Here’s the truth. Adwords is an incredibly cost effective way to advertise. That is unless your account is riddled with mistakes. Then it’s a huge money waster. There’s a lot you can do wrong when managing an Adwords account, but the good news is you can fix it. Here we’ll discuss 5 common/costly mistakes you may be making. Fix these and you could see your performance really take off.
Match Type Mistakes
If you’re thinking “what’s a match type?” then start here. If you’re already familiar with match types then consider double checking your keywords. Here’s why. A lot of advertiser will make one or both of the following mistakes…
Being Too Restrictive
Here’s a quick stat: 500 Million Google Searches a day are completely unique (according to John Wiley, Lead Designer for Google Search). This means they have never been entered into Google’s search bar before!
The lesson here is you can’t possible predict all the search terms your potential customers are going to use, so you need to leave a little room for the unknown. How you do that? Make sure you create a lot of variations of your keywords and use a nice mix of exact and phrase matches. I’d also recommend using carefully selected modified broad match keywords. But be careful as this can leave you open to making the next mistake.
Being Too Broad
On the other hand many advertisers make the mistake of leaving their keyword lists too open. They end up blowing their budget on irrelevant searches. They might have too many broad match keywords or phrase match keywords that cause their ad to show where they don’t belong. The problem is people are still going to click on those ads and waste your money. However, unless you only use exact match (not recommended) you'll inevitably be open to some irrelevant traffic. The best way to avoid this is by not making our next mistake on the list.
Lack of Negatives
This is arguably the costliest mistake we see. Almost any advertiser would benefit from an extensive negative keyword list. Review your search terms reports often to find see what exactly you’re spending your money on and continuously add to your list as needed. This should be an ongoing thing. And this isn’t just to exclude irrelevant keywords. As you bring in more data you’ll be able to exclude relevant keywords that simply aren’t performing well.
Too Much Testing
Data is king in the land of paid search. It should dictate every decision you make. That’s why you should always be testing something. That being said, you can go overboard. How much is too much? It all depends on the amount of data coming in.
If you’re a local business in a small market, chances are you won’t be getting a lot of clicks. So it wouldn’t make sense to test 5 different ads if it’s going to take 6 months to get a statistically significant amount of data. Definitely test, but respect the limitations of your data.
Editing Over Your Data
Speaking of testing, there is certainly a right and wrong way to do it. Let’s say you are testing two ads against each other and find that ad A is performing best. A mistake would be to simply edit over top of Ad B and continue testing.
Instead, you should pause ad B and create an entirely new ad. That way you preserve your historical data on ad B. This goes for any other testing you wanna do. Do you have some underperforming phrase match keywords you want to try as exact match? Don’t just change the match type. Copy, paste and then change them to exact. Always preserve your history so you can look back to see what is and isn't working for you.
Blindly Following the Default Settings
Pay close attention to your settings, because Adwords tends to bury some important ones. For example, when you start a campaign your ads will be set to “optimize for clicks.” Google considers this setting ideal for most advertisers. However, if you want to control your own testing, change that to either “rotate evenly” or rotate indefinitely”. To do that, go to your settings tab and then scroll down to advanced settings.
The other default setting you should consider changing is your networks setting. Did you know when you run a search campaign in Adwords you show ads on more than just Google.com? Your ads also appear on any of Google’s search partner sites. I’m not saying this is good or bad, but you should be aware of how to opt out of the search partners, because some accounts perform better when only running on Google.com. Go into your setting and click “edit” next to “Networks.” That’s where you can uncheck “Include search partners.”