When you are juggling a Google Ads account as a business owner, you are likely thrown into the fray by Google with little guidance. We have compiled a list of mistakes (and fixes) which we often see in self-managed Google Ad campaigns.

1. Using the broad match keyword type

Keywords are vital to show your adverts on Google, but you need the right ones – too broad and you will pick up irrelevant searches, too narrow and you will be limiting your chances of appearing to new customers.
An example, includes recent work for a local tree surgeon; they asked us to check their Google Ads account as part of our free account audits we provide.

With little experience, they used the broad match keywords which contained no formatting, so it appeared as ‘tree grinding’ – Broad match appears for synonyms, so they appeared to searchers of ‘tree grinder hire’, something they do not provide.

To fix this, we recommend using broad match modified with pluses in front of each word e.g. ‘+tree +grinding +service’.

2. Not using the Ad Extensions available

Ad Extensions allow extra snippets of information about your services and business. These range from your phone number, highlights (USP) and site links to other pages on your website.

Not utilising these extensions (which are free) can mean you miss out increasing the size of your ad to embolden its presence on the search results page.

We recommend always using the Call, Callout, Structured Snippet and Sitelink extensions. You can find them in the ‘Ads & Extensions’ tab at the side, from there the ‘Extensions’ tab at the top.

3. Only one Ad Group and one campaign in the account

Ad Groups allow advertisers to segment their products and services to create targeted adverts. Many of our clients who self-manage their Google Ads account did not use Ad Groups to their full extent.

Using one Ad Group in a single campaign when you sell multiple services is a no go – You will end up with a large group of keywords clumped together with little relevance, leading to a generic advert to cover all the searches it is going to pick up.

Increased Ad Relevance will lead improved click-through rates and reduce the average cost per click whilst creating higher quality click-throughs.

4. Poor final landing page URLs on the ad

Many self-managed Google Ads accounts just use their homepage as the only URL for the advert. This is not user-friendly, and Google picks up on this with its Quality Score system.

Let’s take an example, a national selling joiner who we have as a client sells kitchen cabinets but also sells wine racks. They sell two separate products via different pages on their website – it would make sense to send the person searching for ‘bespoke wine racks’ to be sent to the wine rack page rather than the general homepage about all of their products.

With Quality Score, a factor influencing this is ‘landing page relevance’. Best practice states that if you have a service page for that topic of keyword, use that page as your final URL in the advert as it will improve Quality Score.

Although, the main reason to consider is user experience – save the user trawling your website and take them straight to what they searched for.

5. Not tracking your clicks (which give you enquiries)

Creating an advertising campaign is one task, monitoring and analysing it using tracking code is vital to ensuring you are getting the most out of your money.

One way this is done is by tracking your website’s conversions, this could be a contact form completion, a brochure download or a transaction.

With tracking, you can monitor what keywords, search queries and adverts are leading to conversions. Using this data, you can plough more money into the keywords which work and remove the ones that do not convert.
Tracking can be implemented using Google Analytics Goals and Google Tag Manager or a third-party tracking software. It is best to ask your web-developer or consider professional Google Ads management if you do not have the time to implement this yourself.

Follow these steps to managing your Google Ads account and you will likely boost relevant clicks, reduce cost-per-click and improve your click-through rate.

Alternatively, consider opting for a managed Google Ads from a digital marketing agency like ourselves. We ensure your account is set up correctly, managed professionally with the latest practices and continually optimised to save you time to focus on your business goals.