Growth Journal

Newbie AdWords mistakes that every business owner should avoid

By April 29, 2019 No Comments

There’s a never-ending conflict between organic searches and paid searches (aka Pay-Per-Click or PPC campaigns).

And, Google AdWords is the father of Pay-Per-Click campaigns.

But the reality is that, until now, almost 87% of businesses have gone to Organic Searches or SEO (Search Engine Optimization).


Because of the most obvious reason under the sun: It’s Free!

Few statistics that will help you to understand the power of Google AdWordsBut you know; money begets money.

In a comparison between Google AdWords and organic searches, Google AdWords PPC campaigns get 65% of clicks while organic searches receive only 35%(Craig McConnel). Google itself says, ‘search ads or paid campaigns can increase brand awareness by 80%’.

Yes, Google AdWords has as much value-for-money as Avengers: Infinity War.

Unfortunately, we haven’t seen very many newbies using it correctly. And, probably, that’s where we’ve held their hand.

Here’s a list of the most common AdWordsmistakes that every newbie business owner should avoid:

1. Keyword determination and grouping

While working with AdWords, keywords play 90% of the game. A PPC campaign is basically an inbound marketing strategy where your advertisement is shown at the top part of the Search Engine Result Page (SERP) based on the buyers intended keywords. You, as an advertiser, are charged only when the ad is clicked.

Therefore, imagine you spend millions of dollars on a PPC campaign for some ‘mobile application development’ service page with the keywords: ‘credit cards online’, ‘buy credit cards’ and ‘best online credit cards’. Will this work?

Of course not!

AdWords’ various ‘tools’, especially the ‘keyword planner’, give customers full guidance on what keywords to choose in terms of the bid amount, competition, average monthly searches, ad impression share, top of the page bid (low range), top of the page bid (high range) and account status.

Google AdWords

Basically, it does everything to stop you from choosing the wrong keywords.

Also, there’s a tool called ‘Ad Groups’ where you can add, customize and manage different sets of keywords for different campaigns. More than keyword selection, the most common mistake among newbie business owners is getting confused with the same type of keywords and adding them all in one single ad group. Google AdWords want you to add a different chunk of keywords distinctly for different ad sets.

Google Ad Groups Forecasts

2. Test campaigns are not just advised; they’re mandatory

It’s proven that just by changing the ad title or by modifying the CTA content, the same advertisement could get 38% more clicks. Therefore, if you’re running a single ad instead of running 4 variations you’re completely ignoring the other 3 opportunities.

We advise that for every Google ad campaign, you should prepare 3 or 4 sets of ad content with little variations in the title, body, and the CTA. Run each of these for a few days and, once you get the results, look at all the numbers and decide which one worked the best with all factors combined.

3. Refreshing of data

Google AdWords is undoubtedly one of the most intricate stepping stones of digital marketing. Google AdWords has thousands of functions of which most marketers use very few.

40% of the clicks for all the paid AdWords campaigns are received by the first 4 ads shown in the SERP.

Google AdWords is a one-time job? No!

This statement is utterly false! Only 0.5% of all AdWords accounts are updated at least once a week. And this is a mistake, trust us!

This problem becomes quite a lot larger when someone is handling multiple client accounts. We sincerely suggest that you update and refine your account data at least twice a week. This is the best way to create and maintain a systematic work-flow, especially when you have multiple clients.

4. Different landing pages for different sales drives

Christmas is great. Period.

But would it be a good idea to bring snowmen, Christmas trees, Christmas lights and tinsel for the Woodford Folk Festival, Falls Festival or Earthcore?

No, right?

Likewise, no matter how competently your homepage is built, it is not a clever option to use your homepage as the landing page for all your Google ad campaigns.

It’s not rocket science that a prospective lead who is interested in buying a men’s blazer would not be very happy if they were directed to a homepage with hundreds of categories.

You searched for this:

Buyer Intend Keywords

Should you get this?

Targeted buyer intend keyword

Or this?

generalist landing page

The 2nd one takes the customer to a generic home page and forces the customer to search again.

Develop and add only web pages that serve the purpose of your AdWords campaign. If needed, you should touch-up the page before starting the campaign to make it more campaign-specified, especially if you’re running ad campaigns for sales or limited period offers.

5. Knowing the lifetime value of customers is important

Lifetime Value (or LTV) is a very important yardstick for determining how much you should actually spend on each ad and each customer. Without an exact number of LTV, you can never see what your Google AdWords Campaigns are doing for your business.

So, what is LTV?

LTV is the total amount of money that is going to be spent on a customer through an entire sales and marketing loop.

It’s always advisable to keep the profit margin 1.75 to 2 times more than the LTV.

Imagine you have a course named “Best Online Marketing Strategy in Australia” and want to sell it for $20. You run a Google AdWords campaign for this service. This campaign will only be successful if you restrict the cost of marketing for each customer to under $10 to $12.

6. Negative keywords should be positively used:

Often the most neglected factors turn out to be the ‘why-didn’t-I-notice-before’ ones. For Google AdWords, negative keywords are of that kind. A recent study showed that just by including a set of negative keywords, the CTR of a paid campaign increased from 0.97% to 1.33%, and the overall conversion percentage went from 1.12% to 1.53%.

As a user, we would ask Google AdWords not to show our ads where negative keywords are present.

Here’s a list of some industries and a few of the most obvious negative keywords that you should always keep in consideration:

IndustryNegative Keywords
Online MarketingFree, cheap, naked, torrent, porn, torrents
HR, Employment and Managed ServicesHiring, employer, part-time, occupations, quick, employment, job, occupation, full time, jobs, resume
ReferenceAbout, samples, history, definition, examples, what is, diagram, example, maps, what are
Information IndustryRating, review, how-to, information, articles, info, photos
Educational IndustryTraining, courses, school, learn, class, college, university, tutorial, classes, books
Statistical IndustryAssociations, case metrics, white papers, studies, magazines, books, journals
Fashion and DIYsCrafts, creating, home, create, creating, making, homemade, how to
Direct BusinessFree, discount, clearance, bargain, inexpensive, overstock, closeouts, closeouts, discounted, remainders

negative keyword really overrated

7. Bid on your own brand

Generally, traffic comes from two sources: product name and brand name. Big brands, especially after reaching a certain level, often start to neglect to add their own brand name in the Google ad campaign bidding list. This is for two reasons: their brand name is already very famous, and they already rank in the top position.

But, here’s the twist:

Let’s say you’re quite a famous brand and most Australian households already know your brand name well. Also, you are already top-ranking. Do you still need to add your brand name to the bidding list?


If you’requite a famous brand people will be influenced by your name, that’s true. So, while you’re missing out your own brand name, how will you be sure that your competitors are not bidding on your brand name and stealing your loyal customers?

AdWords, if used correctly, can be called a ‘one-stop-solution’ for PPC campaigns. If you are struggling to use it correctly it’s always advisable to employ professional help. It’s worth the money, take our word for it!

Ash Bhattacharya

Author Ash Bhattacharya

Ash is an Australia based Digital Marketing leader helping Entrepreneurs, Startups and Businesses of all sizes, inject immediate cashflow into their business by generating more leads and sales.

More posts by Ash Bhattacharya

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