Google Adwords Mistakes

Here’s a list of Adwords mistakes I’ve made, no doubt these are common Adwords mistakes that many people make at the beginning. They can eat away at your budget, bring poor PPC results and end with you giving up Adwords all together.

My biggest mistake was not researching Google Adwords. For some reason the first campaign I ran years ago I thought that getting a targeted visitor to a site was almost like a conversion, get the visitor to a specific page and it’s a done done sale.

I read the literature with headlines such as ‘100 million visitors online looking for your products’ and it all sounded too easy.

Overbidding – I was paying $1 a click for a $39 product to be number 1 even when there was strong competition both in the organic results and PPC.

Campaign neglect – Set and forget call it what you want. I set up campaigns and left them to bring in sales, when they didn’t I simply left them to rot and continue eating up the budget.

Poor campaign organisation and management – Rather than organising my campaigns into logical divisions based on products, product features, services and geographic targeting the campaigns were poorly organised. Campaigns and ad groups where poorly named without any theme. Ad groups didn’t have parent keywords, unrelated keywords where bunched together and ads didn’t match keywords.

Broad matches – expanded matches. Irrelevant keywords were triggering ads, web design was pulling up services such as graphic design that I didn’t offer.

Going after number 1 placement – How many times do you buy the number 1 product? People do research checking product features and product prices amongst other things so paying for number 1 slot isn’t always the best way to go. You can test it out yourself.

Generic Landing Pages – I should have sent visitors to the page that dealt with the product or service that they were looking for rather than a generic page that deals with all the services I offered.

Poor Landing Pages – My landing pages where poor with, little content, no testimonials, no enhancing images and no calls to action.

Poor keyword Research – A small selection of general keywords on broad match that everyone and his dog is bidding on won’t give you the best results. There are more long details keywords that cost less but convert better.

Negative Words – running a web design campaign, I had one or two students looking for summer placements, not the best way to get a job, click my ad then call me and ask for a placement.

Poor Ads – My ads were poor, sometimes due to time constraints, poor wording, lack of keywords, blending in with the other ads or being just plain boring. Split test your ads continually, tweak and run again.

Running the best optimised ad – There’s an option to run your ads evenly rather than the best performing one, set your campaign to this setting and split test your ads.

Content Network – Leaving the content network enabled and part of the same campaign, didn’t help me measure the success and resulted poor click thru rates and poor campaign management. I also entered the content network without modifying my bids.

Poor conversion tracking – I sent all the traffic, both organic and PPC to the same page as well as not installing conversion tracking.

CTR – CTR was what mattered and was even more important than Conversion Rate and Cost Per Conversion.

SEO and PPC – I didn’t use all the data, keywords etc in my SEO campaigns to bolster my PPC campaigns.

Test, Monitor and tweak performance – Campaigns need constant attention.

These are all Adwords mistakes that I’ve made on my own campaigns and paid handsomely for the experience. Lucky enough they weren’t mistakes any clients paid for.

11 Responses to “Google Adwords Mistakes”

  1. Here’s How To Avoid The 3 Most Common Affiliate Mistakes | Website Design - SEO Says:

    […] Google Adwords Mistakes […]

  2. Paul AnthonyNo Gravatar Says:

    Michael, great post, unfortunately for alot of us, Adwords is a trial and error situation unless you know what you are doing, and its very easy to get carried away thinking that Adwords = immediate sales and conversions – which is why its worth throughly reading around it.

  3. MichaelNo Gravatar Says:

    Paul, in the last week I’ve had a look at 3 campaigns that had nearly all the mistakes that I listed, really poor campaign structure, all broad matched keywords with no negatives and every keyword with a poor quality score.

    Learning Adwords isn’t a 2 day course.

    Do you use Adwords yourself?

  4. Paul AnthonyNo Gravatar Says:

    Sorry for the extreme delay in responding Michael, just back from the hols, and catching up around the web this week.

    Currently I haven’t used Adwords, as I am managing to rank *ok* organically for the majority of the bits and pieces that I want – I have used it in the past, but unsucessfully, which in retrospect was down to inexperience. Maybe I’ll give it a shout in the next few days again, and see what it comes up with.

    I have also toyed with using Adwords to bolster a linkbait campaign, which might end up being a considerably cheaper option in the long run.

  5. MichaelNo Gravatar Says:

    Anywhere nice?

    Adwords is a bit of a beast and takes alot of time even just learning the basics.

  6. Paul AnthonyNo Gravatar Says:

    Very nice indeed ta.
    Lanzarotte, just for a week with the other half. Beats Belfast Weather anyway.

  7. paul savageNo Gravatar Says:

    Very good points Michael. Google AdWords really isn’t a do and forget about it type of process.

    I would also monitor what organic traffic you are getting, and remove the ads from those keywords. There is no point bidding against yourself in the normal SERPs.


  8. MichaelNo Gravatar Says:

    Hi Paul,

    thanks for stopping by.

    That’s interesting.

    I think the double exposure can work very successfully, only last week I got a call from a company and the gentleman actually mentioned having 2 listings on the first page of Google as being one of the reasons he approached me.

  9. paul savageNo Gravatar Says:


    This could be true, maybe for these ads you could put in your phone number in the Ad text, so people can contact you directly.

    But I also think you might be thinking of the wrong situation . See the query results at the bottom [1]. This result shows two links from one website, so this is perhaps what your client saw.



  10. MichaelNo Gravatar Says:

    Hi Paul,

    I know what the term was and it’s not indented, he also specfically mentioned the organics and PPC rather than an indented listing.

  11. ToiletrollNo Gravatar Says:

    Hi nice article. CTR is one of the least important factors for me while I use ad words. I have my conversions @ 48cents per conversion for very competitive terms. Conversion rate of 68% .. I only started SEO a month ago and I am having lots of success so far… So what I am trying to say is, I guess CTR varies depending on what you are using ad words for…

Michael Wall

Michael Wall is an experienced SEO based in Belfast N.Ireland currently running his own SEO Agency.

Michael Wall is available for Internet Marketing, Google Adwords PPC and SEO work. Please call Belfast 02890 923383 or use the contact form.

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