Google AdWords – Top 10 Mistakes to Avoid

August 5th, 2010 Leave a comment
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While the return on investment from AdWords makes it an attractive marketing opportunity, many beginning advertisers gloss over important details when launching a campaign. This guide provides a convenient way to get up to speed with the latest trends, technology and insights into search marketing. By highlighting ten common mistakes in Google AdWords you can save time, money and accelerate your path to progress in your search marketing campaigns.

1. Not defining conversion goals clearly

Before you launch or expand a search marketing campaign you should clearly define goals of what you want your users to do. Whether you want to sell a product or get users to engage with content on your site, you should fully tag and optimize your campaigns based upon conversion goals including those from Google Analytics:

AdWord Conversions

2. Relying upon default match types

By default, AdWords targeting broad match keywords which potentially can link your ads to unwanted keywords that Google deems related. Instead, you should tier your campaign with phrase and exact match keywords to further refine your targeting options, and continuously review the performance of each keyword to meet your ROAS goals.

3. Not segmenting content and search network campaigns

Building out your content and search network campaigns independently can make tracking, reporting and optimizing much easier. Since your targeting options within the networks are unique, properly segmenting your campaigns can provide greater visibility into areas of opportunity for expansion, whether they are sites (content) or keywords (search).

4. Ignoring day-part settings

Running your ad 24 hours a day might make sense for certain business models, but other firms may find there is a “sweet spot” during the day. Linking your account to Google Analytics can provide insights into hour-level conversions to help you spend your budget more effectively:

AdWords Ad Schedule

5. Setting bids at the ad-group level

Each keyword has its own quality score and conversion rate so why are you bidding at the group level? By adjusting keyword-level bids you can prioritize better performers and increase the overall performance of your campaign.

6. Spending all of your budget on certain keywords

By structuring your campaigns in a way that segments off brand terms from generic and each product group from another you can better define campaign-level budgets. If a few select keywords are draining your budget make sure to fully evaluate the return on investment, and segment them into their own ad-groups so you can properly monitor and set keyword level bids. Without a broad campaign structure you can set bids at the campaign level to keep your coverage over a wider targeting area.

7. Increasing bids on low quality score keywords

If you identify a keyword you want to target strategically but which requires a high minimum bid then you should evaluate ways to improve the quality score. Keep in mind the formula to maintain front page position is:

Ad Ranking = CPC Bid * Quality Score Factors

8. Targeting an entire region

You know you prime markets for prospects, so why target the entire region through search marketing? Defining your campaign geo-targeting settings can help improve the targeting and effectiveness of your ads.

9. Always bidding for position 1

While bidding wars can get the heart racing, they’ll empty the wallet even faster. Take a steady, long-term, disciplined approach to bidding by focusing on the return from your campaign, rather than competitive positions on generic keywords – brand terms are another story.

10. Not protecting your trademarks

Are there other ads diluting your name brand? Kick them out of the headlines by claiming your trademark exclusivity through AdWords: http://services.google.com/inquiry/aw_tmcomplaint.

AdWords Trademark Complaint Form
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