6 Costly Google Ads Mistakes

The 6 Costly Google Ads Mistakes

You’re running Google Ads, you’re not really happy with the number of calls that you’re getting, and new website visitors don’t convert. What’s going on?

You feel like calling quits because you think you’re throwing money into thin air – unfortunately, you are if you’re making these six Google Ads mistakes.


Mistake #1 – Using a Basic Account

When you first open a Google Ads account, Google automatically takes you through the step-by-step process of setting up a campaign. Don’t fall into this trap! By using the basic account, you don’t have access to very crucial features that can help you optimize your campaigns, such as Keyword Planner.

Google wants you to go through their basic campaign setup process because it limits customization. When you can’t customize and be in control of your campaigns, you’re leaving money on the table. The less control you have, the more money that Google sucks from your credit card.

In order to bypass this, at the bottom of the screen, it should say ‘Are you a professional marketer? Switch to Expert Mode’. Click on the hyperlink and you’ll see a completely different dashboard than what you were using. Here’s where the magic happens.

Activating Advanced Google Account

Mistake #2 – You’re Using the Wrong Campaign Structure

I’ve seen many small businesses use the incorrect campaign structure and then wonder why they’re going through their budget so quickly.

  • Do not create one Ad Group for all the services that you wish to promote
  • Do not create a set of generic ads under this Ad Group, packing in all of your services and locations
  • And do not use one list of keywords for all of your ads


To paint a picture, here’s a high-level overview of what not to do:

High-level Incorrect Campaign Structure

To show you how this would look like in Google Ads, I’ve put together a mock Winter Campaign for an imaginary renovations company. Here’s what to avoid when setting up any campaign:

Incorrect ads structure

The Correct Campaign Structure No Matter Your Industry

For a small campaign, just to get things off the ground, select the top three services that you want to get more sales for. Create an Ad Group for each of these services.

Use the Keyword Planner Tool to find relevant keywords for each service. Find at least 5 keywords but don’t use more than 10.

Create at least 3 ads for each service that includes the keywords in the ad copy, such as the headline and description. Write ads that are centred around the keywords – they have to make sense and can’t be generic.

Here’s the structure to aim towards:

An example of the correct structure of a search campaign

Here are some tips when writing your ads:

  • Use numbers and symbols in ads as they are more attractive
  • Capitalize the first letter of every word
  • Include a consistent call-to-action
  • Describe your unique selling proposition, how are you different?


Mistake #3 – Keyword Stuffing

This leads me to keyword stuffing. Many campaigns are using more than twenty keywords across their ad sets. Using variations of the same search phrase is fine but using keywords that pertain to different services or intent (research versus buying) is generalizing the campaigns.

You’re not targeting a specific user who’s looking for a specific service instead, you’re throwing your fishing line and attracting everyone – whether they’re ready to buy or not. Don’t use more than 10 keywords per ad, otherwise, your ad will get diluted and the chances of it showing up for your keywords decreases.


Mistake #4 – You’re Not Using the Right Keyword Match Types

There are four different types of keyword match types that you can use when specifying to Google the search terms that you want your ad to show up for.


Broad match types = Bathroom Renovations

Keywords with spelling errors, synonyms or related searches will be included.

For example, batroom renovasion, bathroom reno, washroom reno ideas, best bathroom cabinets


Broad match modifier type = +Bathroom + Renovations

Close variants to both words would have to appear in the search term.

For example, washroom remodel


Phrase match type = “Bathroom Renovations”

Your ad will show only when someone’s search includes the exact phrase of the keyword, or close variations of the exact phrase of the keyword, with additional words before or after.

For example, bathroom renovations company, 2020 bathroom renovations ideas


Exact match type = [Bathroom Renovations]

Your ad will only be shown for these exact words.

For example, bathroom renovations


Most businesses are using broad match type keywords. This means that their ads are also being shown to relevant keywords. For example, if you’re using the keyword renovation contractor, your ads could be shown for search terms like home depotrenovation ideas or trusted pros.

These are all related to the theme of the keyword but don’t match the intent. If this is the case, you’re being charged for every time a person clicks on your ad that uses the search term home depot! The person could’ve accidentally clicked on your ad or they were just curious, but they will not convert on your site.



Mistake #5 – Not Using Negative Keywords

A negative keyword prevents your ad from being triggered by a specific word or phrase. Your ads will not be shown to anyone who’s searching for that phrase. In the above example, if we don’t want our ads to be triggered by the keyword home depot, we would add it as a negative keyword.

Think back on your conversations with prospects. If you’re finding yourself saying ‘no’ to a specific service or request, include that in the list of negative keywords.

To add your negative keywords, click on your Ad Group, Go to ‘Keywords’ and select ‘Negative Keywords’.

Where to find negative keywords in Google Ads

After you’ve launched your campaign, keep track of the ‘Search Terms’ being used to trigger your ads. If you see something that doesn’t relate to your services, add them to your negative keywords list.


Mistake #6 – Lack of Management

Are you launching your ads and just letting them run? You need to have a management schedule in order to keep track of negative keywords, cost per click, new search terms, conversions, etc.

Here’s the management schedule to stick to for the first two months:

Month 1 – Campaign Launch

  • Review after 2 days
  • Review after 4 days
  • Review after 6 days
  • Review after 8 days
  • Review after 10 days
  • Review after 17 days

Month 2 – 1x week

If you see that certain search terms that are not in your keywords list are getting you lots of traffic, then you can create new ads centred around that search term.

If you see that you’re getting more traffic from mobile than on desktop, you can allocate the budget to show your ads 60% more to mobile users.

If you see a keyword that has a very high cost per click, you can set a max bid amount based on your budget.

The goal is to spot trends, opportunities, and tweak numbers to squeeze the most out of your budget.

When people ask why they have to pay an agency or freelancer for management fees – well, this is the reason. We’re not just letting your ads run wild, we need to keep track of them, make sense of the data, and optimize so that you’re not throwing your money away.


Final Thoughts

It’s not an easy feat to run Google Ads successfully, especially if you’re a beginner. Running campaigns is an art and a science that takes time and dedication. If you need help with optimizing your campaigns, please call me at 647-675-0804.

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