Semalt Warns Of The 9 Most Common Mistakes In Google Ads 

There is only one company that makes money from poorly set Google Ads campaigns - that is Google. It is very easy to start advertising. However, without the proper knowledge, you will painfully feel the effects of an unoptimized campaign. How to easily save a budget and get many more clicks? Read the article below!

Why is it worth using Google Ads? And why is it so easy to burn through their budget?

Advertising on the Google Search Network is often not viewed by users as advertising - but as an answer to a question. Thanks to this, you reach precisely your target group that is currently interested in your product. In Google Ads, you can select a precise target group - by demographics, `location, or interests. Another advantage of advertising campaigns on Google is speed. This is especially important at the beginning of your company's existence when you want to take care of sales. Unlike positioning, reaping profits can happen in just a few days.

Google Ads is very effective in encouraging you to start a campaign. It tempts with coupons (such as spend X $ to get Y $ of additional budget), the help of consultants like Semalt agency and a very simple campaign launch. The process is too easy. There are financially painful stumbles for someone who has not devoted time to studying the subject.

Example 1

A potential customer spent 12,000 $ every month (budget suggested by Google). When auditing the account, we came to the conclusion that only 4,000 $ would be enough, in addition to much better results - of course with the appropriate optimization of the campaign.

Example 2

A customer had a daily budget of $200 and the entire monthly budget set to $350. It was suggested to him by a Google Ads consultant who wanted to show quick results and encourage him to continue investing.

Bids in Google Ads

The higher the rate per click, the more often your ad appears. Rates vary by industry, market, and quality score. Google suggests a budget - but you can always lower it thanks to effective campaign optimization.

Mistake № 1. Inserting keywords with no matches

A mistake that will definitely eat up your budget and won't bring you any valuable traffic is broad match keyword selection. So your ad with the phrase, eg "Katowice accounting office" will be displayed on all phrases that have the words "office", "accounting" or "Katowice". You wouldn't want that.

Example 3

The client sets the phrase "leaflet distribution" in a broad match. What phrase did his ad appear on? Drug distribution. Not really according to his plan.

Example 4

The customer used the phrase "advertising boards". The biggest traffic was from the phrase "Pyrzowice arrivals and departures" - and it consumed the largest part of the budget.

Use matches wisely! The exact match phrase (in square brackets) will only display for that keyword. The phrase match (in quotation marks) will appear only for keywords that have this phrase - that is, "billboards" will appear on "Katowice billboards" or "cheap billboards". Match with a modifier (with a plus), similar to a phrase match, will display an ad for phrases containing the keywords you selected. The difference is that the order of the words is not important - so the ad will be displayed on both "Katowice advertising boards" and " The Katowice advertising boards". 

When drawing up your keyword plan, pay close attention to matches.

Don't forget about negative matches - this way you can avoid words you don't want to be displayed for. If you know that Allegro or OLX has cheaper products than yours, you can use these brands as negative words.

How to choose the best phrases for your website?

A helpful tool is the Keyword Planner, which is located directly in the Google Ads tool. Here you can enter phrases that will come to your mind, and the Planner will show how much a given word is searched per month and what rates it has, and suggests other similar phrases.

How to choose the target group?

Remember who was your best customer lately - they bought a lot, paid on time, was aware, communicated well - and on this basis choose the ideal customer, i.e. the target group.

Mistake № 2. Too many keywords were stuffed into one ad group

The ad is shown to specific ad groups. It is a mistake to add all keywords to one ad group and create 1-2 ad creative's based on that. The key phrase must be in the content of the ad. If you create creations for mugs, boards, leaflets - each of them must have its own ad group, not one generally related to advertising gadgets. Today, it is more and more common for a single keyword to have one ad group and several different creatives.

Quality Score in Google Ads

The quality score is influenced by matching phrases to the offer, account history, landing page matching, clickability - so the better ads you create, the higher the quality score you will have. And Google will reward you with lower bids and higher rankings.

Mistake № 3. Choosing the Display and Search Networks without knowing the differences

IMPORTANT! The Search Network is text ads that appear in Google search results. On the other hand, the advertising network is the advertising creations that appear on internet portals. When setting up a campaign, many people choose both by default - but the networks are very different.

The search network is more expensive, but it also has a higher click-through rate (CTR) - it amounts to several percent. On the other hand, the ad network is much cheaper, but its CTR is several percent. Thus, if you use an ad network mindlessly, you can lower your overall CTR, which will also lower your Quality Score. The difference in CTR is that people on the ad network aren't in the sales phase, so they may not need to take advantage of your offer.

The advertising network is often used for image purposes. It strengthens brand awareness and visibility - the logo and name are displayed and remembered all the time somewhere. In the future, if the customer makes a purchasing decision, they can come back to your site.

What kind of ads should I choose for my online store?

For starters, we always recommend text ads on the search network - thanks to this you will reach those who are currently looking for your product/service. The next step is remarketing - reminding you of the Display Network of those customers who were on your site and didn't make a purchase. Google Shopping is also a good option.

Google Shopping Ads

This is still a less competitive area as setting up your campaign requires a lot more work. The cost of clicks is lower. However, not all products are suitable for this. They must be able to compete in terms of price, accessibility, and visibility - because competition offers will appear next to you. However, it is a great way to showcase your products.

Budget and campaign size

If you have a small budget, start with a few selected phrases for the most important products and test for 2/3 weeks. A larger budget allows you to broadly check product categories or key phrases and expand your campaign with remarketing or an advertising network.

Mistake № 4. Omitting negative phrases

Regularly check which phrases your ad appears on. Complete the negative phrases on a regular basis - you do not want to appear on the names of competitors or phrases completely unrelated to your business. You won't find a conversion here and you can burn your budget.

Mistake № 5. Skipping extensions

The use of extensions costs nothing - just fill in the appropriate fields with the information. Whenever, according to Google, displaying an extension is relevant, it will use it. Extensions make the advertising creative more attractive, increase the visibility and surface of the advertisement, inform the user - and this leads to more clicks. Additionally, Google rewards ads with extensions.

What must be in the content of your text ad on the Search Network?

  1. First, check the competition - what extensions does it use, what titles it has, does it have promotions, how does it formulate the content of the ad?
  2. Your content MUST include keywords - ideally both in the headline and in the body - which increases your chances of being clicked.
  3. You must maintain correct grammar, punctuation, and spelling.
  4. You cannot put more than one question mark or exclamation point, words like "best" - each advertising creative is viewed by an employee and allowed to display.
  5. You should put a call to action at the end of your content.
Extensions make the ad more attractive and set it apart from the competition.

Mistake № 6. Missing call to action (CTA)

CTA is the so-called call to action. These are phrases like "Check it today", "Check us out!", "Take advantage!". It looks infantile - but it works. We did tests for one of the campaigns. We ran ads without the CTA and the CTR. The result was one-sided: ads that had a call to action at the end also had a CTR of nearly two times.

Mistake № 7. No remarketing

The average user needs 7 to 15 hits with a brand to make a purchasing decision: 
  • Just clicking and going to the website is not enough - about 3% of users will make the transaction. The rest will leave. This is where remarketing reaches them, reminding them of the brand, strengthening the image, and encouraging them to visit the website again.
  • Remarketing cannot be boring and pushy. Text and graphics need to be changed every now and then.
  • Remarketing can be multi-stepped - e.g. to those who visited your website in the last 7/30/60 days. These people are at different stages of the sales funnel and require different advertising creations.
  • Rotate ads - show the same user several different ads with different content that would encourage different activities. As a result, the ads are perceived more naturally.
Remarketing: Remind yourself of people who have been to your site but haven't made a purchase.

Mistake № 8. You are only looking at the campaign - and you are not thinking about your website

Before you start a campaign, you need to properly prepare your website. It must function properly in terms of technology and usability. Your potential customer has no right to get lost - the website MUST be prepared for conversion:
  • The content and graphics on the website must encourage sales and inform about the product.
  • The website itself must have basic information such as company details or store policies.
  • You need a clickable phone number, email, contact form, you can also add a live chat. Each user prefers a different form of contact - give them a choice.
IMPORTANT! The link from the advertisement must lead directly to the subpage to which the advertisement relates - to a category or a specific offer. If the ad concerns a product and you link to the home page - the user will leave immediately.

A well-designed sales page is essential for a successful Google Ads campaign.

Mistake № 9. Google Ads and Analytics accounts are not linked

Google Analytics is a free tool that shows the behavioral data of your users - how many entered and left, how many saw other subpages, how much time they spent on them - it is impossible to effectively optimize a campaign without this data. You can also see which keywords and ads are generating traffic in Google Analytics. If the accounts are not linked, traffic from Google Ads flows into traffic from the organic results.


If Google AdWords "apparently" doesn't work, check everything again. You may be doing something wrong and find the right solution to improve clicks, visits, and conversion.

My recommendation

Start with a low daily budget and a few but effective exact match keywords. Optimize and monitor your ads regularly and if you see that everything fits, increase your budget little by little. From my point of view, AdWords is still a great way to quickly reach new users and customers as long as the campaigns are set up properly.

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