Google Ads can be a very powerful tool for your business, but if you have not done your research you can waste a large amount of your budget due to lack of knowledge or experience with the platform. Below are the top 5 ways business owners waste money on Google Ads when they try to manage their ads by themselves, by our observations over the years.
Not tracking results
Over one hundred years ago, John Wanamaker proclaimed, “Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is, I don’t know which half.”
This may be true for more traditional advertising, but is less true for digital advertising, one of the biggest advantages of which is that you can track to a much larger degree and make sure your budget is not wasted.
Yet we often encounter business owners who spent a substantial budget every month but have not implemented conversion tracking. I personally attribute that to lack of knowledge of the possibilities of digital advertising.
It is understandable, not everyone has the time or interest to delve deep into the digital world, especially when they have a whole business to run.
It is not that these business owners do not want to track results, they just do not know to what degree you can track them on the web. They monitor their sales or lead count, they ask their sales team if they have noticed an increase in interest and also to survey the new leads about how they heard about the company.
These are all great things to do, but they do not help that much on the micro level – when you need to manage the Google Ads campaigns you need to know if a specific search term leads to sales or is wasting budget, or an ad, placed on a specific website is getting much more newsletter signups or that a search term is getting sales, but is so expensive that the return on ad spend is negative.
Very often you can still get results even without measuring conversions, but you can not optimize and scale which can cost you a lot of money in the long run.
Using only broad match keywords
Most business owners who try to run their ads by themselves do not know about the different match types in Google Ads.
Let’s say you own a window cleaning business. You create your campaign in Google Ads, create good ads and ad the keyword Window Cleaning. You would think that your ad will show only on the term Window Cleaning but you would be mistaken.
By writing the keyword like that you choose to let google use synonyms and related search terms. This is called a Broad Match Keyword. Your ad can be shown on terms such as Carpet Cleaning or Car Cleaning as well.
Sometimes it can be shown to terms that are seemingly unrelated at all.
Broad Match keywords can get you the most amount of traffic but this traffic is often irrelevant and does not convert.
They can be used in some cases, but most of your keywords should be in the other available formats – Exact, Phrase, Broad Match Modifier.
Not using negative keywords
Negative Keywords provide a way to tell Google not to show ads on specific searches. Let’s say you own a Car Cleaning Service company, but you do not sell car cleaning equipment.
It would be wise to add the terms such as “equipment” or “products” as a negative keyword so your budget can be used to reach customers interested in a car wash or detailing.
A good way to get ideas about your negative keywords is to regularly check your Search Terms report – it can provide you insight about what term triggered your ads and whether or not you should add it to your negative keyword list.
Setting it and forgetting it
Running ads should be a never-ending strive to optimize. You can always improve on something, run an A/B test, tweak and adjust. It is very important to keep that in mind and not set and forget about your ads.
Another reason to always be checking on your ads is that Google often rolls out new features that can prove very useful for your business.
Not monitoring these new features can cause you a loss of opportunity and lead you to having mediocre results.
Not Using Ad extensions
Ad extensions are an important part of optimizing your Google search ads. They are a way to add more valuable information to your ad – such as a telephone number, store location, links to other parts of your site, information about current promotions and more.
They can help you improve performance, CTR and gain a competitive edge.
Ad extensions also factor into ad rank, which means that using them can actually reduce your cost per click. Yet is is a common occurance to see business owners not using them at all.
These are some of the ways that you may be wasting your budget. If you are interested in learning more ways to improve your campaign performance, reduce cost and increase profits, please book a free consultation with us!