Few advertising options have become as powerful for small businesses as Google Ads. Creating a winning campaign on your own has changed drastically over the years, and for most business owners, simply taking a look inside of Google’s Ad Manager can be overwhelming. With decades of hands-on experience, the certified Google Ads pros at OMG thought it might be helpful to provide some of the warning signs to be on the lookout for, should you be managing ads on your own, or through an inexperienced agency.There are so many things to look out for if you want to have the best chance of driving consistent, quality new business leads for your company, here are just a few!
- Lack of the use of negative keywords. Filtering out unwanted traffic is among the top complaints we hear about Google Ads. If you are in the plumbing business and are looking for repair-based service calls, it is likely that the keywords you are using will be drawing in clicks from unrelated and unwanted searches. Evaluating those search terms is important, as any trends you see (a search term which triggered your ad more than once) are wasteful and expensive. Those search terms can simply be added as Negative Keywords and that will ensure that you aren’t repeating that same costly debit.
- Not Using Conversion Tracking. Presenting your ads to your audience, even getting clicks is not enough. If you aren’t tracking through to the conversion, you can’t effectively measure your campaign’s performance. The conversion might be a phone call into your business, or a form fill on your website, perhaps even a messaging engagement or instant booking. Whatever your conversion is for your business model, being able to track and review reporting from the impression to the click and through to the conversion, is the only way to truly know how your campaign is performing.
- Weak or poorly constructed landing pages. If you’re dropping potential customers from your ads to your website’s home page, or even a services page on your website, your campaign is likely underperforming. Your landing page quality is a critical element of your success in Google Ads. You want that landing page to “squeeze” the consumer, making it easy to understand what they can expect next and encouraging them to follow through. Your page should reinforce the ad’s message and move your customer through the sales funnel and over to a conversion as quickly as possible.
- Bad Targeting Parameters. So often, in reviewing campaigns for our clients, we see that though they are doing business in a 20-mile radius around their area, targeting has been configured county wide, even state and nationwide. Mistakes made here, if not caught right away, can cost your company its entire month’s budget in a few hours. Google offers a robust set of targeting options beyond simply geo-related targeting. Working with a professional that can interpret your goals and explain how that should translate in Google’s targeting setup is imperative.
- Ineffective Bidding. Bidding is a huge part of Google ads and setting up a well-built campaign. Though it is possible to handle bids manually at setup and through proper maintenance, AI-enabled (artificial intelligence) bidding allows your company to use machine learning to drive smart bids. This technology uses an algorithm to make decisions about your campaign and how it should adjust to deliver the highest yield and best allocation of your budget. Not only is it more effective, it’s more efficient, enabling your Paid Search Professional to have more time evaluating other aspects of your campaign.
Working with a team of paid search professionals who live and breathe all things Google is your best bet. The AdWords system is extremely dynamic. Relying on last year’s know-how to build a new campaign today, is a risky proposition. From privacy related targeting restrictions, to security based campaign suspensions, you need to make sure that your Google Ads professional has the right stuff. These recommendations will have positive effects on your campaign now, and into the future.