5 Common Google Ads Mistakes to Avoid & Unlock Your Campaign's Full Potential

Are you trying to run a successful Google Ads campaign but feel like something isn't clicking, leaving you wondering what could be going wrong? You're not alone!

Many advertisers, from beginners to seasoned professionals, fall into the trap of common Google Ads pitfalls that can cost them clicks, conversions, and revenue. This article will delve into the most frequent Google Ads blunders you must avoid.

By shedding light on these errors, I aim to help you navigate the complex world of online advertising with ease and confidence. So, buckle up and get ready to learn how to transform your Google Ads campaigns and skyrocket your success.

Too Many Primary Conversion Actions

The first common mistake I see many advertisers make when setting up a Google Ads campaign is having too many primary conversion actions. This error occurs when people fail to differentiate between primary and secondary conversions, leading to confusion and muddled campaign objectives.

For instance, if your primary goal is to generate enquiries through a lead form and phone calls, you should leave out newsletter signups as primary conversion actions.

Mixing primary and secondary conversion actions can cause difficulty in measuring the true success of your campaign, as the focus becomes dispersed across multiple objectives.

Defining and labelling primary and secondary conversion actions clearly is essential to avoid this pitfall. Primary conversions are the main objectives that drive the success of your campaign, such as form submissions or phone calls for a lead generation campaign. Secondary conversions, on the other hand, are valuable but not crucial actions that users might take, like signing up for a newsletter or downloading a brochure.

By distinguishing between primary and secondary conversions, you can better prioritise your campaign goals and allocate your budget accordingly. This clear differentiation enables you to concentrate on optimising the factors that significantly impact your campaign's success.

Furthermore, it helps you make informed decisions about your bidding strategy, ad creatives, and targeting options.

Failing to Turn Off Search Network and Display Network Expansion

A crucial aspect of setting up a successful Google Ads campaign is ensuring you select the right ad network to meet your campaign objectives.

When you create a paid search campaign, the option to expand your reach to the Google Display Network and Search Partner Network is turned on by default.

Many advertisers unintentionally fail to turn off Search Network and Display Network expansion which, more often than not, significantly impacts their campaign's performance.

For campaigns focused on lead generation or direct sales, it's typically best to concentrate on the Search Network, where users actively search for products or services like yours. In contrast, the Display Network is more suited to building brand awareness, as ads are shown on various websites to users who may not be actively seeking your offerings.

By not turning off Display Network expansion for search campaigns, you risk diluting your ad spend and attracting lower-quality traffic, reducing conversions and a higher cost per acquisition.

To avoid this mistake, select the appropriate ad network for your campaign goals, ensuring that your ads are shown to the most relevant audience and maximising your return on investment.

Poor Keyword Research

A fundamental aspect of a successful Google Ads campaign lies in conducting comprehensive keyword research. Many advertisers must pay more attention to this critical step, leading to poor campaign performance and wasted ad spend.

You need to identify the right keywords to target to avoid attracting low-quality traffic that does not convert and missing out on potential high-converting opportunities.

Effective keyword research involves identifying the most relevant and high-traffic keywords and uncovering long-tail keywords that are less competitive and more specific to your offerings. By targeting these long-tail keywords, you can achieve better ad relevancy, higher quality scores, and lower cost-per-click, ultimately improving your campaign's overall performance.

Example: Suppose you own a boutique pet store specialising in organic dog food and eco-friendly pet supplies. Here's a comparison of poor keyword research versus good keyword research for your Google Ads campaign:

Poor Keyword Research:

  • dog food
  • pet store
  • pet supplies

These generic keywords are overly broad, highly competitive, and do not accurately represent your store's speciality. Users searching for these terms might be looking for generic pet supplies or dog food, not necessarily organic or eco-friendly products. Targeting these broad keywords will likely lead to a low conversion rate and higher cost-per-click due to increased competition.

Good Keyword Research:

  • organic dog food
  • eco-friendly pet supplies
  • natural dog treats
  • biodegradable dog waste bags

These keywords are more specific and closely aligned with your store's unique selling points. By focusing on these long-tail keywords, you can attract a more targeted audience with a higher intent to purchase your speciality products.

As a result, you will likely see improved ad relevancy, higher quality scores, and lower cost-per-click, ultimately leading to a more successful Google Ads campaign.

To avoid the mistake of poor keyword research, invest time and resources into understanding your target audience's search behaviour and use keyword research tools, such as Google's Keyword Planner or SEMRush, to identify the most valuable keywords for your campaign. Doing so will increase the likelihood of attracting high-quality conversion traffic, maximising your return on investment.

Failing To Choose The Right Bidding Strategy

Selecting the appropriate bidding strategy is essential for achieving your campaign objectives and maximising your advertising budget. Google will optimise your campaigns based on your selected bidding strategy, so choosing one that aligns with your goals is crucial.

A common mistake advertisers make is selecting and keeping a "Maximise Clicks" strategy in a lead generation campaign, which may not be the most effective use of their budget.

The "Maximise Clicks" strategy focuses on generating as many clicks as possible within your specified budget but doesn't necessarily prioritise conversions. In a lead generation campaign, your primary goal is to generate high-quality leads that convert, so a more conversion-focused strategy, such as "Target CPA" or "Target ROAS," may be a better choice.

By selecting a conversion-focused bidding strategy, Google will optimise your campaign to drive the most valuable actions, such as form submissions or phone calls, rather than merely aiming for the highest number of clicks. This approach allows you to make better use of your advertising budget, ultimately leading to a more successful Google Ads campaign and a higher return on investment.

To avoid this common mistake, carefully consider your campaign goals and choose a bidding strategy that aligns with your objectives, ensuring that your campaign is optimised for the desired outcomes. Feel free to test bidding strategies to see what delivers the best performance.

Not Testing and Creating New Ad Variations

Frequent testing and optimisation of your ad variations are essential to a successful Google Ads campaign. Many advertisers fail to continuously test and create new ad variations, which can lead to stagnant ad performance and missed opportunities for improvement.

By regularly analysing your ads' performance and identifying those that underperform, you can make data-driven decisions to optimise your campaign.

For example, suppose you have three ad variations running for a particular ad group. Over time, you notice that one of the ads consistently generates a lower click-through rate and fewer conversions than the other two.

Instead of continuing to run this underperforming ad, you should replace it with a new variation that incorporates different headlines, descriptions, or calls to action. Monitor the performance of this new ad and compare it with the other ads in the ad group.

Running just one ad variation in your campaign is another example of this mistake. In such cases, you have no benchmark to determine whether your ad's performance is good or bad, as there is nothing to compare it to.

Continuously cycling out underperforming ads and introducing new variations allows you to identify the most effective ad copy and elements that resonate with your target audience. This ongoing testing and optimisation process helps maximise your campaign's performance and return on investment.

In conclusion, avoiding common Google Ads mistakes is crucial for maximising your campaign's success and return on investment. You can significantly improve your campaign's performance by ensuring proper keyword research, selecting the right bidding strategy, and continuously testing and optimising ad variations. Remember, there's always room for improvement; addressing these potential pitfalls will benefit your advertising efforts.

If you're looking for expert guidance, I can offer you a free audit of your Google Ads campaigns to identify areas of improvement and help you achieve better results.

Don't miss this opportunity to optimise your campaigns and boost your success – contact me today!