Top 10 Ways to Fail With Google Adwords [Infographic]

Top 10 Ways to Fail With Google Adwords [Infographic]

As a business owner, there are few better ways to generate leads and build recurring digital marketing revenues than through Google Ads. Google ads are your connection to your purchase-ready online audience.

This means errors in your Google Ad campaigns can have a long-term impact on revenue. You could be limiting your return on marketing investment and preventing your company from reaching its full potential.

It’s not too late to turn your Google Ad campaigns around and revitalize your digital brand.

Let’s review the top 10 Google Ads mistakes.
Top 10 Ways to Fail With Google Adwords [Infographic]

 1. Not Analyzing Local Trends

Your automated bidding strategies could be costing you the chance to drill down on your most profitable buyers. While you can use bid modifiers to analyze how to allocate your marketing dollars for specific regions, you should also review trends in that area.

When you review the locations section in your campaigns, you can review elements such as device use and responses to ad copy. For example, you can target mobile device users more effectively in metropolitan areas.

Delve more deeply into your local data to capitalize on lucrative trends.

 2. Poor Display Network Targeting

Many companies fail to control the targeting for their ads on the Google Display Network. In some cases, you’re wasting money on clicks from ad viewers who hold no value within your marketing campaigns.

Capitalize on the use of content exclusions within Google Ads, and ensure your ad content is only reaching its intended audience.

 3. Unfocused Ad Groups

Campaigns that deliver high returns have one element in common - a tight focus on a specific audience. If your ad groups are generic with unrelated keywords and limited targeting, you won’t achieve a strong return on your Google Ads investment. Keywords directly related to search intent offer the best value.

For example, instead of casting a wide net with a keyword such as Criminal Lawyer Toronto, try using DUI Lawyer Toronto. Separate your keywords into focused ad groups and then compare which groups perform better over time.

When you focus your ads according to search intent, you’ll begin to maximize returns.

 4. Poor Quality Landing Pages

Google is grading you based on landing page elements such as page load speed and keyword relevance. The bar for quality has only risen in recent years. Does your landing page speak to your target customer?

Track your landing pages carefully and review the data. You’ll quickly see what’s working and what’s not. You can then make improvements to your landing pages and reach qualified leads with high-impact messaging.

 5. Ineffective CPC Strategies

Google will automatically recommend a smart bidding strategy based on your campaign goal. For example, if the goal is to prioritize web traffic, it may suggest you try to achieve maximum clicks on your ads. A generic bidding strategy often leaves you with limited returns to show for your investment.

If you’ve been running Google’s smart automated bidding strategy in recent months, refocus your campaigns with manual bidding and refine your approach based on actionable data.

 6. Bidding too Broadly

Who is your target online audience? What are they searching for when they look for your services? By answering these questions, you can start to bid on keywords that match your target user’s search intent.

Many companies still make the mistake of bidding on generic keywords that are both expensive and irrelevant to the search intent of their purchase-ready buyer.

 7. Not Selecting Relevant Keywords within Ads

If you’re not choosing relevant keywords within your Google Ad campaigns, you’re unlikely to get a significant return for your investment.

Consider the following when choosing your keywords:

  • Search volume

Keywords with a limited search volume are unlikely to provide long-term value in your ads. Unless you’ve selected the keyword-based on comprehensive campaign research, remove low-volume options.

  • Buyer journey

Keywords appearing in your ads should also appear in relevant landing pages, streamlining your buyer’s journey from the ad page to the shopping cart.

  • Buyer intent

What action do you expect the buyer to take when searching for your keyword? The keyword appearing in your Google Ad should match their intent with precision.

Carefully analyze user profiles and sort your keywords based on the value delivered to your target buyer.

 8. Starting with Large Keyword Lists

Large keyword lists might have been effective when the goal was to build a large data set; but when you’re trying to secure better value from Google Ads, large keyword lists can lead to significant losses.

The Google Keyword Planner tool informs you on the best value search terms for your campaigns.

Start small, with one or two high-volume, highly-specific, relevant keywords. You can then begin to refine your campaigns as new data arrives to secure higher returns.

 9. Failing to Consider Negative Keywords

Negative keywords can help enhance the value of your Google Ad campaigns.

They help prevent your ad from being displayed to those searching for a different style of service or product. That way you won’t spend more money on clicks that don’t convert and improve the efficiency of campaign spending.

 10. Running Campaigns Without Conversion Tracking

Your conversion tracking codes are essential in identifying trends in your campaign data.

Using tracking codes, you can find out how many conversions you’re getting per click. You’ll also see the percentage of clicks that result in conversions, and learn how many times a customer viewed your ads before they converted.

These data points are instrumental in explaining which ads are performing and which ones require adjustment.

You can learn more about your target customer’s behaviour and hone your campaigns based on actionable real-time metrics.

Hone Your Approach to Google Ads

Google Ads is at the core of your digital lead generation engine.

By following the industry’s best practices and bypassing these mistakes, you’ll begin to reach your target buyer consistently and build recurring revenues over the long term.

It's a competitive market. Contact us to learn how you can stand out from the crowd.

Post a Comment


  • 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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