10 Ways Advertisers Lose Money with Google Ads Campaigns

I have had the opportunity to analyze many Google Ads (formerly AdWords) accounts over the years as a digital marketer. Additionally, as a searcher, IPay Per Click AdWords Audit have seen bad ad matches based on Google searches I have done while looking for products and services. I have also optimized many AdWords accounts and turned them into profitable moneymakers for our clients. Based on my experience, I want to share with you several common areas that people fall short in managing their accounts.

  1. Sending Visitors to the Website Home Page / Not Using Landing Pages. If your Google Ads campaign is sending all of your visitors to your home page, you are likely missing out on the ability to both target your message and get the best cost per click as Google rewards advertisers that produce a search >> ad >> landing page combination that is most relevant to the searcher.


  1. Using the Wrong Keyword Match Type. Using broad match is a great way to cast a wide net and have your ad seen by lots of people. The problem is that you might be reaching people searching for terms unrelated to your business. Phrase Match or Exact Match are much better options for honing in on specific keyword searches.


  1. Failing to Add Negative Keywords. Google uses technology to generate keywords that you might want to bid on. If you don’t analyze what you are paying for, you may find that you are paying for keywords that have no relevance to your business. These keywords need to be added to your Negative Keywords list on a continual basis so you don’t spend any more money on them.


  1. Not Checking / Improving Your Quality Score. Quality score is the number which tells you how relevant your ads is to your landing page. If you provide a good search experience, meaning that someone finds your ad, clicks on it, then likes what is on the other side, Google will reward you with a lower cost per click. There are a host of tactics that can help improve your quality score including ad optimization, landing page optimization, and the proper use of keywords.


  1. Not Retargeting on Google. Statistically, most of the people who visit your site, won’t actually do business with you. For this reason, it makes sense to retarget your visitors, which essentially means that you will “follow them” online and show your ad on other sites they visit that display Google ads The goal is that the more they see you and your brand, the more it reinforces that you are the one they need to do business with.


  1. Not Retargeting on Facebook. Similar to retargeting on Google, you can also retarget your customers on Facebook. If you have visited a website and then got on Facebook and saw an ad for that website, that is retargeting in action. If you are retargeting on both Google and Facebook, they will see you “everywhere” and again your brand is reinforced as the “go to” option. This is very easy to set up by adding the Facebook pixel to your website, then running a Facebook ad campaign to a custom audience targeting people who have visited your website.


  1. Not Targeting Your Prospects Using Email Addresses. A website best practice is to collect the name and email address of those who visit your website; with their permission of course. You might not know that you can create a custom audience on Google to market to based on email addresses. Google will seek to match the uploaded emails with Google users to target them with your ads. This way you can show specific ads to those on your email list or customer list.


  1. Wrong Geographic Targeting. If you run a local business such as a restaurant, that serves local customers, you should not typically be showing your ads to searchers in other locations. I have done Google searches and clicked on ads for local businesses that were not in my area (or the area I was searching in). As a marketer, I feel bad for companies when that happens so don’t let it happen to you as it is costing you money. This may sound crazy, but I have seen non-English ads show up and if I had clicked on it out of curiosity, it would have cost the company money, yet I would not have been able to understand what was on the page.
  2. Not Using Bing. More often than not, the same click you can get on Google, you can get on Bing for a lower cost because significantly fewer people use Bing. If you have a need for a certain number of leads and you can get more of them from Bing, that means you will spend less money on your Google Ads campaign. It is very easy to import your Google Ads account or campaigns into the Bing dashboard which makes the setup (and testing) pretty simple.


  1. Not Using Campaign Level Tracking. If you have multiple campaigns in your Google Ads account (and you should), you should have tracking setup so you know which calls, leads, and sales come from each campaign. Without this in place, you will not know which campaign is most profitable.

Paid search can be profitable if done properly, but it can certainly drain your marketing dollars if it is not set up properly and therefore not producing a positive return on your marketing dollars.

If you have questions about your campaign or need help, contact us to discuss having us do an analysis of your Google Ads account to see if we can identify areas that can be improved.

All About Anthony

Anthony Kirlew is the Chief Marketing Officer at Infinion Marketing. He has nearly two decades of experience in the field of digital marketing. He launched his first SEO (Search Engine Optimization) Firm in 1999, and has worked with some of the largest brands online including The Knot and iUniverse.com. His resume includes founding several online businesses, as well as leading business development efforts for the Search Marketing Division of Web.com. He is a frequent guest blogger, speaker and author on topics related to Digital Marketing, social media, and website best practices.
View all posts by Anthony


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