If you are one of the millions of businesses using Google Ads but feel you are not getting the results you expected, then you are not alone, but quite often the lack of performance comes down to simple mistakes rather than the platform not being right for your company.
If you are looking for immediate and targeted traffic then Google Ads has probably been the answer since it was launched, as not only was it one of the first Pay Per Click models but it was also based on the biggest search engine for most countries, hence the audience was and still is huge. But, as we mentioned in our opening paragraph, getting results from your Adwords campaign is often easier said than done, as although anyone can have a go and set an account up, getting it to work is a different matter all together.
So, if you find yourself not getting the results that you expected or wanted form Google Ads , we look at the key mistakes and how to avoid them below.
Wrong Keyword Match Types
One of the most common mistakes and potential money losers happens when you use the wrong keyword match types, which if you opt for Broad match can end up costing you a lot of wasted spend. When you first set a campaign up you are generally defaulted to broad match, which is usually an issue for most advertisers as you not only need to be on top of your negative keyword list but as the name suggests, broad match really can capture a load of searches you really do not want or that are not relevant.
I would always recommend trying your first campaign on Exact match as you then know that you are getting the best possible keyword searches, as long as your keywords are correctly set up of course. If the traffic levels on an exact match are not as high as you had hoped then you can try a phrase or broad match modifier campaign, but just make sure you keep your negative keywords topped up and updated when you see searches that are not right for your campaign.
No Negative Keywords
Unless you are using exact match for your keywords, you need to be actively monitoring the search terms that lead to clicks to your website and then adding any keywords that you do not want to appear for to your negative keyword list. If you set up a campaign on phrase, broad or broad match modifier and never check the keywords people are clicking through from then I will guarantee you will be wasting money, as these match types need ongoing management to say the least, needing you to continually check the search terms and then exclude any that are not relevant. Over time you will build up a decent and comprehensive list of negatives, but even then you cannot stop keeping on top of these keywords, as if you want to stop waste and improve success, you need an active and continually updated negative keyword list for your campaigns.
Depending on your industry and the keywords you are chasing will dictate the level of spend and budget you are going to realistically need to deliver click throughs and visitors form your campaign. You have to be realistic and set a decent budget to make sure you are getting the clicks so that you can not only get results but you can also get the data that will help you to improve your PPC campaigns and your success levels. If you are not willing to spend money then there is little point in trying Google Ads as you need a budget to make sure you get the best visitors and can achieve a decent position in the ad placements. Although some keywords cost far more than others, be realistic about your spend level and give it time to work, as you need to understand the traffic and how it interacts with your site to be able to improve, which of course means spending money to get that valuable information.
Badly Grouped Campaigns
Adwords relies on tight groups of keyword, adverts and final destination URLs (or landing pages as most people call them) to really get decent performance results, as just chucking a load of mixed keywords and adverts together and then sending visitors to your home page is going to fail. For every service or product you offer, make sure that these are grouped together, with related keywords, adverts and landing pages, as this will not only help you to achieve a better quality score but it will help to increase conversions. Always set them up as separate campaigns as it means that you can control the budgets and make sure you keep everything relevant and tightly matched as it can be by grouping things together and separating your campaigns to be as specific as possible.
Using A Poor Landing Page
You have to think of every visitor hitting your site as someone on a journey, with their click the start and the page they land on your website their final destination, which means you have to seriously consider the whole journey and make sure that at every stage it is consistent and relevant. Although it is generally quite simple to get traffic, if your website or landing page is not set up correctly or has no chance in converting these people into sales or leads, then you can not really blame Google Ads for the failure of your campaign. A decent and call to action ready landing page is vital for any marketing platform, so make sure that you seriously think about the end result and what you want to achieve and then go about designing a landing page and testing it until you get the perfect formula that leads to more conversions.
Not Tracking Results
I have banged on and on about conversion tracking and goal tracking enough times to send people to sleep or actually listen to me and implement it, but there is little point in running any marketing campaign unless you know where your results are coming from. Make sure that all of your marketing platforms have their own conversion tracking in place where possible and make sure you have goals set up in Google Analytics so that you know exactly where each sale, enquiry or lead has come from. Only then will you know where your money is being worked the best and which platform is delivering results.
Once you have this information, you can then decide where to spend your ongoing marketing budget and where to maybe reduce it. I have seen examples of people walking away from Adwords thinking that it has not worked, only to find out they have never tracked their leads so do not have the accurate information to base this statement on, as if you ask a customer where they came from and they say Google, they are not going to be able to tell you whether this was a natural search or an Google Ads click, and quite frankly, this is no way to track where your leads are coming from anyway.
Failure To Optimise
If you set up a campaign, walk away and expect it to either perform or keep performing then you are not going to get long term results, as Google Ads needs optimisation and tweaking, along with even basic monitoring to make sure you get the most success from it. From increasing your cost per click price per keyword to increasing budgets and adding new negative keywords, your campaign needs to be worked and needs a certain level of TLC, depending on its size. Whilst it is true to say that some people do manage to start a campaign that immediately performs and continues to do so without management, these are often few and far between and usually smaller campaigns, as the harder you are prepared to work on your account and tweak and improve, the more results you are going to get in the long term.
Thinking It Is Easy
I am not saying you should always use a pay per click agency or Google Partner if you want to get results with Google Ads but it can really make a big difference to your success and campaign quality as the experts tend to know the system inside out and know how to get a good campaign set up and then optimised. The biggest cause of Google Ads not delivering results comes down to not only the set up but the whole process which includes the landing page, which is where using a PPC agency or Google Ads Certified Professional means you get the help and knowledge to make sure the journey for your visitor is more likely to end in a conversion. The system is not easy to get right first time, so if you are going to setup your own campaign then please spend some time doing your research and learn how it all works as the more you know then the better your campaign is going to be in terms of quality and results.