Google Ads are amazing and can produce fantastic results. Google Ads can also be frustrating and can feel like you are just flushing your money down the drain. We’ve tried to outline the major mistakes we see with most campaigns and how you can go about fixing them.

Running your own Google Ads campaign can be challenging. Let’s ignore the 100s of buying signals you need to consider for every campaign. Just making sure that you are completely comfortable with the layout and all the new and changing features can be a struggle for some people. Don’t worry if you are struggling with your Google Ads, it’s not the easiest system to master.

So, if your Google Ads campaign is not working there may be one or two mistakes that you are making that could be easily and quickly fixed.

* PS for the purpose of this blog we are going to assume that you are running a strictly search campaign.

Bad keyword choices

Some of the biggest mistakes we see in Google Ads campaigns center around keywords. Using the wrong keywords, the wrong match types, and not using negative keywords will waste your budget.

Only using short tail keywords is a quick way to exhaust your daily budget with very little return. These keywords are generally not efficient nor profitable for your business. An example of this would be bidding on the word “shoes” instead of “women’s running shoes”. Do you see how “women’s running shoes” is more descriptive and more narrowly defined? This is where the money is. With longer tail keywords you will have less competition and a better chance of converting those visitors into business.

Another big keyword mistake is only using broad match. Phrase match and exact match are your safest choices. You want to have as much control over what searches your ad is appearing for as possible. If you are not sure about the differences between the different match types and are running your own campaign, please give me a call.

If they are not, you need to group your keywords by a common theme. For example, have an adgroup dedicated to “men’s running shoes” and a separate one of “women’s running shoes”. This way you will be able to ensure that each is given the attention it deserves and can make sure your ad really speaks to your potential client’s searches.

Lastly, I cannot stress enough how important negative keywords are. Use them. Make sure your ad does not appear where it shouldn’t be and make sure you eliminate any irrelevant searches.

Bad ad choices

Most people do not make good use of their ads or the ad space that they are given. This is really straightforward. Make sure your ads are not riddled with spelling mistakes. Include a call to action in them and be convincing in the space you have. Speaking of the space you have – use it. You are given quite a lot of ad room by Google. Ensure that you make good use of the character limit and really make your ad stand out. Also, use ad extensions. These provide valuable information about your business and make your ad BIGGER. And let’s face it, the more room you take up on the first page of Google, the more important you look.

Working without a strategy

I see a lot of people just start campaigns, jumping headfirst into the system, and making decisions on things on the fly. This is a really bad idea. Have a strategy, work with a plan, and do your research. When you are creating your Google Ads strategy, think about what products/services you want to promote, who is your target audience and how are they searching, and what keywords are going to produce the highest return for you. Make use of Google’s keyword planner and lay a good foundation for your campaign.

Bad landing pages

The heading here kinda says it all. I see way too many outdated and just plain bad websites running Google Ads campaigns. These people invest their money into their campaigns and have nothing fundamentally wrong with their campaigns but have websites that just cannot convert users. Including too much information, having hard to find call to actions, or not highlighting key information are several of the biggest flaws we see on landing pages.

We put together a nice blog post on boosting website conversion rates last month that you might find useful.

Starting and then just letting it run

Optimise your campaign. If you start a Google Ads campaign, commit to putting in the effort. Too many times people start a campaign, set up everything well, and then just leave it. Believing that fate will intervene on your behalf and guide your Google Ads campaign is just plain silly. There are thousands of techniques, bidding strategies, or general AdWords strategies you could be using to save money and make your campaigns more effective.

Not tracking and reviewing

You can do everything else ring but if you are not reviewing your campaigns or tracking your conversions you are fighting a losing battle. Google Analytics allows you to see how people are interacting with your website. Combine that with Google Ads and conversion tracking and you have the right formula for success. Take that wealth of information and use it to guide your campaign to better results.


Getting positive results from your Google Ads campaign is vital. When you invest in Google Ads, you are investing in your business.

Running a Google Ads campaign shouldn’t be a headache. There is a lot of effort that needs to go into it and if you have the time to put into it that’s great. If not, you would be better getting a professional to help you.

Think of it this way. You can waste the full budget you have by trying to run it yourself, or you can invest in a professional and make what budget you do have count.



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