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Google is the most popular search engine in the world. It’s not shocking that the search engine is also the top advertising platform. Using Google Adwords is an excellent way to increase online traffic and sales for your business. However, pay-per-click campaigns on Google can be quite complex for those who are just starting out. Since you need to spend money to make money, it’s extremely important to ensure that you’re properly managing your AdWords account. By avoiding rookie mistakes, you can reduce inefficiencies, protect your advertising investment and boost your ROI. Here are 6 lethal AdWords mistakes that could be harming your pay-per-click campaigns.

1. Not using the right keyword match types

Keywords in online advertising are… well, they’re key. But knowing how they should be applied is paramount to a successful advertising campaign.

Without specifying your keywords, they will be set to “broad match” by default, which means your ads will be shown next to searches that are related to your keywords instead of the keywords themselves. This could lead to a lot of bad traffic.

For example, if you sell women’s clothing you may think it’s a good idea to use a broad keyword like “women’s clothing” but in reality it is much too general to generate any worthwhile traffic. It would be smarter to use a keyword that is more specific to your product.

Another related mistake people make is having too broad of a range of search terms, aka too many keywords. This can really hurt your quality score and how effectively your ads are delivered.

As you can see, there is no denying that keywords are crucial to running a successful pay-per-click campaign so make sure to to properly match your keywords.

2. Not using negative keywords

The purpose of using negative keywords is to exclude bad traffic. This way, your ads are only being shown to those who may actually be interested in buying your product. This is a way to ensure your ads will show up for relevant searches and therefore generate good traffic.

For example, let’s say you sell jeans in every color but black. So you don’t want your ad to show up when someone searches “black jeans”, so you will want to add “black” to your negative keyword list because it’s safe to assume that you don’t want your ads to show up for items that you don’t carry.

If jeans aren’t the name of your game then what sort of negative keywords should you be using?

“Free”, “cheap”, and “wholesale” are some more keywords you may want to add to your negative keywords exclusions. Like most quality businesses, you probably do not want to appeal to those searching for free, cheap or wholesale items.

Knowing this now, you can imagine that managing negative keywords can really affect the quality of your ad impressions, clicks, and ultimately conversions.

Building a negative keyword list is an important tool when trying to improve click through rate and Quality Score.

3. Not segmenting keywords into multiple Ad Groups

Ad Groups are your friends, not foes. It is not only advantageous for you to split your keywords into specific Ad Groups but also to sort the appropriate keywords into each group.

Ad Groups allows you to display specific ads depending on the specific keywords someone uses in Google. However, it’s important not to overstuff the Ad Groups with too many keywords.

Unfortunately, there’s no magic equation to help you manage all your Ad Groups because it’s dependent on so many factors.

But some general rules of thumb are: to categorize by product collection, demographic, and pain point.

However, it is business specific, so be sure to consider what is appropriate for you and your customers.

4. Not using Ad extensions to enhance ad copy

Since you are working within the constraints of a very short ad, you need to make sure that your copy leaves no stone unturned. Ad extensions are a great hack you can use to make every word count.

With only a handful of characters in two headlines and a brief description, it’s a challenge to get all the good points of your company across. Ad extensions allows you to add more info and links into the ads themselves, something that can truly set your ads apart from your competitors.

Which ad extensions can I use?

Sitelinks: allows you to add more links that can enhance additional setting points and other call to actions

Location: save the customer time by putting the location of your business right there, making it easier for the customer to find you.

Call: not only does adding your phone number make it easier for a potential customer to contact you but also it adds to your credibility as well.

Callouts: these are phrases to get the potential customer’s attention these may include “free shipping”, “as seen on”, and “satisfaction guaranteed”.

Structured snippets, showcase your products or services with examples of your different offerings.

5. Not measuring your results

Not measuring the results may be extremely costly.

If you are not tracking your conversions then you are most likely wasting your money on poor quality traffic. Knowledge is power, especially when it comes to business.

The first step in tracking your conversions is defining a sales funnel. Then use an AdWords tracking pixel or set goals on Google Analytics. If Google Analytics isn’t already your best friend then it will be now.

By analyzing the impact your advertisements are having, you can tweak them to boost their effectiveness. This is the extra mile every AdWords advertiser should take to ensure a good ROI.

6. Not protecting against click fraud

Now that you have invested all of this time and money into your pay-per-click campaigns, it’s time to go the extra mile and protect your campaign from fraudsters.

What is click fraud?

Click fraud is when your competitor, bot, or click farm click on your ads with the intent to maliciously drain your advertising budget.

In order to protect your campaign you may want to try some DIYtechniques, but for full service protection we recommend leaving it to the professionals. Here at ClickCease we automatically block fraudulent clicks so only real potential customers are clicking on your ads.

This is the final, crucial step to take to improve your ROI.

Final Thoughts

AdWords can seem like a tricky uphill battle. Keep these common, yet lethal, AdWords mistakes in mind when running your pay-per-click campaigns. For more tips and tricks be sure to check out 4 Tips on How to Optimize Your PPC Campaign for Summer.