When you’re just getting started with Google AdWords, then you’re bound to make 2 costly mistakes. The worst part is that you won’t know you made a mistake, so could easily waste hundreds or even thousands of dollars of your ad budget before catching on. That’s great news for Google’s P&L, but terrible for businesses.
The reality is that Google does a very good job at encouraging new advertisers to set up their campaigns incorrectly. That’s right, if you simply follow Google’s step-by-step instructions and recommendations to set up an AdWords campaign, then you’ll make the costly mistakes I’ll highlight in this article.
What are these costly mistakes I’m referring to?
Costly Mistake #1: Search & Display
If you’re not familiar with Google’s two distinct ad networks, then click here to read The Difference Between AdWords Search and Display Networks. As I mentioned in that article, Google encourages businesses to set up campaigns to target both networks.
So it’s no surprise that many businesses end up advertising on both networks without fully understanding where their ads are going to be displayed. Most new advertisers think the ads are only displayed on Google.com, but that’s not the case when your campaign is also targeting the Display network. That means a large percentage of your ad budget will be spent on ads you didn’t intend to buy!
To be clear, I’m not saying the Display network is bad. In fact, the Display network can be a great option for many businesses. What I’m saying is that many new advertisers unknowingly advertise on the Display network, which wastes the budget they set aside for Search ads.
Costly Mistake #2: Broad Match Keywords
The second costly mistake is using broad match keywords. Again, Google encourages broad match by making it the default keyword match type when you’re setting up a new campaign. So most new advertisers inadvertently use this match type without knowing how it works.
There are 3 main match types in Google AdWords:
- Exact match
- Phrase match
- Broad match
Exact match is how you would assume Google AdWords keywords should work. If you advertise on the exact match keyword “cat in the hat book,” then your ads will only be displayed when prospects search for that exact phrase.
Phrase match expands your targeting beyond the exact match. If you were to advertise on the phrase match keyword “cat in the hat book,” then your ads will be displayed anytime that phrase is included in the full search. For example, your ads would be displayed for a search for “dr seuss cat in the hat book” because the phrase “cat in the hat book” is part of that full search.
Finally, let’s talk about broad match, which again, is the default match type. With broad match, your ads will not only be displayed for the keyword you’re targeting, but also any other search phrase that Google deems relevant. Did you catch that? Broad match essentially puts Google in control of your ad targeting.
If you’re advertising on the broad match keyword “cat in the hat book” then your ads may show for searches for “dr seuss” since that is a related search. Clearly, when you use broad match, then you could end up wasting a lot of your budget on keywords you didn’t even know you were targeting!
How to Avoid These Mistakes
First, I always recommend setting up AdWords campaigns that only targeting one network. That will ensure you avoid mistake #1 above.
Second, when you’re just getting started with AdWords, then stick to exact match and phrase match keywords. That will ensure you maintain more control over your ad targeting.
Third, to get even more help setting up your Google AdWords campaign for success, then register for my upcoming live training: How To Create A Profitable Google AdWords Campaign. During this training I’ll walk through step-by-step how to create a profitable Google AdWords campaign so you can avoid common costly mistakes like the 2 listed above.
Main Street ROI is a digital marketing agency based in New York City.
Our mission is to help small businesses thrive. With our services and training, we help small businesses succeed with marketing regardless of their budgets.
Since 2010, we’ve helped thousands of small businesses create profitable digital marketing campaigns.
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