Google Ads has massive potential as a marketing tool, whether you’re working agency side, in affiliate marketing, or as a one-person band in the early stages of building your own business.
Though Google advertising generates hundreds of billions of dollars every year, a huge proportion of Google Ads campaigns aren’t fulfilling their potential due to common and avoidable mistakes.
Getting great results in PPC isn’t easy, and running a successful campaign requires proper management of lots of different factors, each with their own tricks and complexities. Having said that, taking the right steps to avoid some of the most common PPC mistakes can go a long way to helping you smash those targets!
Let’s look at how to avoid some of the most common mistakes on Google Ads.
Don’t neglect negative keywords
These days, Google’s match types are triggering more keywords than ever. This puts you at risk of spending your ad budget on low-quality clicks that won’t actually help your conversions.
By opening your Google Ads settings, and making sure your negative keywords lists are optimised for your target audience and goals, you’ll be able to cut out those money wasters. It’s a relatively quick and easy fix but it’s a real game changer in terms of minimising wasted clicks and improving your ROI.
Understand and exploit ad schedules
No matter how well known your brand is, certain time periods garner more valuable clicks than others. This is particularly true if your offering is seasonal, or if it relates to a certain time of day. Ads for takeaway pizza might not yield the best results at 8am, for example.
Though it may not be as manual as affiliate marketing or content marketing, the resources for your PPC campaigns are precious, and leaving ads running during poor-performance times will eat up your budget without much return.
Keep a close eye on your analytics and analyse your ad performance. By recognising spikes in activity throughout the day or at certain times of year, you can make sure your ads are active during these busy periods, and switch them off at times that don’t yield a worthwhile ROI.
Leverage ad extensions
The use of ad extensions is par for the course for any veteran PPC agency, and if you want your campaigns to be competitive, you’ll need to ensure you’re using them, too.
Brands just getting started with PPC (understandably) assume that Google’s default ad formats will perform well because they’ve been designed by Google. However, they’re very much a one-size-fits-all approach, and if you compare them to ads that are taking advantage of extensions, you’ll realise they aren’t the miracle PPC solution you’re hoping for.
Sitelink, image, callout, and structured snippets are just some of the ad extensions you can use to enhance your campaigns. Read up on Google ad extensions and once you start utilising the ones that are right for you, you’ll notice an improvement overnight.
Don’t throw your lot in with Smart search and display
Though some affiliate marketing PPC campaigns have seen a decent amount of success with smart shopping campaigns, Google Smart search and Smart display campaigns should be avoided like the plague (at least right now) if you want to be successful with Google Ads.
Smart search campaigns use AI and machine learning to take the guesswork out of PPC management by controlling the keyword selection, scheduling, and bidding based on data from manual campaigns.
While AI has the potential to revolutionise PPC in the near future, it’s certainly not there yet, and even beginner PPC execs can outperform a lot of Google’s Smart campaigns as they stand now. It’s better to leave well alone for now and focus on putting in the manual effort to optimise your campaigns to suit your needs.
Need some PPC support?
Perfecting your approach to PPC is no easy feat, but by following these steps to steer clear of common PPC mistakes, you’ll benefit from much stronger results right out of the gate!
However, the best way to avoid these pitfalls entirely is to enlist an expert PPC agency with proven experience crafting and optimising Google Ads campaigns. At Ketchup, our PPC experts know how to make the most out of your ad budget, helping to generate more viable leads for your business.
Take advantage of our free PPC audit, where we’ll take a look at your existing marketing efforts and let you know where things can be tightened up to better achieve your specific brand goals.