Top 10 Ways To Fail With Google AdWords [INFOGRAPHIC]

The world of pay per click can be a daunting venture for many small-medium size businesses. The thought of wasting marketing budget on clicks from “window shoppers” and “tire kickers” can be enough to turn off any business owner.

Then there are even those businesses who have tried pay per click marketing only to fail to demonstrate a positive ROI.

Optimizing a pay per click campaign takes a specific skill-set and experience. With this in mind we have put together this infographic to expose the common pitfalls of pay per click marketing and to help you avoid them at all costs.

Top 10 Ways To Fail With Google AdWords

1. Avoid BROAD Geo-targeting

  • If you’re a local business avoid targeting large areas like countries, provinces, or states. It’s better to limit your reach to a relevant local audience.

2. Unfocused Display Network Campaigns

  • These ads might be shown to a large audience but may waste clicks on people who think that they’re clicking on a different business or brand name.

3. Uncategorised Ad Groups

  • Having generic ad groups with a variety of unrelated keywords and phrases are a surefire way to waste your hard earned cash.

4. Low Quality Score on your Landing Pages

  • Pointing Ads to landing pages that don’t speak to the ad is a great way to blow your budget. Even worse, point your ads to the home or index page with the hope that the customer will find what you’re trying to promote.

5. Unlimited (uncapped) CPC bids

  • Unchecked auto-spend without limits on cost per click will surely flush your budget down the drain.

6. Bidding Broad

  • Focus on “long-tail keywords” instead. Single word keywords are very general and usually very expensive. Also setting allkeywords to “broad match” is a great way to burn a hole in your wallet.

7. Not Using Keywords in Ads

  • Not having relevant keywords in your ad copy lowers its Quality Score and increases the cost of serving the ads for that keyword.

8. Huge Keyword Lists

  • Don’t let underperforming keywords and keywords with different match types remain part of your campaign. Make sure to pause them, stat!

9. The Absence of Negative Keywords

  • If you don’t use any negative keywords you’re basically inviting irrelevant searchers to click your ads and waste your money. Make sure to study your keywords carefully and account for an negatives like “cheap” or “free” when you don’t want to give away your product or service!

10. Running Campaigns Without Conversion Tracking

  • This won’t really waste your PPC dollars, but it won’t give them any credit either! Conversion tracking code helps you know whether or not your ads are bringing an ROI (return on investment). Without conversion code it’s much harder to know if the new business you’re getting is paying for the cost of running your ads.
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<p><a href=""><img src="" alt="Top 10 Ways To Fail With Google AdWords" /></a> [Source <a href="">TechWyse Internet Marketing</a> ]</p>


Paid Search Manager at TechWyseToronto, Ontario, Canada Marketing and Advertising

Areas of Specialization

Paid Search Marketing, Google Analytics & Reporting,Re-Marketing & Predictive Targeting - Display Ads,E-mail & Landing Page Optimization.

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  • avatar

    Amazing analytics
    Yelp, Bing, google and all the other fine services that are all designed, created and in business to DRIVE traffic to your site all do so and in some cases do so with amazing results.
    I receive the reports, I pour over the analysis looking for ways to fine tune and capture customers when they search for my products. I see the user views, impressions and the 10’s of thousands of customers who are looking for products just like mine.
    Amazing; I make white and black widgets and I’m told at any one time there are one million people in a 30 mile radius who are looking to BUY white and black widgets from a company just like mine and as an added benefit they want a company with a location just like mine.
    My heart pounds as I see the analytics, the number of clicks on my ad and wait for the sales to come pouring in…
    All the services report similar AMAZING activity, it’s even divided by the types of devices used, their mood and color of their hair. They even know how much they’re willing to spend and at no cost to me, costly reports and analysis conducted by some of the most respected organizations in the country all confirm that there really are over one million people looking for products just like mine!
    My heart pounds again as I stress at the thought of keeping up with demand, can my little business handle the influx of orders predicted by and confirmed by and promised by all these fine services.
    Is it foolish to position my little company to all this professional muscle and house power; what if I’m overrun with orders, how will I keep up with demand?
    A call to my campaign consultant comforts me because now I’m told that even though my activity is high and demand for my products is strong, records indicate that it’s the 7th to 9th month that really starts to see orders.
    You can imagine my relief as I continue to enjoy reading all the reports confirming that right now there are over 1 million people looking to buy products just like mine at a location just like I have.
    Wow, wow, wow, who could have imagined a small company like mine would be able to take advantage of such expensive and powerful advertising resources and have it so well defined that only those who are looking for my products are driven to me. It’s simply amazing.
    A double check; yes the store sign is visible, the door is unlocked and there is a dial tone…tapping fingers on the counter looking out the window as all the potential customers drive by.

  • avatar

    Negative words are something new to me. I appreciate the help since I haven’t had much success with Adwords. I also like the diagram I will put it on my blog. I am very impress with your diagrams they really do give a better understanding of the subject at hand.

  • avatar

    “9. The Absence of Negative Keywords

    If you don’t use any negative keywords you’re basically inviting irrelevant searchers to click your ads and waste your money. Make sure to study your keywords carefully and account for an negatives like “cheap” or “free” when you don’t want to give away your product or service!”

    Thanks for the tips especially this one.. I’m guilty on this as I often use the word FREE (all caps and highlighted) on my banners and text link ads. It’s only now that I realize that I’m inviting irrelevant searchers (that’s only curious) to click on my links. :(

  • avatar

    I love infographics and I absolutely adored this one. Great tips overall. I think using keywords is the most important thing for using google adwords, since without keywords it becomes essentialy useless.

  • avatar

    Loved the design of the infographic. The most common mistake is precisely using short, general keywords, long lists of keywords with the failed logic that more is best, and not geotargeting your ads, thinking that anyone will do.

  • avatar


    I’d like to add to the conversation that “long-tail keywords” can also quickly be found by using Google Instant. As you type your keyword, you will see longer variations of it which are very profitable to market if used in large numbers.
    You can also search your keyword on Google and scroll to the bottom of the page where Google recommends you a few search terms and use those.

  • avatar

    These articles have some really great tips for getting your advertisements seen and clicked. I can’t believe how stupid I was being before; this will definitely change the way I use AdWords!

  • avatar

    This is a great infographic. This was very informative as I’m just starting to get my feet wet with Google Adwords. The use of negative keywords is something I wouldn’t have thought of. Thanks.

  • avatar

    Great post, Ryan. I would also add:

    11. Writing terrible ad copy

    Avoid spelling mistakes (oh yes, it happens a lot!), include calls-to-action, mention the price/offer amount. With these 3 easy steps users are not put off, are willing to click, and click only if they are willing to buy at that price.

    12. Using single keywords

    Avoid choosing single keywords ie books, start using keyphrases ie books sale. In this way you can target your ads only to your potential customer – and negative keywords will help exclude unwanted users looking for “reviews”, “free”, etc.

    Hope it helps :)

  • avatar

    Generally speaking, it’s not such a bad idea to run long tail terms on broad match since they are so specific to begin with – it’s the one and two word phrases that I keep restricted to exact match.

    There’s a temptation when going after the long tail to throw every search query and the kitchen sink into your campaigns, but it fragments your clicks so much that you never really have enough data on a given keyword to make a reasonable bid decision. You also run the risk of having a lot of duplicate keywords across campaigns competing with each other.

    Allowing the traffic to aggregate up to a smaller list of logical tail terms set to broad helps with this. It’s easier to determine a bid on a tail term on broad match that got 20 clicks from various queries mapped to it, than 20 separate exact match tail terms that each got one click.

    In addition, there was an article published on the AdWords blog a while back explaining how there’s about 15-20% of new search queries every month that had not been seen in prior months – so if you’re only running on exact, you’re increasingly missing out on this traffic.

    Also, it’s considered best practices nowadays to create separate campaigns for content and search network, don’t group them together in the same campaigns. Building keyword lists for content is different from building keyword lists for search network traffic. Also, it skews your campaign metrics since they behave so differently in terms of impressions, clicks, click through rates, and conversions.

    Make sure you fully understand how negative keyword lists work as well. If you’re not using them properly with the correct match types you could accidentally be filtering traffic out that you would actually want. I’ve seen people make mistakes like putting in state abbreviations to try and block geo-specific queries, but when you use something like “IN”, you’re blocking all queries with just the word “in” in them, for example.

  • avatar

    Good post. I am a newbie when it comes to this. I never even heard of negative keywords until recently. Is a long tail keyword just multiple keywords grouped together? Really monitoring your keyword’s performance is really important and you really put a lot of good information together. Thanks!

  • avatar

    These are some great tips. I had a Google Adwords account years ago but it was shutdown back when they changed their TOS. I keep getting emails with free credit for coming back but I never took them up on the offer. If I do decided to finally get back into Adwords, I will be sure to use this guide. Some of the things in here I never even heard of, like negative keywords for example. These tips will help save a lot of money and get better ROI. Oh, and love the infographic like always.


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