There are common mistakes that most AdWords managers make as they setup and manage their campaigns. These can prevent the campaigns from reaching their full potential – or worse, even making any profit.
As an Adwords manager in charge of one or more campaigns, it’s important to be aware how to prevent these errors, or correct them if they’ve already happened.
Here’s a list of the top mistakes made by AdWords managers:
Setting a low budget
A low budget is one of the reasons many campaigns fail. Despite settling up targeted ads and relevant keywords the results are always poor because traffic volumes are low and little can be learned from the results.
Many AdWords managers set low budgets and prevent their ads from reaching their full potential. With a low budget, these ads don’t achieve high positions so miss out on the best traffic.
A healthy budget will help you see quickly which ads and keywords are working. With that, you can adjust ads based on performance and take advantage of opportunities.
Not spending enough time in the search terms report
The search terms report is one of the most important reports in AdWords. For Search and Shopping campaigns, it shows the actual searches that are driving traffic to your website.
This is particularly important for shopping campaigns that don’t use keywords and therefore can be more of a challenge to manage. With these campaigns, searches are matched to your products title and description. So, you should ensure these are optimised for potential searches.
With Search campaigns, you add keywords to target potential customers. So you have more control over the type of searches you get and the match types help to control that.
The search terms report helps you to see if your ads are targeted or not. And many Adwords managers don’t spend enough time studying these searches to know the the intent behind them and assess how well their advertising is performing.
The search terms report will help you to create a good negative keyword list to block irrelevant searches.
Most AdWords managers don’t spend enough time looking at this report and filtering all irrelevant searches. And so, their campaigns waste budget on people that don’t fit their target market.
Ignoring negative keyword research
There are two main ways to find negative keywords. First is with the Keyword Planner tool that you use to research your keywords.
As you carry out this keyword research, you should be looking out for potential keywords that are not relevant to your business and could waste your budget. And then add these negative keywords to prevent them from triggering your ads.
The next method to find negative keywords is in the search terms report. You can find this report under the Dimensions tab and under the Keywords tab. Here you can add negative keywords individually and in bulk and move them to the Negative keywords tab
Not updating advanced location options
It’s not enough to target a specific location. It’s important that you update advanced location settings to state who can actually see your ads. Many AdWords managers aren’t aware that searchers outside of their targeted location can see their ads if the settings are as below:
Depending on your goals, it’s often best to target “people only in my targeted location”. That means someone in France searching for products or services in the UK will not see the ads.
Of course that’s ok if you don’t want those people to see the ads, however there are many plausible reasons why you may still want to target the French searchers.
What’s most important is to understand how advanced location options work and to update them according to your plans.
Not setting up Analytics goal tracking.
Many AdWords managers setup conversion tracking through AdWords and ignore the advanced tracking capabilities of Google Analytics.
AdWords conversion tracking is limited in its reporting. And it requires more work to setup than analytics goal tracking. With goal tracking no additional code is required to be added on the website beyond the normal analytics tracking code.
With conversion tracking you’ll have to upload code to the website for every conversion type you create. This is time consuming and affects the performance of your website because of additional code.
Not tracking the bounce rate metric
Bounce rate is one of the most important metrics to track. It’s so important that a keyword or ad or campaign that has received only 10 clicks and has 100% bounce rate should be removed or improved immediately.
Getting more traffic is unlikely to change the bounce rate by much.
On the other hand a keyword, ad or landing page with no conversion rates after 10 clicks should not be removed because it’s too early to do so. You’ll still need to run it to assess performance if the bounce rate is still reasonable.
So, bounce rate is important because it shows how engaged visitors are on the page. If they’re not engaged then they are unlikely to purchase and something needs changing.