10 Things NOT to Do in Google Ads

So, you've set up your Google Ads campaigns and they’re not performing as well as you’d expected? I'm a digital marketing expert. As someone who worked at Google for six years, I have plenty of tips to share with you on how to grow your business with Google Ads. I'm also an expert at what NOT to do with Google Ads. Here are 10 of the most common mistakes that I see business owners make when getting started with Google Ads, and how to avoid them. 

Set up Google Ads correctly by remembering these 10 things

1. Always choose “without guidance” 

  • When you create a new campaign, you don’t need goal guidance - choose “without guidance.” This means you will have total control over your campaign and the full suite of format/targeting options. 

2. Search campaigns should NOT include display

  • Under “Display Network” uncheck the default “Include Google Display Network.”
  • Display ads should be a completely separate campaign because they will have different goals and objectives than your Search ads.

3. Target a narrow location to start 

  • Google will default the campaign to the country you are in; instead, you should add a more specific location.
  • Most small businesses want a city or region, not a whole country.

4. Target locations by “Presence”

  • Location settings should be based on “Presence”, not “Interest”.
  • This means you are targeting people in who are present in your target location, not those who are simply interested in your target location (for example, people planning a trip to go there).

5. Set up conversion tracking

  • Make sure you set up conversion tracking so you’ll know if your ads are working.
  • This tracks how effective your ads are by tracking customer activity on your website, like purchases, sign-ups, etc. 

6. Add lots of audiences on “Observation”

  • Put a bunch of audiences on observation to give the Google algorithms more signals to find your ideal customer. 
  • This way, you can also identify which audiences work best for your ads.

7. Add at least 4 ad extensions to every campaign 

  • Enable all of the ad extensions that make sense for your business. Sitelinks, Callouts, Structured Snippets and image extensions work for every business. Others, like calls or lead forms, are optional based on your campaign objectives. 
  • Extensions provide additional information, allow people to take action directly from the search results, and are a great way to improve your clickthrough rate for no additional cost.

8. Make sure your ads include a call to action

  • This is the part of your advertisement that tells your audience what they should be doing once they click on your Google Ad, and hit your website or landing page. 
  • You can learn more about how to create an effective call to action for your business in my recent post “8 Quick & Easy Conversion Rate Fixes.”

9. Do NOT put keywords in Broad match

  • Always use quotation marks around keywords. For example, if your keyword is scented candles enter it as “scented candles” - this is called Phrase Match
  • If you were to simply type in scented candles as a keyword, this is called Broad Match. Google Ads would then start showing your ad on lots of potentially unrelated searches, like unscented candles, scented perfume, Jo Malone candles or even something like holiday gifts.

10. Check the search term report weekly and add negative keywords as needed 

  • Your search term report shows the actual user searches that trigger your ads, as well as how those searches are performing.
  • This can help you discover new ideas for content, and understand what your customers are looking for.
  • If you’re seeing search terms that aren’t relevant, you can add them as negative keywords, and then check your keywords to see if you need to adjust your match types.

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