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10 Things Local Businesses do Wrong with Google AdWords

White Shark Media

9 years ago



Most business owners discover the AdWords world on their own, and as much as many of them have great ideas in mind, AdWords requires a clear direction, so the expected goals are achieved.

Every marketing strategy, whether it’s digital or traditional, needs to include a:

1) Why – what’s the goal I am trying to achieve

2) How – what type of strategy am I going to implement to make that happen?

3) When – the time frame I will take building a plan of action that goes hand in hand with my goals

Another important aspect that should be considered is the effort you put on your website. Is your content relevant enough to convince those potential customers to buy? You need to make sure your content and visual organization lead users to complete the action you want them to.

After running a detailed analysis of the different “mistakes”, which I’d rather call areas of opportunity, I’ve been able to identify the following

1) Not Setting Clear Goals

Whenever a campaign is built without a direction, you run the risk of not seeing any results. Setting up a three-month plan that is re-evaluated, based on results that are being generated can become helpful. This way you’ll be able to understand your data, and know where to look at when trying to identify areas of improvement.

2) Not Performing Competitor Research

In most cases, business owners tend to think that looking at the competition is a waste of time since their products or service is unique enough to capture their desired audience’s attention. Although in some instances this isn’t far from reality, it will not always be the case.

You need to stay on top of what they’re offering and make sure you always maintain your audience engaged and persuade them to acquire your services or products despite your competitor’s efforts.

One of the tools I fully recommend is iSpionage where you’ll also be able to find the keywords your competitors are using as well the ads they’ve been running on AdWords.

3) Not Performing Keyword Research

Keyword research is one of the most important steps to follow whenever you’re getting started or even when you’re adding new keyword opportunities to your campaigns.

It’s very important for you to build a solid foundation, and it’s quite hard to think of possible terms your audience must be used to look for your products or services on your own.

One of the tools that may be of assistance is the keyword planner. The keyword planner will help you have a better direction and it will even provide an estimate on how much you should be paying for that specific set of keywords.

Another great advantage of this amazing tool is that it will show you an estimate of the search volume per location, and you will be able to get rid of any low search volume terms that won’t drive any traffic from the get-go.

I came across this excellent infographic where you will find a step by step on how to perform effective keyword research that I am pretty sure you’ll find useful.

4) Not Using Negative Keywords

Another important aspect to take into consideration is negative keyword usage.

Negative keywords will help you eliminate irrelevant searches focusing on the specific terms you’ve selected for your campaign.

I highly recommend Übersuggest when building your negative keyword list, since it will provide you with possible search terms that could be triggered when using the keywords you’ve selected.

Some of the benefits associated with the proper negative keyword list implementation are the following:

  • Improved click-through rates
  • Improved quality scores
  • Higher conversions rate

If you’re able to control who is seeing your ads, you’ll definitely have better chances of achieving your goals through your AdWords strategy, and the best part is, you’ll make sure your budget is being utilized wisely.

5) Targeting the Wrong Audience

Jayson DeMers quotes the following in his article for “Why Knowing Your Audience Is The Key To Success

“The process of gathering, analyzing and interpreting information about a market, about a product or service to be offered for sale in that market, and about the past, present and potential customers for the product or service; research into the characteristics, spending habits, location and needs of your business’s target market, the industry as a whole, and the particular competitors you face”

Based on Jayson’s quote, we shouldn’t think about who we would like to sell, but who’s looking for our products or services instead.

Developing a customer profile will help you identify demographics (age, gender, location, ethnicity, marital status, etc.) and psychographic data (interests, hobbies, behaviors, lifestyles, etc.) which will give you a better understanding on who your audience is and how you should approach them.

6) Website Not Optimized for Mobile Devices

AdWords conducted research during last year’s shopping season, and they found out 53% of the users completed purchases through mobile devices. This data only highlights the importance of your presence on mobile devices, and why you want to make sure your users have the best experience, so they don’t end up leaving the website without completing that desired action.

7) Working with Automated Bidding

When looking into the actual concept of automated bidding, AdWords describes it as “bidding on autopilot”. Now, I am not going to say this method does not work. However, I am a big believer that there should always be a follow-up, and bids should be adjusted manually from time to time.

Manually adjusting your bids will allow you to control the following

  • Maintaining a healthy ranking to avoid losing visibility
  • Avoiding to pay more than what you should be paying for your clicks
  • Performing adjustments on keywords with match types that have a better performance
  • Performing adjustments on days of the week, hours of the day, locations with a better performance

Each campaign will always behave differently, so there has to be monitoring involved to be able to catch those opportunities on time.

8) Not Measuring Results

Once you’ve set clear, measurable goals, you need to make sure you keep track of the performance.

Among the details you should be looking at, you have the following

  • Cost vs. ROI – how much you’re spending vs. how much you’re making. Are you generating a profit?
  • Reach – what percentage of visitors are going through your website and actually completing an action
  • Audience response – is your audience actually reacting positively to your ads?

9) Not Split Testing Your Ad Copy

Running the same ads on all ad groups without split testing is one of the most common mistakes we come across, and it’s a missed opportunity since you need to have different approaches to get the desired response from your audience. If not, it will be very hard for you to understand their behavior.

Once you’ve created different sets of ads, you’ll be able to optimize based on the ones with the lowest CTR which are the ones indicating you’re getting a poor response from your audience. Users are seeing your ads, but not necessarily clicking on them, and you want to keep them engaged all the time.

10) Multiple Changes Within a Short Period

We recommend changes to be made bi-weekly, but always analyzing your data without getting rid of keywords or ads that may be performing pretty well. Having an optimization schedule should be of great assistance since you’ll be able to keep a record of the changes you made, and when those changes took place.

One of the great things about AdWords is that you will always have room for expansion, so once you’re able to fine-tune your initial strategy you can expand to other exciting products Google has to offer.

Be Proactive with Your AdWords Campaigns

Don’t forget to keep track of the trends and your competitors. The market fluctuates constantly and you need to be proactive when making changes. One of the major mistakes we tend to make is leaving our campaigns aside, and not monitoring what’s going on, and that’s definitely something you want to avoid if you wish to see results in the period of time you’ve set as a goal.