AdWords is one of the most commonly used marketing tools by small and large companies, regardless of the industry.
Google AdWords campaigns are usually aimed at improving an overall brand’s visibility and recognition, and thus gaining new customers and increasing sales.
A well-optimized AdWords campaign can boost a performance significantly but, if done incorrectly, it can also negatively impact an overall marketing strategy effectiveness. Once an advertising budget is spent, it cannot be easily replaced. Campaigns that do not utilize well-designed communication strategies, will not be useful for future optimization.
How to avoid common mistakes using Adwords as one of the most effective online advertising tools in your organization? Take a look at the list of the most common Google AdWords mistakes, and how to design campaigns that bring results you expect.
1. Running an AdWords campaign without having a strategy
Strategy is a key factor in all marketing campaigns, including Google AdWords. At the very beginning, when you start to create an AdWords campaign, make sure you understand your objectives, target group, expected results, budget, and desired duration of the campaign.
Knowing the basics, choose the most appropriate type of your new AdWords campaign, determine the most effective way to target your ads, and design or select relevant landing pages. Last, but not least, measure your campaign effectiveness regularly, and optimize it further.
2. Targeting your AdWords campaigns to EVERYONE, means you’re targeting NO ONE
As a business owner or manager, you know your potential customers, and you can easily describe their demographics. However, it’s worth to mention not everyone who can be considered as your target group should be treated as such in your AdWords campaigns.
Imagine you run a restaurant well-known for its traditional Italian pizza. In your menu, there are also some vegan and vegetarian alternatives. The target group of your restaurant is pretty broad – it includes people of different sexes, ages, interests, lifestyle, and perhaps locations.
When creating a campaign aimed to acquire new clients, you need to remember that at least a few different audiences should be targeted. Segmentation is a crucial step of your preparation stage, as various clients look for different information, and use other keywords in the search engine.
Conducting a detailed segmentation of your target group and creating various campaigns aimed to target diverse groups of recipients, you can design a well-structured campaign that has a higher chance to succeed. Segmentation is a key to reach proper segments of people who are interested in the particular products available in your offer.
3. Lacking a dedicated landing page
When running AdWords campaigns, you don’t want to allocate a big budget and excessive resources without knowing what the results are. Therefore it’s not surprising the vast majority of companies start a campaign leading to their company’s homepage.
But, a lack of dedicated or well-optimized landing pages is one of the main causes of low-performing AdWords ads.
Imagine you own a SaaS company, and your primary goal is to get as many online registrations as possible in the first 30 days. Therefore, a dedicated landing page should be put in place, optimized for conversions.
I’ve had a chance to analyze various AdWords endevours, and what I’ve noticed is a product or service homepage is commonly being used as a main landing page for all the advertising campaigns running by the entitles. At the same time, those websites are usually full of words and share way too much information about their services, technologies, and more. Don’t get me wrong – it’s all necessary for various other purposes but when we think about AdWords campaigns, we want to be sure we work with a dedicated landing page that can be customized and optimized sometimes even on a daily basis.
Unless your goal is to increase the traffic on your main homepage, you should create a dedicated landing page for your AdWords campaign, guiding users in the most intuitive way to accomplish desired actions.
Whether a purpose of a given AdWords campaign is to obtain registration for an industry conference or to sell products online before you start increasing the traffic on the website, you need to ensure the landing page is well-optimized to achieve your business goals. Conduct a website audit to analyze technical aspects of the site and learn how to use optimization techniques to improve conversion.
Often, minor changes on the website (content or features-wise) result in a significant improvement in the performance.
4. Skipping A/B tests and avoiding optimization
Let’s assume you know your target group, you have finished the segmentation process, and you have conducted the keyword research. The budget is assigned to the campaign, so you set its duration and run the ads. After two weeks, you look into the editor, and the results aren’t impressive. What you observe is a low number of clicks, low traffic, high CPC (cost per click), and low CTR (click through rate). No one can predict in advance what the final results of a given campaign will be like, how the target group will respond, or what actions will be taken by your competitors at the same time.
To achieve the best possible results of your AdWords efforts, you must systematically monitor your campaigns’ performance, collect data, make conclusions, and implement changes.
At the very beginning, choose a hypothesis you want to validate and carry out A/B tests.
A/B tests are one of the most effective optimization tools for every advertising campaign. When carrying out A/B tests, you can easily verify which of the two tested elements influence the target group more efficiently, so that you achieve the best possible results.
Keep an eye on what kind of content is the most effective or what landing page gets the highest traffic. Collect data, analyze all the insights, and use the insights to improve your advertising activities regularly.
Imagine you run an online sports shop and the primary goal of your AdWords campaigns is to promote a new mountain bike model. You can test two separate landing pages, headlines, graphics, or “call to action” buttons. Experiment with various text ads and descriptions or measure how recipients react when divided by their demographic features or interests. Thanks to regular A/B tests, data analysis, and optimization, you are able to achieve the best possible results of the campaign in a timely and cost-efficient manner.
5. Focusing on conversion without analyzing additional KPIs
For various industries or types of campaigns, a conversion means achieving events such as:
- a visitor filling out a contact form,
- newsletter form,
- registration form,
- or product purchase form in the online store.
For various products or services, a conversion path may vary in length, including the time it takes to make a purchasing decision.
If for you a conversion means a visit to the particular site on your website, it’s relatively easy to measure the results of a given campaign. However, if your goal is to sell consumer electronics goods, it’s crucial to remember that, in this particular case, purchasing decisions are rarely taken when users view your ad or visit your online store the first time.
For many products and services, customers’ purchase decisions are rarely made at the first-time contact with the ad or brand. The key is to understand a purchase path for a given product or service, its stages, specificity, and, on this basis, design multi-step and multi-channel sales funnels.
Therefore, in addition to the conversion results – and ads quality – you must evaluate the traffic quality on the landing page. Understanding users’ behaviors and the purchasing process will allow you to measure the results of the campaign in a proper way and design all the further stages of the sales funnel.