7 Common Mistakes in Google AdWords

With Google commanding 89 percent of the Philippine market share, Google AdWords proves indispensible for successful digital marketing in the country. Using AdWords, your link is placed on the first page of Google search results for a given search term or phrase, increasing the likelihood of clicks and conversions.

However, while the assured discoverability promises immediate results, ineffective use of AdWords will only hamper your marketing efforts. Here are some of the common mistakes to watch out for:


Using Broad Keywords

Broad keywords include single-word search terms that have multiple meanings, such as ‘glass’ (which could be about drinking vessels, a headset by Google, or a transparent building material) as well as ‘phone’ (which may refer to several phone brands both desktop and mobile). Bidding on these keywords is expensive because many companies want to be associated with them. But even if you won a bid for a general term, you still won’t get results since consumers today use longer, more descriptive keywords to shop for specific things.

Solution: Use long-tail keywords focusing on specific categories that people search for, e.g., ‘Oppo smartphones’ instead of ‘phones’.


Neglecting Keywords in Your Copy

Having your ad appear on Google’s first page is not enough. Consumers are more likely to click on ads that match their search. Those searching for an Oppo smartphone, for example, won’t click on an ad that says nothing about it.

Solution: Make the extra effort to create custom ads for each keyword you are using. Target informational queries as well and use keyword phrases like ‘choosing Oppo smartphones’ that answer or address specific consumer concerns.


Ignoring Locations

The internet is global, but people are not. Avoiding location-specific ads might seem like an effective strategy to appear worldwide, but doing so will only hurt your marketing efforts. Locations indicate that a product is available nearby. According to Google, 50 percent of mobile users are most likely to visit a store within the day after doing a local search.

Solution: Use geotargeted keywords—keyword phrases that include a location. Do you sell products across several regions? List all the locations relevant to your brand to make it easier for you to determine the keywords you need.


Overlooking Negative Keywords

AdWords allow you to exclude keywords that don’t match your product. If you’re a retailer selling windows but not Microsoft Windows, you’ll want to distance your name from the software. It’s also a good idea to exclude terms that might link to bad press.

Solution: Start learning how to exclude words and terms. Google provides a good introduction here.


Sending Your Traffic to Your Homepage

Online consumers want immediate and accurate results when they search for something specific on the internet. While they’ll get to see more of your offerings on your homepage, many of them would rather not take the effort to explore your website.

Solution: Direct customers to the product page they want to see. If you want to give them more options, you can update your website for easy navigation to your other pages.


Forgetting ROI Measurements

ROI helps you determine if you’ve been wasting your money or not. Some terms may not be generating enough traffic to make continued investment worthwhile. Track conversions and focus your ad spending on those that work.

Solution: Set up Google Analytics on your website and regularly keep track of your conversions.


Relying Completely on AdWords

Google AdWords may be useful, but it only forms a part of your overall digital marketing campaign. Good results shouldn’t stop you from investigating other potentially effective solutions, such as SEO.

Solution: Talk to a digital marketing consultant to get an assessment of your current strategy and find out how else you can improve your conversion rate.

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