3 Common Mistakes You’re Making in AdWords

Adwords can be incredibly deceiving.

You create an account, set up your campaign, include a couple ad groups, make an ad or two, and you’re good to go for six months (or until you remember to check it). Right? Wrong.

Running a successful Adwords campaign requires time, patience, attention to detail, and willingness to adapt. One does not simply “set it and forget it” if you want to reach your paid search goals.

Below you’ll find three common mistakes beginners often make when setting up their first Adwords campaign. 

1. You’re not using negative keywords.

Negative keywords work really hard for your account. They prevent your ad from being shown to an unwanted word or phrase. Too often they are an afterthought – only included here and there, when you happen to think about it. Or maybe you aren’t utilizing them at all.

Negative keywords are truly a powerhouse for your account, saving you money and improving the overall quality of your account by increasing CTRs and lowering CPCs.

A good example is if you are an ecommerce website that sells handbags and purses. You’ve noticed in your search query reports the term “backpacks” has been showing up, and your store doesn’t sell backpacks. If you add “backpacks” as a negative keyword, your ad will no longer be triggered when someone searches for any products related to backpacks. We have also used negative keywords to improve the user’s experience on the SERP and save ad spend for our injury law attorney’s business. 

2. You’re linking to the homepage.

A very common misconception people have when they are first setting up their Adwords account is linking their ads to the homepage. While there is nothing fundamentally wrong with linking to the homepage – your campaign will still run and receive impressions and clicks – you may not be getting the best results for your money.

Instead, think about your Adwords account like a map. If you were explaining directions to your friend, you wouldn’t simply say, “Turn left in Nashville.” You would say, “Turn left at the light onto Del Rey Street.” This is ultimately how we want to view linking ads to the correct pages. The more specific, the better.

3. You only have a couple ad groups.

It’s easy to create a campaign, set up a couple ad groups, and stuff hundreds of broad keywords in each ad group. There’s one problem with that: you can’t write specific ad copy to appeal to each keyword that’s being triggered in your ad group. In all actuality, each ad group should contain a maximum of 20 keywords. This guarantees all keywords have a common theme that strings them together, and you’re able to create 2-3 ads that speak to those keywords. This also ensures a relevant keyword will be sprinkled somewhere throughout each of your ads. 

Adwords is mostly trial and error, but hopefully these tips will help you from falling into any PPC pitfalls!