Google AdWords is a powerful way for businesses, big and small, to cost-effectively advertise online. Despite the ease of basic use, we know there is a chance your ROI may not be as high as your competitor, or at least as high as it once used to be. If this is you, don’t worry because we’re going to help you identify 5 potential mistakes and their solutions:
1. Improper Keyword Grouping
If your Google AdWords campaign is not performing very well, there is a good chance you’re not grouping your keywords properly. As a result, your keywords won’t match with the searches and thus reduce the effectiveness of your campaign.
One of the quickest & easiest ways to help group your keywords is by using an Awdords Editor tool called “Keyword Grouper.” When you’re logged into Adwords Editor, go to your campaign or an individual adgroup. Click “Tools” > “Keyword Grouper.” Use the drop downs to select the campaign and adgroup (or all adgroups).
You can either click “Generate Common Terms” or manually enter terms you want to parse out into separate adgroups. I prefer to do this manually. If you let the tool generate the common terms, it tends to give you way too many terms and you have to go through out delete the majority of the terms.
Click “Next” and preview the results. Select “Yes” if you want copy the ads from the original adgroup > click “Finish.” Go to the new adgroups and enter an adgroup bid amount. Change the ads so they’re specific to the keywords and you’re all set.
2. Not Using CPA Bidding (Conversion Optimizer)
Cost per acquisition (CPA) bidding is considered an “advanced” Google AdWords technique. As such, many people never use it. However, CPA bidding can greatly improve your ROI. Once you have at least a month’s worth of conversions you can switch the bidding strategy over to CPA bidding. The conversions you have in your history, the better the conversion optimizer will work. So if you only have a handful of conversions, you may want to hold off another month or so.
To enable CPA bidding, just go into your campaign settings > Bid Strategy > select “Focus on Conversions” > either select the recommended bid, or choose a targeted CPA bid. I always start off setting my CPA bid a little higher than my goal to start. I can always go back in and lower it later.
3. Landing Pages
If you truly believe Google AdWords is the key to your growth, you (and millions of other business owners) are sadly mistaken. Google AdWords helps you advertise your content but it cannot help you if your landing page is bad or if you cannot convert your visitors to customers. Make sure you’re sending the visitors to the best possible landing page for each particular keyword. Don’t make the mistake of sending everyone to your Home page. Instead, find the most relevant page within your site for each keyword and use that page as the destination url.
4. Not Optimizing Your Campaigns
It’s time consuming, and sometimes boring. But you have to optimize your campaigns to continue to increase campaign performance. Test different keywords, different ad text, different landing pages, ad extensions, etc. Manage the under-performing keywords (pause them or peel and stick them). Dig deep and find negative keywords. All these mundane tasks are necessary to improve performance.
5. Not Monitoring Your Google AdWords Campaign
One of the biggest mistakes many business owners make is starting a Google AdWords campaign and then leaving it for a while. Google AdWords demands plenty of attention because you need to monitor the effectiveness of the campaign and make changes accordingly. I’ve been burned by this in the past, I don’t want to see it happen to you.
If you’re not monitoring your campaign’s performance, things can go haywire in the account and before you know it, you’ve wasted your money, or worse your client’s money on a handful of under-performing keywords that eating up the budget.
I had this happen several years ago where I thought I had a client’s account running like a well oiled machine. I thought I could let it run on auto-pilot for awhile so I was spending much less time monitoring the account. I was only checking in on it once a week. Well, a high ranking competitor decided to pull his ads down. Ten days went by before I checked the account and I had blown around $1500. Most of that money was spent on a handful of keywords that were not producing any results.
So be sure to log into Google AdWords everyday and monitor the performance of your campaign.
Stay tuned for more great Google AdWords tips, tricks, advice and strategies, coming soon!