Google Ads

The 8 most common Google Ads mistakes – and how you can avoid them

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4 min. read - Posted on 13/01/2022

Just set up a campaign, implement the conversion tracking, add a few keywords and let’s go! Starting campaigns in Google Ads always sounds relatively easy at first. However, you should be aware of a few fundamental rules and settings at the beginning. Every advertiser, e-commerce merchant or SEA manager should know these before going into implementation.

Even in combination with our bid management tool BiddingLab, clean and correct campaign settings are essential. In the following, we would like to present the most common Google Ads mistakes so that you can create your campaigns like a pro in the future:

1. Incorrect campaign or ad group structure

Chaos and a lack of structure can have a negative impact on your campaign relevance. Make sure that your campaigns and ad groups fit together well in terms of the target and keyword set. The more general an ad group is, the less relevant it is from Google’s point of view, but also from the user’s point of view.

Note: Create your thematic ad groups as granular (fine) as possible and pay attention to a manageable keyword set.

2. Cannibalisation within campaigns or ad groups

Another frequent structural error is traffic overlaps in search campaigns and shopping campaigns. It often happens that similar or identical keywords are booked in several campaigns or identical product IDs occur in more than one campaign. This must be avoided in order to be able to analyse, evaluate and optimise insights in a bundled manner.

3. Incorrect use of the match types

Keywords or search terms are very often booked incorrectly or not according to the purpose. For example, they are booked as “broad”, which is not helpful for a specific or targeted orientation. On the other hand, it can also happen that keywords are booked as “exact” and thus miss out on great search query potential.

Your ad groups should always consist of a good combination of the available match types. Therefore, always ask yourself first how broad your audience should be and how much wastage you are prepared to accept. Is it important to you to reach only the most relevant queries in the sense of the exact input (incl. variants) or do you want to address the broad mass? The answer is, as so often, the golden mean. Always use “exact match” and “phrase match”. Use “broad match” only if you want to capture the maximum contextual reach.

Furthermore, it can help to analyse the search volume before each submission in order to find out how much potential lies behind the match type. Furthermore, you should also regularly check your search terms and expand your negative keyword list to reduce irrelevant traffic.

4. Missing conversion tracking

Missing or incorrect conversion tracking is one of the most common mistakes in the Google Ads universe. Without tracking, you don’t know what success you are achieving with your Google Ads campaigns at the end of the day. In the best case, you are familiar with the Google Tag Manager and implement it this way. If this is not the case, you should definitely call in an expert to take a closer look.

5. Meaningless ad texts

The wording or the speech in your ad texts is one of the most critical moments and, above all, the first point of contact of your prospects with your offer. Therefore, try to formulate short and to the point, but still informative and interesting ad titles and descriptions. Make sure that the content of your keywords matches the content of your ads in order to achieve the highest possible relevance. In addition, the so-called “Call to Actions” such as “Learn more now” or “Buy now” also belong to the best practices in order to convey a recommendation for action to the interested party.

The perfect advertisement usually consists of the following components:

  • What is offered? [Keyword, product, etc.]
  • What do I get at what benefit? [Top quality, super cheap, etc.]
  • What should I do? [Call to Action]

6. Ad extensions

If you don’t use ad extensions, your ads may be less noticed because they take up less space than ads with extensions or even don’t appear in the top positions. Ad extensions are an important part of the AdRank calculation, which determines the necessary click price and corresponding ad position.

With ad extensions, you not only offer your prospects useful information and added value, but also save on the click price! If possible, you should definitely integrate the following extensions: Call, snippet and sitelink extensions.

7. Setting up targeting functions

Surely you are aware of where your target group is located and whether you want to address your target group regionally or nationwide. For the craftsman around the corner it makes no sense to broadcast ads nationwide, but for the sports online retailer it makes more sense. Therefore, always consider the locality of your potential target group when setting up your campaign.

8. The wrong bid strategy

Mistake number 8 in our white paper is choosing a bid strategy that doesn’t match the campaign goal. The question you should ask yourself at the beginning of your setup is: “What do I want to achieve with my campaigns anyway?” Is it about reach or reaching as many people as possible or is it about sales/lead generation?

A basic distinction can be made between profitability and maximisation strategies. In profitability strategies, performance is optimised according to a predefined target (e.g. ROAS or CPA). Maximisation strategies focus on maximising a selected metric (impressions, clicks, conversions, etc.).

Conclusion: A well planned and structured campaign setup is the elementary basis of every successful Google Ads performance. However, not only the setup, but also the continuous maintenance of your Google Ads campaigns must not be forgotten in order to be successful in the long term.

And this is exactly where BiddingLab comes in. BiddingLab was developed to relieve you of a large part of the manual processes in your daily campaign routine and to enable more automation. It automates your keyword management, matches your bids on an AI basis in real time and perfects the playout of your shopping ads.

If you would like to learn more about our tool, or if you would like us to take a closer look at your Google Ads account, we would be happy to hear from you.

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