Google Ads Mistakes to Avoid

By Sek Lam on September 19, 2022

Do you spend hours every day trying to figure out how to make Google ads work for you? Are you frustrated with the lack of success you've had with AdWords?

It doesn't matter whether you're new to advertising on Google or not. There are always mistakes to avoid when using Google ads. In this post, I'm going to share with you the most common Google Ads mistakes that I see over and over again from both beginners and experts alike.

I'll also explain why these mistakes happen and how you can avoid making them yourself.

Wrong or No conversion Actions

We're all running ads in Google AdWords because we want to increase our business sales and/or visibility.

Conversions are typically defined as anything that leads to a sale. In order to make sure that you are measuring conversions correctly, you must first define what constitutes a conversion. For example, if you have a landing page that asks visitors to fill out a form, then those who submit the form are considered to have converted. However, if you have a product page that has no call to action, then there is no conversion.

Common Call To Action Button Used on Websites

In addition, you should only count conversions that occur after a visitor comes to your site. For example, if a customer fills out a form on your site and leaves before submitting their payment details, that isn't counted as a conversion because there was no action taken. Only when the customer submits the form and makes a purchase does that become a conversion.

Pairing Smart Bidding with Wrong Goals

Smart bidding is one of the best ways to get more clicks at a lower cost per click (CPC). If you set up smart bidding correctly, it will automatically adjust bids based on keyword match type, ad position, and other factors.

However, many people use smart bidding incorrectly. They don't understand how to pair smart bidding with the right goal.

For example, let's say that you want to drive traffic to an e-commerce store. You could set up a campaign with the following goals.

Auto-applying Recommendations

Google Ads has made suggestions directly within the platform to try and help advertisers improve their campaigns.

While some suggestions may be helpful for others, others might not necessarily be helpful for you. They might not even be relevant to your situation and your ad's objective.

You should use the recommendations as a guideline and not as something that should absolutely be done.

Poor keyword research

Keyword research is the foundation of any successful PPC strategy. Without good keywords, you won't be able to target your ads effectively.

When doing keyword research, you need to consider three things:

• Keywords that convert well

• Keywords that bring in high-quality traffic

• Keywords that are easy to rank for

If you aren't targeting the right keywords, you won't achieve your desired results.

If you are targeting too broad of keywords, you will pay a lot of money for each click. This means that you are paying for impressions instead of actual conversions.

On the other hand, if you are targeting too specific keywords, you will miss out on potential customers.

Use Google Ads Keyword Planner to Plan out Your Focus Keywords

Not using negative keywords

Negative keywords can help you avoid wasting money by excluding irrelevant search terms from your ads.

For example, if you sell pet supplies, you probably wouldn't want to show ads for "dog food" or "cat litter".

Using negative keywords can also help you remove low-quality traffic from your account.

This way, you can focus on getting higher quality traffic into your account.

No prior testing


Testing is important. It allows you to see which keywords perform better than others.

It also helps you figure out whether certain changes to your campaigns are working or not.

Without testing, you run the risk of making costly mistakes.

Not testing enough

AdWords offers several different tests that allow you to test various aspects of your campaigns.

These include A/B split testing, multivariate testing, and real-time bidding.

A/B split testing lets you compare two versions of an ad. One version includes a particular element while another doesn't.

Multivariate testing allows you to compare multiple elements within an ad.

Real-time bidding lets you change bid amounts during the course of a day.

These tests give you the opportunity to make small adjustments to your campaigns without having to spend a large amount of money.

In addition, they provide valuable insights into what works best for your business.

Not setting up tracking codes correctly

Tracking codes are used to track the performance of individual ads.

They allow you to analyze the success of individual ads.

Setting up tracking codes correctly is essential because it gives you insight into which ads are performing well and which ones aren't.

Setting them up incorrectly could lead to inaccurate data.

For example, you might set up a tracking code for one campaign but forget to add it to another campaign.

The result would be incorrect data.

You can click here for more details on how to apply tracking codes in Google Ads.

Lack of Conversion Optimisation

Conversion optimisation involves tweaking your landing pages so that they attract more visitors.

You should use conversion optimisation tools such as Google Analytics to determine where people are dropping off after clicking through to your site.

Once you have identified these areas, you can work on improving them.

For example, maybe you don't have a clear call-to-action (CTA) on your homepage.

By adding a CTA, you can increase the number of people who convert.

If you do this, you'll get more leads and sales.

Underfunding campaigns

Campaigns are like bank accounts. You need to budget how much money you're going to spend in order to reach your goals.

However, underfunding your campaigns can cause problems down the road.

For example, when you underfund your campaigns, you won't receive any credit for clicks.

As a result, you'll end up spending more money than you planned.

You Can Set Your Budget Here For Each Ad Campaign You Have

Only one ad per group

If you want to be able to manage your entire campaign better, then you need to organise and structure your ads so they're grouped together. Doing this will allow you to create detailed reports for each category, which will help you see exactly where your campaigns are performing well and where they could use some improvement.

Not having closing script

When someone visits your website, they may not immediately buy from you.

This means that you need to capture their information before they leave.

To do this, you need to have a closing script.

It's important to note that if you don't have a closing script, you'll lose out on potential customers.

Having a closing script also helps with conversions.

For example, if someone fills out a form on your page, you'll know whether or not they've converted.

If they haven't converted, you can send them to a different part of your site.

Mixing Search Ads with Display Ads

Display ads are usually cheaper than search ads.

However, sometimes you might find yourself paying too much for display ads.

If you're using both types of ads, you might be wasting money.

For example, let's say you're running an event promotion.

You might decide to run a display ad promoting the event.

But you also want to promote other products.

So, you place a search ad for those products.

However, since you're only paying for the display ad, you end up paying more than you need to.

In addition, the display ad isn't bringing in enough revenue to cover its cost.

So, you end up losing money.

Leaving your account unmanaged

Your AdWords account is like a business.

And just like a business owner needs to keep track of his finances, you need to keep track of your AdWords account.

One way to do this is by creating a spreadsheet.

You can download a template here.

Then, you can add all the relevant details to it.

These include things like daily budgets, monthly budgets, conversion rates, etc.

The spreadsheet should be updated regularly.

For example, you should update it every time you make changes to your AdWords account. This includes changing keywords, landing pages, ad groups, etc.

Not checking your performance

Once you start making changes to your AdWords campaign, you need to check what's happening.

For example, once you change your keywords, you need to check how many people clicked on your ads.

If you don't check your performance, you won't know whether or not your changes are working.

This means that your budget will go over without you knowing about it.

This can lead to wasted money.

Regional Trends

Asian woman looking at a map.
Asian woman looking at a map.

Ads that target specific regions tend to perform better.

For example, there tends to be less competition in certain areas.

As such, you'll get higher click-through rates.

However, you'll pay more per click.

This means that if you're targeting a region with high competition, you'll spend more money.

However, if you're targeting a low-competition area, you'll save money.

Lack of Bidding Strategy

When setting bids, you need to consider several factors.

For example, when bidding on keywords, you need to take into consideration the quality score and position of the keyword.

Also, you need to consider the average bid price of the competitors.

You can use tools like Google Keyword Planner to help you set bids.

Not utilizing Experiments


Experiments allow you to test various aspects of your campaigns.

For example, experiments allow you to see which variations work best.

They also allow you to compare one variation against another.

Using these features allows you to optimize your campaigns.

For instance, you could create a new experiment and then compare two versions of your ad copy.

After testing each version, you can choose the most effective one.

Not using Extensions

Extension ads are important because they help improve and grow your ads. You're only allowed so many characters to use when describing your products and services, so extensions allow you to add extra words without having to worry about running out of room.

If you're looking to compensate for the limitations, then using ad extensions would be ideal. They don't come with any extra costs.

Some of the ad extensions that you can use are location, site links, call, structured snippets, and callout extensions.

Keyword ranking for SEO Performance. Google ranking first for the keyword Google
Example of extensions of Google website


Google Ads is a very powerful marketing tool that can help grow your business and revenue. By ensuring, we minimize the mistakes, we can further improve our ROI and ensure bigger growth for our business

We know it can be hard to manage your digital marketing ads while working on your business at the same time. Well, now you save your time and concentrate on your business. We will help with your Google Ads. Specflux is the trusted provider for Google Ads

Article written by Sek Lam
Co-founder of Specflux Solution, he helps business increase their marketing ROI. He is also running Ipoh based digital marketing agency with his partner.

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