TOP 10 mistakes in Google Ads which eat your money

Mistakes made during the first setup of contextual advertising can often cost a lot for you, therefore it’s necessary to be very careful and attentive. You can even join a group of people who believe that contextual advertising is not effective at all. We’ll try to describe the top mistakes that should be avoided during the initial setup of contextual advertising in Google Ads. These tips will be useful for those users who are just going to run ads and those who tried Google Ads but didn’t get appropriate results.

We present the most common mistakes in the management of contextual advertising, which could cost advertisers thousands of dollars.

1. Keywords in a broad match type

If you do not specify match type for keywords, broad match type will be selected by default. If the campaign has broadly matched keywords, ads can be shown as a response to any search queries which Google believes is associated with a keyword even if the connection with the topic is faint. This can lead to wasting the budget. Therefore, it’s better to use these types of matching: exact, phrase and broad match modifier.

2. Poor keyword grouping, low Quality Score, high CPC

Advertisers with a lack of experience often create one ad group per campaign and add all the keywords there. According to experience, this is not a good idea for the initial setup. Google Ads account structure should be similar to the website structure.

This means that if there are five product categories on the website, then ads account should have one campaign with five ad groups (one per product). In addition, if you need to target several countries and languages, for example, Russian and English, it’s necessary to create two campaigns, one for each language. If you add all the keywords and ads to the same ad group, it will be quite difficult to control all the factors that can affect Google Ads performance.

At the first stage, it’s necessary to think over the account structure and properly ad grouping in order to gain a maximal level of control for campaigns’ optimization in future.

Some advertisers consider that the position of ads on a search results page is determined solely by the bid and the higher bid leads to the higher average position. But actually the position on the search page depends on Quality Score (QS). It’s necessary to understand what it is and how to improve QS to make ads spend as much effective as it’s possible. The formula is simple, high quality score leads to reducing of cost per click. The column “Quality Score” can be added to Google Ads account reports both for the campaigns level and for the groups level.

3. Wrong landing page

This item follows from the previous one. If the account has a poor grouping of the keywords, it’s not always possible to lead users to the right website page. For example, you have a campaign for Asus laptops and it has a number of keywords like “a 17-inch Asus laptop”. These keywords should lead users to the website page with a filter, where only 17-inch Asus laptops will be presented, not all Asus laptops. Otherwise, the user can just close the website and won’t search for the right products in the whole Asus laptops list.

4. Conversions (goals) are not set up

In some Google Ads accounts performance is not measured at all. Before launching any advertisement, you need to determine its’ goals and the results which are necessary to be achieved. To do this, you should set up goals in Google Analytics and Google Ads accounts. This will allow you to get the statistics of the results in the context of advertising campaigns, groups, keywords, cities, time of day, devices and others.

5. Ad extensions and keywords ranking

To display the ad in search results it’s enough just to write this ad. But to make the ad more visible and increase its’ rating, it’s necessary to add all available extensions. This will make the ad larger, more visible, more informative, increase the percentage rate of impressions, quality score and reduce the cost per click.

6. Missing negative keywords

Don’t forget about negative keywords list which will prevent ads from showing by irrelevant search terms. This list should be formed at the stage of collecting keywords and regularly supplemented during the process of advertising campaigns optimization, according to the search terms report results.

For example, the keyword “Buy a camera” can lead to displaying the ad by such search terms:

  • Buy a camera
  • Buy used camera
  • Buy camera charger
  • Buy a lens for camera


7. Set bids for displaying to top of page

Displaying ads to the top of page not always is a winning strategy.

There are several reasons for this:

— Cost per click for the first position is always higher than for the second or third ones.

— Some users can simply be interested in a product or service without intention to buy it. For example, somebody can just be interested in the price of a new iPhone after its’ release. This user just wants to know the price and then discuss this topic with his friends. In these cases, he will open the first site in the search results, cost per click will be charged from the ads account but conversions won’t be achieved.

8. Mobile version of the website and its’ conversion

If the website doesn’t have a mobile version or it isn’t user-friendly, this will badly affect the conversion rate and cost per conversion. It is easy to analyze this statement using various tools for checking if the website has a responsive design. After the launching of the ads, it’s necessary to open the report with the types of devices and compare the statistics for each device type. If the cost per conversion on mobile devices is much higher than for desktop — most likely the website has problems with the mobile version.

9. Product groups intersection

Product feeds should have custom labels that can be used to create product groups in the campaign. To avoid product groups intersection, it’s necessary to add cross negative keywords. This will help exclude the intersection of the products from the related groups. For example, led strip and led profile.

The second checking point should be tracking products which spend the budget but don’t bring transactions or have a high cost per transaction. It is worth optimizing each individual product, paying attention to the revenue and cost per sale.

10. An account is not optimized according to the results of these reports

— location of users

— device types

— day of the week and time of day

— search terms

— multi-channel funnels

And other reports.

It’s necessary to do the analysis at least once a week (if the account has enough statistic data). This will allow you to find the weak points of the campaign, reduce the cost per conversion, increase the number of conversions and ROAS.

Conclusion: most of these mistakes can be made because of the lack of experience or time. Paying attention to each item from the list above will improve the results of your advertising.

Avoiding such mistakes will help your ads start working for you.