Fundamentally, AdWords is an exercise in knowing who your potential customers are and what they might want, and best utilizing your available resources in order to connect with them.  Google understands this and rewards businesses for it with a higher quality score, lower CPC, and better ad rankings.  At Clear Peach, we continuously drive home the concept of digital marketing as the method of initiating the handshake between businesses and their potential customers in the digital marketplace.

A lot of AdWords success can be attributed to trial and error, and each business  has a different projection of successful campaigns.  Google makes a reported $100m a day from AdWords, and with certain sectors boasting $54-per-click keywords, there is no arguing the revenue potential from Adwords, no matter how big or small your business.

AdWords can be as simple or as complex as you want it to be.  It’s a powerful tool for generating awareness and profit, but it can be a total money pit if not designed and managed properly.  Culled from PPC and marketing experts, as well as our own experience, here’s our top 7 pitfalls to avoid with AdWords:

1) Driving Paid Traffic to Your Home Page

As the old saying goes – you can lead a horse to water but you can’t make it sign up to to receive emails or proceed to checkout. Right?  Driving ads to your home page is the equivalent of being asleep in the back while a customers wanders around a store unassisted.  A landing page with a clear user flow and a call-to-action and form fill to ensure that you are able to 1) receive and 2) track conversions.

2) Irrelevant, Untimely, or Poor Ad Copy

You really do get one first impression.  Taking a few minutes to write ads that specifically highlight a timely event or promotion can make a huge difference.  Ensuring that your ads are as relevant as possible to your keywords will also improve your relevance score and ad rank.

3) Not Bidding on Your Own Brand

Bidding on your own brand ensures that you are able to control your own messaging, as well as to ensure that you are able to capture those leads that are searching for you directly.  Pure branded keywords are also much more inexpensive and can help deter competitor branding bids.

4) Not Using Campaign Negatives

Using negative keywords is critical.  Especially if you use a combination of broad match, broad match modified, and exact match types for keywords.  A couple other ways to get the most out of negative keywords are:

  – Campaign negatives

Campaign negatives are keywords placed in the shared library and are active across all campaigns. This takes the guesswork out of adding keyword negatives to each campaign, especially if you are running multiple or many different campaigns and ad groups.

– Adding Exact Match Negatives to Broad Match Ad Groups

Adding exact match negatives to broad match ad groups helps to ensure that exact match searches are not cannibalizing broad match keywords.


5) Not Paying Attention to Quality Score

Google’s Ad Rank is your maximum bid multiplied by quality score.  Making the effort to improve your landing pages and maintain relevant ads is as important as outbidding competition.


6)  Sitting on Accounts

Sitting on or overlooking accounts when you are managing multiple accounts ensures that money is being left on the table.  Figuring out what needs to be tweaked at least once a week ensures that ads are being shown in top positions, search terms are relevant and crucial keywords or negative keywords are being added.


7) Blowing Through Budget

The impetus to bid high is hard to ignore, especially with high CPC keywords.  When researching keywords and setting up the campaigns, Google recommends a CPC based on the market value.  Neil Patel advises to bid lower than the recommended CPC, and he states that positions 3 – 5 have the highest ROI despite the lower click volume than the higher positions.


Visit the Clear Peach Blog to find other helpful tips for AdWords, web design, and other digital marketing tips.







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