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September 7, 2009

7 Biggest Google Adwords Mistakes Made by Small Business Owners

In this article I wanted to share with you what I have found from consulting with dozens of small business owners on Google Adwords.

During the last 6 years, we have consulted with small businesses routinely who have set up an Adwords campaign and have just about given up on this medium. Usually the complaints include things like:

  • I receive lots of clicks (which costs tons of cash), with very little to show for it.
  • I really have no clue what I am doing on Adwords – it is too complicated.
  • I do not understand how to set up Analytics or conversion
  • I have a good set of keywords in my campaigns, but I seem to get too many clicks, for no leads.
  • I have set everything up, but I don’t see my ads anywhere.

7 Biggest Google Adwords Mistakes

Once we get to take a look at the settings in these campaigns it is usually pretty obvious why the company is not achieving the results it expected:

  1. The website is not designed to be compelling, nor capture leads or sales.
  2. The keywords are too broad in nature – e.g. ‘carpet’ and ‘cleaning’, instead of ‘carpet cleaning Houston’
  3. The keywords are lumped into single adgroups with no attempt at putting them into themed groups: e.g. ‘carpet cleaning’, ‘tile cleaning’, ‘upholstery cleaning’ are all in a single adgroup.
  4. Conversions are not set up, so there is no method to track leads and what keyword, ad etc. generated the lead.
  5. Ads do not match the keywords, or do not point to the relevant page in the website.
  6. Ads are poorly constructed and do not entice visitors.
  7. Bid costs are too low relative to daily budgets or vice versa.

It is perfectly possible to stick a bunch of seemingly relevant keywords into a campaign, slap together an ad and let it rip!!!

However, doing this will almost certainly not bring you the results you would like.

Does Google Want You to Fail?

Of course the answer is no, but you have to understand that Google has built its dominant market share by realizing that people using a search engine want ‘relevance‘ – they want to find what they are looking for quickly and easily. This means that if an advertiser is bidding on the keyword “dogs”, but they sell “custom dog collars”, they will get a ton of searches for anything containing the word “dog”, 99.9% of which will not be relevant for “custom dog collars”, so the click through rate (CTR) will be very low for this advertiser. (CTR is the percentage of clicks relative to the number of times that an ad was shown in a search).

Google will penalize this advertiser by showing their ads lower down the page (or more likely on page 24!!!) because they are not relevant to most people searching for dog related keywords. This gives a better experience to the search engine user, which is the goal.

How to construct a well put-together Adwords campaign is not rocket-science, but it does take a degree of understanding of the mechanics of the system to ensure the type of results that are desired.

Matthew Whitworth – MW Strategic Marketing offers a FREE Google Adwords Healthcheck, where we take a look at your settings, keywords, ads and even your website/landing page. We then schedule a 1 hour phone call to go over the specific changes we would recommend you make to your campaigns. You can find out more about this service here: Google Adwords Manager

7 Responses to “7 Biggest Google Adwords Mistakes Made by Small Business Owners

    avatar Webmaster Crap » Blog Archive » SiteProNews: Webmaster News & Resources » Blog Archive » 7 Biggest … says:

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    avatar Sahus Pilwal says:

    We see lots of customers make the mistake of inserting all there keywords into a generic ad! Often it’s not because the site owner doesn’t know why they should seperate it! It’s because they cannot be bothered! Amazing how people are willing to throw money down the toilet!

    Ahh, another AdWords list. LOL.

    @Sahus – you nailed it. I think it’s just flat out laziness in many cases. Sometimes education, sometimes laziness, maybe both.

    Setting up a solid well designed AdWord attack is hard work and takes:

    –a lot of pre planning and good concepts
    –lots of KW research
    –lots of landing page design
    –lots of wordsmithing the Ads
    –lots of monkeying with bid amounts

    On my site Atlanta Real Estate I have 50+ landing pages (the long list on the right side). Aligned with that are 50 separate Ads and 50 separate campaigns spread across TWO accounts due to the 25 max. I would like to reconfigure this but this is another topic.

    Each of the 50 has about 200 long tail KWs in them.

    Net result: tons of relevant targeted traffic for less than $0.20 per click. About 50% of it registers and there are REAL leads in there every single week.

    But it’s a lot of work!

    Rob in Atlanta

    avatar 7 Biggest Google Adwords Mistakes Made by Small Business Owners | Easy Street Interactive Blog says:

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    avatar Mahfooz says:

    Good to know this information.this is a
    great help to all especialy those in need s
    of financial assitance about adwords and its policies.

    Glad to know this information.Thx alot

    avatar suresh says:

    I found your blog using msn. This is an extremely well written article. I will be sure to bookmark it and return to read more of your useful information. Thanks for the post. I’ll certainly comeback

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