Google Ads Mistakes: 8 Pitfalls To Avoid

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Google Ads can be a powerful tool for businesses, but common mistakes can undermine your campaigns. This blog highlights 8 mistakes pitfalls to avoid , from poor keyword selection to budget mismanagement. Read to know more
If you are familiar with the world the PPC, then you know that Google Ads is a crucial platform, when utilized effectively, can transform your business by driving substantial traffic your way.
At first glance, Google Ads seems relatively straightforward – pick keywords, set a budget, and launch your ad. But there’s more to it than meets the eye. There are many pitfalls that could derail your campaign.
Today, we’re going to delve deeper, identifying common mistakes that can harm your campaign and providing solutions to help you steer clear of them.
With this guide, you’ll learn how to fine-tune your campaigns for optimal performance, effectively boosting your traffic. Let’s get started!

Mistake 1. Ignoring Negative Keywords


Negative keywords are the unsung heroes of a well-optimized Google Ads campaign. By identifying the search terms that are irrelevant to your business, you can prevent your ads from showing up for those queries, saving your ad budget for more pertinent prospects.


They are like the frenemies of your ad campaign – associated with your keywords, yet, they lead your ads astray.

Let’s say you run a gourmet bakery that specializes in selling gluten-free bread online. A keyword for you might be ‘gluten-free bread’. However, if someone searches ‘how to make gluten-free bread at home’, that’s not an audience likely to purchase from you.
‘How to make’ becomes a negative keyword for your campaign, preventing your ad from showing up when home baking enthusiasts are looking for DIY recipes, not a purchase. It’s like putting up safety barriers to stop your ad budget from being wasted on unhelpful search terms.
By setting up negative keywords, you ensure your ads appear only for those users who are genuinely interested in buying what you’re selling, making the most of every penny of your budget.
Still not sure how to navigate your way through Negative Keywords? Read our Blog for easy guidance.
The Beginning of the landing page should reassure them that they are at the right place to get the best service they can.

Mistake 2. Bidding Broadly

Google Ads offers three categories of keyword match types: Exact, Phrase, and Broad. Just as their names suggest, broad is indeed the most wide-ranging option. In essence, broad match keywords can trigger your ads to show up for a more diverse array of search queries compared to exact or phrase matches, making your ads more clickable by users.
Broad match keywords can be quite useful, though they’re most effective in specific scenarios.
Consider using a broad match if:
  • You’re already seeing solid results but finding it difficult to expand your reach using exact and phrase-match terms.
  • You have a high conversion rate and can effectively pair broad matches with Smart Bidding.
  • You’re using Remarketing Lists for Search Ads (RLSA), targeting a specific group of known users

Mistake 3. Overlooking Ad Extensions

Ad extensions enrich your ads They not only provide valuable context to users but also help improve your ad’s visibility and click-through-rate.
Ad extensions are like the secret weapon in your Google Ads arsenal that often gets overlooked. They enhance your ads with additional information like business location, contact information, or product rating that provides users more reasons to click.
Now, imagine you’re running a dental clinic. You’re already running Google Ads with ‘dental clinic’ and ‘dentist’ as your primary keywords. However, without ad extensions, your ad might blend in with numerous others.

Now, think about your ad featuring extensions that display your clinic’s location, contact information, hours of operation, and an aggregated patient rating. One extension could highlight a special you’re running – like ‘free first consultation’ or ‘20% off on teeth whitening’.

What happens here is, the extensions make your ad more visible, providing potential customers with a lot more context and reason to choose your dental clinic over others. This could lead to an improved click-through-rate, as users now find more value and relevance in your ad.

Mistake 4. Neglecting Mobile Optimization

In today’s mobile-centric world, not optimizing your ads for mobile users is like leaving money on the table.
Suppose you run a dental clinic and have an ad for a “teeth whitening special”. Someone waiting for their bus decides to find a dentist near them on their phone. They find your ad but when they click on it, the site is slow to load and hard to navigate. Frustrated, they return to their search and end up booking an appointment with a competitor.
So, what’s the plan? Keep your ad copy concise for smaller screens. Make sure your website loads quickly and is easy to navigate on a phone. And importantly, track how well your mobile ads are doing separately, because mobile users might interact with your ads differently than desktop users.
In a nutshell, mobile optimization isn’t just about getting seen; it’s about providing a smooth and enjoyable experience for your customers, no matter where they’re browsing from. This way, you can turn more views into clicks, and more clicks into customers.

Mistake 5. Failing to Track Conversions

Overlooking conversion tracking is like navigating without a map—you’re simply moving without knowing if you’re headed in the right direction. Conversion tracking in Google Ads helps you gauge how effective your campaigns are by showing if your ads lead to desired actions,
These actions can vary depending on your product or service and could include:
  • The client signing up for a consultation
  • Getting an email inquiry
  • Form submission
  • Phone call
  • Newsletter signup
  • Download of a digital asset like an app or ebook.
Imagine you’re a lawyer specializing in family law. You’ve created an ad campaign to attract people seeking legal advice for divorce. Without conversion tracking, you won’t know how many ad viewers actually reach out to book a consultation.
But by tracking conversions, you can identify which keywords, ads, and campaigns are leading potential clients to pick up the phone or fill out your contact form and adjust your strategies accordingly.
In short, conversion tracking provides crucial insights into your campaign’s performance and helps inform your budget allocation, bidding, and ad copy decisions. Without it, you’re essentially flying blind, missing key data that could optimize your campaigns and foster business growth. Get The Ultimate Guide How to Setup Google Ads Conversion Tracking Here

Mistake 6. Using Irrelevant Landing Pages

Imagine being promised a chocolate cake, but when you open the box, you find a fruit salad—disappointing, right? This is essentially what happens when your Google Ads landing page doesn’t match your ad content.
Google Ads uses something called a Quality Score to determine how relevant your ad is to users, and an essential factor in this score is the relevance of your landing page to your chosen keywords.
In simple terms, if your ad and landing page aren’t in sync, you’ll end up with a lower Quality Score. This has two significant impacts: first, it inflates your cost-per-click (CPC), meaning you’ll pay more for each click on your ad. Second, if users click your ad expecting one thing but land on a page offering something else, they’re less likely to convert, costing you potential business.

Klaus-M. Schremser, the co-founder of Usersnap, emphasizes this point, stating that 85% of campaigns fail to yield desired results due to landing page irrelevance. Without proper landing page optimization for the targeted keywords, businesses struggle to lower their CPC.

In essence, relevant landing pages are a key component of successful Google Ads campaigns. Your ad and landing page should tell the same story, leading to a better user experience, a higher Quality Score, lower CPC, and increased conversions.


Watch this video on Best Practices when creating a Landing Page Here

Mistake 7. Geotargeting Options

Google has a bit of a trick up its sleeve when it comes to geotargeting. When you’re setting up a new campaign, you’ll choose your geographical target. But there’s a hidden detail that’s easy to overlook in the ‘Location options’ dropdown

The default setting in Google Ads shows your ads not only to people within your chosen locations but also to those who show interest in your targeted areas. This could mean that your ads are appearing to people outside your specified geography, depending on Google’s interpretation of a user’s “interest.”

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To check if this setting is impacting your campaign performance, head over to the ‘Reports’ section and add a column for ‘Location type.’ This will allow you to see data split between users physically present in your targeted locations and users who merely have an “interest” in those locations.


If you notice that the ‘Location of interest’ is negatively affecting your results, don’t fret! Simply go back to your ‘Locations’ setting and switch to the ‘Presence’ option. This ensures that your ads are only shown to people physically located in your targeted locations, helping you better hone in on your intended audience.

Mistake 8. Auto-applying recommendations

Over time, Google Ads has started offering in-platform recommendations designed to assist advertisers in enhancing their campaigns.
These suggestions might appear helpful on the surface, but keep in mind that they are mostly built on “best practices” culled from numerous accounts. They might not always align with your unique account objectives.
Think about it this way. Google’s goals are not in alignment with your goals. Google wants you to spend as much money as possible and will make recommendations that get you to spend more. You want to get the best results for the least amount of money.

Keep that in mind when you begin to review these recommendations. Sure, there will be some good suggestions, but we strongly advise against auto-applying all suggestions to your accounts.


Below is a list of the modifications Google can carry out automatically:

That’s a whole lot of changes Google can make for you without asking. But remember, this only happens if you agree to these automated changes.

To avoid this situation, we recommend turning off these automated recommendations. Instead, set a schedule to check your Google Ads account monthly, specifically to look at Google’s suggestions. Dismiss any that don’t fit with your goals and consider the ones that do. That way, you’re in control, not Google.


For more detail on How to manage auto-apply recommendations, here’s a Google Guide for you.

Ending Note

And there you have it, folks! By sidestepping these common pitfalls in your Google Ads campaigns, you’re well on your way to strengthening your online advertising strategy.
Remember, Google Ads isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution, and it’s certainly not a ‘set it and forget it’ endeavor. Each campaign requires regular fine-tuning, reevaluation, and adjustment to ensure optimal results.
Keep these tips close at hand, and let your ROI soar!

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