourself in the shoes of your customers and see which ad they are most likely to click. Then, once you click (although we recommend finding ways of doing this without clicking on your competitors' ads and paying for it), pay attention to their landing pages, and compare yours with the competition.
Which is more appealing? Which one would you prefer if you were the customer? Take notes and find out what to improve on your landing pages. Do you need better design, a more streamlined appearance, security features, testimonials, social evidence, authority or something else? Create a checklist based on your findings.
Mistake 9: Expecting too much from AdWords
Many people have a very small budget and expect to launch the next big business with that small budget. They want to be in front of a large audience, but they only have $100 or $200 to spend per month.
If your budget is too small, you will not have enough to test your ads until they start working well. Successful campaigns are rarely achieved on the first try. Take time to run and optimize your campaign to improve your return.
A small budget also means that you will burn through your campaign and will have to wait until more money is available. That is frustrating. You may think, “This does not work for me. I'm going to try something else.”
We recommend starting with a budget large enough to handle a significant amount of traffic and give you time to adjust and optimize your campaigns. Make sure you also use it in the campaigns long enough to give them the opportunity to gain traction and take a moment to figure out how AdWords works and how you can get the most out of it.