In this article I will share with you five Google Ads mistakes I often see when PPC accounts get audited.
These are the most common mistakes companies make (so you're not alone) as well as how you can fix them.
1. The landing page is not aligned with the campaign objective
In many cases the landing page that is chosen to send paid traffic to is not the most suitable for the type of campaign that is running.
Here are some examples.
a. Let’s say that one of your campaign's main objectives is to get people to book a demo, but you send people to your website homepage.
This is a no, no. In many cases this is usually not the best page to send traffic to.
For one, in a lot of cases the homepage would have a ‘Book a Demo’ call to action somewhere on it (menu / hero banner / content block) so it would seem appropriate to use but this does not mean that it would be the best page to help you meet your book a demo goal. That’s because the homepage is likely to have too much information on it and is distracting prospects from taking action and booking that demo.
A better choice would be to have a dedicated landing page where people can understand at first glance why your solution can solve their problem and why booking a demo can benefit their business. The call to action should be the central point of the page and the process to book a demo should be as simple as possible.
Consider these examples from Hubspot - all equally useful and 'could' do the job, but which is most likely to get someone to book a demo? What would work best for your situation?
b. Another situation would be when your campaign objective is to create awareness around your brand and the problem your brand solves, but the landing page you are driving traffic towards is a conversion focused page.
If you want to create awareness and you choose to bid on research type keywords, then the landing page should meet that goal. The landing page should be a page where you host informational and helpful resources that people can easily access and read to learn more about your brand. You may also have to be willing to link to other pages on your site, thus incurring additional clicks to meet the visitors needs.
The homepage could be an option here, but a more suitable approach would be to create a specific resource hub page.
When you are choosing the type of campaign and the landing page to drive traffic towards, always have in mind the objective you want to reach and make sure they’re closely aligned to it.
2. Campaign structure does not split the ad groups by theme
This leads to low quality scores, expensive clicks, lack of conversions, and difficulty in understanding what is performing and what is not.
We often see campaigns with only one ad group and many different keywords just thrown into it in the hope that they will get exposure. The truth is that this way of creating a campaign is only hurting your performance and I am going to explain why.
For Google, the relevancy of the ad for that specific search is very important. If someone is searching for ’best google ads agency in bournemouth’’ for example, Google wants to make sure that the ads that show are as relevant as possible for the searcher. This will ensure a high CTR and decent ad revenue for Google, but at the same time will also create a great experience for the customer who will continue to use Google as their main source of information.
Imagine that you are searching for ’best google ads agency in bournemouth’ and you get to see ads that are looking like this:
Transform your website I Grow your business with us
We help businesses grow their revenue I Request a Demo
Want to grow your business? Get in touch with us.
Is this relevant enough? No, it’s not. It’s too general.
How about the following results?
- ADIDO I Google Ads Agency in Bournemouth
- Need a Google Ads Agency? ADIDO can help I Based in Bournemouth
- Need help with your Google Ads? I Bournemouth based agency
- Google Ads Agency in Bournemouth I Premier Google Partner I Get in touch with us
To be able to align your ad copy with the search query in this way, you need to separate your keywords by themes in different ad groups, so that you can tailor your ad copy to match the search query as much as possible.
3. The search terms, the ad copy and the landing page content are not aligned
This leads to low relevance scores that in the end will increase your spend as you will have a poor ad rank (and thus have to pay more to appear in auctions). It may also be a reason why your conversion rate is low.
Now it’s a case of combining the recommendations from mistake 1 and mistake 2 above, and ensuring that they are also aligned with each other. This alignment is very important as Google wants to offer its users the most relevant search results, even when they are sponsored.
Here is another example of lack of alignment that we see all too often:
If the keyword you are bidding on is “facebook ads management’; your ad copy says: ‘Best Marketing Agency in Bournemouth. Apply for a free consultation. Get your marketing to the next level’ and then the click destination is the homepage where the content is general, no reference to Facebook Ads management at all.
What would you do in this instance?
Your site visitors may be forgiven for thinking they clicked in error, and either leave immediately or click around your site aimlessly trying to find what they were looking for. Neither is a good user experience and will waste time and/or money.
Instead, do this.
Group all the keywords about Facebook ads management in a single ad group; create ad copy that is specific to the search queries deriving from these keywords and create a landing page dedicated to this ad group that contains information about what the users are looking for through their searches .
Example of ad copy:
Get your Facebook Ads to the next level
Maximise your business revenue with Facebook Ads.
Award winning Facebook Ads agency. Get in touch.
Landing page suggestion:
The content needs to be specific to the problem your audience is facing with Facebook Ads and the solution your company provides to improve their Facebook Ads performance and manage on their behalf. The service offered on that page needs to be about Facebook Ads management.
Here's an example of how PiwikPRO understands the relationship between the three components.
Google uses Quality Score as a diagnostic tool meant to give you a sense of how well your ad quality compares to other advertiser
This Quality Score is based on 3 elements:
- Ad relevance
- Expected CTR
- Landing page experience
Ad relevance and landing page experience are components you can influence by making sure that there is alignment between the keywords, the ad copy and the landing page.
Expected CTR is what Google predicts that your CTR would be. This cannot be directly influenced by you as an advertiser, however there is a direct correlation between the quality of your ad and the expected and delivered CTR.
Next time when you check your Google Ads account, make sure that this alignment exists.
4. Tracking is not set up correctly
This leads to a lack of understanding of the account performance, and a lack of important data that can help with optimisation
If you have not set up any tracking - that’s a whole other story. This would be a step you definitely need to take!
However, if you think your tracking is set up, it might not be set up correctly or at its full potential.
Tracking is a topic that could exhaust this article, and because every business is different and there isn’t a single tracking solution for everyone, I will leave you with one question that hopefully will help you identify if your tracking is correct.
Do you track every action your visitors are doing on your website that is valuable for your business (and could aid decision making)?
If the answer is yes, that’s great. You can only go up from there, by improving it strategically and choosing the best tracking option for your growing needs. It’s important to note that you should try and prioritise these actions, as I doubt they’re all of equal value to the business (so don’t treat them so). Google Ads allows for primary and secondary conversion tracking for example.
If the answer is no, then you need to take a step back and rethink the way you track things in your business and ensure you’re injecting measurement feedback into your PPC activity.
5. The bid strategy is not in line with the business strategy and goals
When you choose an automated bid strategy you need to understand what your business goals are and how that bid strategy is aligned with your business.
For example, if you know exactly how much you can afford to pay for a conversion to be profitable, then a target CPA automated bid strategy would be a great one to use.
- If your goal is to maximise the average order value, a Maximising Conversion Value bid strategy is the best for you.
- If your goal is to maximise the return on investment, a target ROAS would be a good choice.
- If you only want to drive as much traffic as possible to your website, Maximising Clicks would be the best.
So there you have it! These are the most common mistakes that contribute to an account's lack of performance. If you are making one or more of these mistakes you are definitely losing money and you can improve your account performance quickly by fixing them.
At Adido we are always mindful of these best practices and every time we take on a new client, these are often the first things we need to fix.
If you don't want a fully managed PPC service, we can conduct one-off in-depth paid audits to give you that second pair of eyes and injection of ideas. Alternatively, if you’re interested in a top level view of your Google Ads activity where we may spot some of these errors quickly, you may be interested in applying for a free audit.