The 7 Biggest Mistakes That Destroy Your Google Ads Campaign - Thorium Design, LLC
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The 7 Biggest Mistakes That Destroy Your Google Ads Campaign

November 6, 2018 11:45 am Published by

Google Ads can bring thousands of dollars in revenue to your business, but many people struggle to actually obtain strong results from their Google ads campaigns.

There are numerous reasons why this happens, but typically it’s the result of an account having errors that an informed ad manager could have avoided.

Here is our list of the 7 biggest mistakes that can destroy your Google Ads Campaign.

1. Not Utilizing Negative Keywords

Perhaps the most common mistake we see people make when they create a Google Ads campaign is that they fail to set the proper negative keywords.

A keyword is a word connected to your ad that will hopefully bring up your ad when someone searches for that word.

But many people will search something that may contain some of your keywords but is fundamentally different from what you actually offer.

Let’s say you sell life insurance.

Obviously “Life” and “Insurance” will be positive keywords for you, so if someone searches for life insurance, you want to come up.

But what happens if someone searches “Life Insurance Scam” and your ad is right at the top?

The person searching for that is not someone who’s going to buy, but you’re spending money on an ad that puts you right at the top of that search.

Fortunately, the solution here would be to make “scam” a negative keyword, so that anyone who makes that search is not going to pull up your ad.

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Sometimes it’s not as clear cut though.

Let’s say you sell carpet flooring, but you’re getting clicks from people who searched for “carpet cleaning”.

Whoever clicks on your link is not going to give you a call, because you don’t actually offer what they’re looking for.

But you still have to pay for the cost of that click!

That’s a complete waste of money, but it will always happen unless you go through your account and set up all of the negative keywords you don’t want people to find you through.

Ultimately there could be thousands of words that need to be set as negatives, to make sure that only the most qualified searches lead to your advertisement.

That way, you don’t throw your money away at ads that don’t actually bring you any business.

2. Not Using (or Misusing) Geo-targeting

When you first set up your Google ad, you’re probably thinking you want to reach the most people possible.

Because after all, the more people who see your ad, the more chance one of them will become a customer right? Not necessarily!

Let’s say you run a boutique flower shop in San Diego.

If someone in New York sees your ad, they might love what they see, but there’s just no way they’re going to come to your flower shop in San Diego.

It doesn’t help you that they saw your ad, and it actually hurts you because you paid money for the ad they clicked, even though there was never a chance they were going to turn into a client.

But if you limit where your ads are displayed to only show in locations close to you, your odds of getting an actual, paid client go up significantly.

In this case, narrowing the amount of people who see your ad would be a smarter use of your money.

3. Incorrectly Using Keyword Match Types

There are four match types of keywords that Google AdWords offer.

They’re Broad match, Phrase match, Exact match, and Broad match modified (which is a play on broad match with + attached to keywords).

Broad Match

A broad match looks at any of the positive keywords you have placed for your campaign, and if some of those keywords are searched, it could trigger your ad.

For instance, if you’re a pet shop and you have keywords for “bunny” “chicken” and “best” someone who makes a search that includes any of those words could find your ad.

Phrase Match

A phrase match looks at a specific phrase from your keywords, and if that phrase is searched, your ad will be triggered.

For instance, if someone searched “best place to buy bunnies” and you had “buy bunnies” as a Phrase match, your ad would likely show up, because the phrase “buy bunnies” is included in the search that was made, however, if  “buy cheap bunnies” was searched, Google should not display your ad due to the extra word, cheap.

Exact Match

An exact match only looks at the exact words the person searched.

So if the person searches for “best place to buy bunnies” and your exact match was for “buy bunnies” it wouldn’t come up in the ad, because the exact phrase that was searched was more than just “buy bunnies.”

Broad Match Modified

A broad match modified keyword is similar to broad match, except that the broad match modifier option only shows ads in searches including the words designated with a plus sign (+buy +bunnies) or close variations of them.

Each of these match types have strengths and weaknesses.

A broad match searches your keywords regardless of order, so you’ll get a lot of clicks as long as a couple of your keywords show up in the search.

The problem though, is that the searches won’t always be very specific.

If someone searches for “Best veterinarian for chicken and bunny” they could come across your ad, because 3 of your keywords were in that search, even though a veterinarian service isn’t really what you’re looking for.

(This would also be a good time to have “veterinarian” selected as a negative keyword).

Phrase match and exact match may bring less traffic, but those clicks will often be more qualified, since the searcher was definitely looking for the phrase that brought up your ad.

In this case, use of a broad match modifier ie; “best +place to +buy +bunnies” will probably have the best results for this set of keywords.

However, it’s always a good idea to run multiple match types so that you don’t lose out on any search audience.

Choosing when and when not to use each keyword match type is a very important part of the strategy involved in setting up a profitable ad words campaign.

Free Google Ads Training Workshop

If you’d like to participate in a complimentary training workshop, you can schedule a time below:

Take a free training workshop.

4. Not Using Ad Extensions

Alright so you’ve got great keywords and now you’re seeing clicks.

Awesome! But there’s still more work to be done.

Google offers you the option of adding extensions onto the end of your ad.

These extensions are eye-catching buttons like a phone number or a link, so even if someone might not have clicked on your ad initially, the extension makes it more likely that their eye will be drawn back to your ad.

Ad extensions are proven to increase the amount of clicks an ad can get, because the viewer’s eye is drawn toward the part of the ad that looks different.

As soon as you’ve caught their eye, you’ve got your foot in the door toward having them click your ad.

Make sure to utilize this option when you have the chance.

Think of it this way, when you see two ads side-by-side and one of them has valuable info such as phone and hours of operation, while the other doesn’t, which one would your eye be drawn toward?

5. Paying the Wrong Amount (too little)

A lot of people start out in Google Ads with the wrong mindset.

They want to spend a small amount of money, and get great results back.

But that’s not really how it works.

If you spend a small amount of money, but don’t get to the first page with your ad, nobody is going to see it!

If you spend a small amount of money, but you don’t reach enough people, you’re not going to get enough sales to offset the cost of the ads.

So it might seem counterintuitive, but it’s actually much more worth your while to put a solid amount of money into your Google Ads budget.

When you commit to those ads, and make sure they’re at the top of the results, and optimized, you wind up getting the best value for your return.

Think about it this way. Would you rather spend $250 and make $300? Or would you rather spend $500 and make $1,000?

As an investment, the second option gives you significantly more value for your dollar.

6. Not Using Keywords in Your Ad Copy

This one is probably the most tempting mistakes to make.

After you’ve set up your ad, you probably don’t feel like doing any extra work, so you’ll likely want to throw some words in the headline and description of the ad and move on.

If you’re considering that, STOP!

I know it’s work, but remember the payoff.

You’re trying to make money here, and the best way to do that is to have highly relevant text that matches what the viewer is looking for.

Even if the viewer’s eye briefly skims the text under the headline of the ad, what they see can be the final straw that convinces them to click the ad itself.

If the headline of the ad says what they were looking for, but the text of that ad doesn’t reinforce the keywords their brain is searching for, you aren’t engaging all of their subconscious, so you’re missing out on some of the opportunity to convince them to click your ad.

To capitalize on this, make sure your Google Ad has some of the specific keywords they just searched in the actual text of the ad copy.

7. Not having Specialized Landing Pages

Put yourself in the mind of your potential client.

This future customer just got a flat tire.

They whip out their phone and search for “spare tire near me”.

Your company sells auto parts, and you’ve done a great job setting up your ad, so your ad will show up at the top of their search.

So far so good.

But then your ad takes them to your homepage, where you talk about exhaust pipes, car cleaning, oil filters, and all sorts of other things.

Your company does offer spare tires, but it’s not the focus of your homepage.

Now the potential client who clicked on your ad will have to search around your website to find out where you actually offer spare tires.

They have a flat tire so they won’t want to spend time looking.

They’ll probably close your site and look somewhere else, which makes your ad wind up losing money instead of gaining it.

But there’s a way to solve that.

If you’re advertising “spare tire” or “tire repair” in your Google Ad, then you can create a specific landing page where the potential customer will go once they click the ad.

Anyone who searches for “tire repair” will go to a page that directly answers their problem and helps lead them to make a purchase.

Now you’ve put yourself in a situation where you have good odds of making a sale.


Google Ads can be tremendously profitable for your business, but if they’re set up improperly, you won’t receive maximum value, and you might even wind up losing money on the endeavor. For more tips and tricks, or for a free analysis of your current ads campaign, contact Thorium Design.

Free Google Ads Training Workshop

If you’d like to participate in a complimentary training workshop, you can schedule a time below:

Take a free training workshop.

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This post was written by jonathan

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