Category : Troubleshooting

Adwords Troubleshooting

The 7 Deadly Mistakes You Must Not Make In your AdWords Account

Over the last 6 years working firstly as an AdWords Consultant, AdWords Trainer and the owner of the UK’s top ranked AdWords Management agency (prior to its sale in November 2012), I’ve audited hundreds of AdWords accounts.

I’ve compiled the 7 fatal errors that I see in I have spotted in SO many of these! And here they are…

1) Leaving the Display Network on

This is a biggie. The Display Network contains thousands of unrelated websites all around the web. If you let your adverts show on them – your Click Through rate will drop hugely and your advert Quality Scores will be extremely low.  What’s Quality Score I hear you say?  It’s a score out of 10 Google gives you, mainly coming from how good you are at writing your adverts.  If you get low numbers of clicks, you get a low score and this means every single click costs you up to 10 x what it needs to! Owch!

2) Sending visitors to the homepage

Never send visitors straight to the homepage – send them to the most relevant page on your website instead.  These are known as landing pages and you should make sure you set up several for each product or service you offer.  People are lazy and if landed on a homepage, will simply leave!

3) Not tracking your results

If you are not tracking your results through conversion tracking (and ideally also tracking goals in Google Analytics) then you are throwing money down the drain.  You must set up a series of conversions or actions that can be tracked on your website. You then need to track these so you can see which keywords are working – and which aren’t! Simple as that.

4) Adding too few Ad Groups

A typical set up for one of my clients contains several hundred or even thousand Ad Groups.  A typical account I audit contains sometimes just 1, and sometimes a handful of Ad groups.  Normally this Ad Group contains hundreds of keywords!  Consider now that the aim in AdWords is to match the advert to what the visitor has typed, so that it shows in bold to the visitor on the Google search screen.  But how can you match hundreds of keywords to just one poor advert from its Ad Group!? The answer is that you can’t.  Don’t be lazy – set up dozens or even hundreds of Ad Groups, all containing a relevant keyword and relevant advert.

5) Not doing competitor research

There are plenty of competitor research tools out there where you can see what keywords your competitors are bidding on.  Save yourselves some time, research their keywords and make sure you have included them all! Also make sure you have examined their adverts, and make yours stand out! What is unique about you? Make sure you include this in your advert.

6) Failing to advertise on Mobiles

People are now BUYING from their mobiles and tablets – not just searching! Your conversion rates will often be higher, and in some markets you can even set up adverts so you get 100% conversions! Make sure you make the most of Google’s new Enhanced campaigns and bid on mobiles too.  And don’t forget your mobile optimised website too if possible – so people can navigate your site easily.

7) Setting too low a budget

I often see people spending just a couple of dollars or pounds a day as they aren’t sure AdWords is working.  This is due to the other mistakes I have mentioned, in particular the lack of AdWords conversion or goal tracking. You may as well not bother! To run a thorough test you need to be spending £600 / $1000 per month – only when you have made sure you have addressed the other points mentioned here of course!

I do hope you’ve found these points helpful. I know I’ve told you WHAT but not the HOW to fix it – if you need help with the HOW then why not check out my brand new Online PPC Training Product – Web Leads Unlimited?

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Adwords Troubleshooting

Why does my AdWords account contain lots of small ad groups?

I’ve been asked this question a few times now by our monthly AdWords clients, so have decided to answer it in a blog post.

In an AdWords account, one of the most important factors is quality score.  Quality score makes a difference as to how high your ads appear, and also the Cost Per Click you pay for.  Ideally quality score should be at 7 or above – see the effect on Cost Per Click in the image below, courtesy of Click Equations.

Quality Score

The easiest way to get quality score up is to make sure the exact keywords appear in the advert heading.  This is the way that Google prefers.  It has the added benefit of often increasing conversion rate.  Having the exact keywords in the advert heading is usually impossible if there are a large number of keywords in a single ad group.

Therefore an account will usually be optimised over time to break it in small ad groups.  In each of these ad groups there will be only a handful of keywords, as the adverts for this group need to reflect these keywords extremely closely.

With large accounts, this can result in a very large account with many hundreds of ad groups.  This can appear unwieldy to the client, but it is usually the ideal way to manage a large account.

Questions?  Do ask them here!

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Adwords Troubleshooting

The Top 10 Common Mistakes with AdWords Campaigns

When training others in the art of setting up their AdWords campaigns, I have noticed that many will have made identical mistakes.  How many of these errors can be found in YOUR Google AdWords campaigns?

1.    Using just one advert to match to lots of unrelated keywords
Here’s an example advert that is suffering from this mistake:

Virtual Office
temporary staffing, virtual office
registered office, mail forwarding

In this example, the advertiser is attempting to use one advert to advertise many of their products and services (temporary staffing, virtual offices, registered offices and mail forwarding).  To overcome this mistake, set up multiple ad groups, one for each product or service.  Here is a correct advert:

Temporary Staffing
Need Temporary Staff Quickly?
Call Today For A Fast Response!

2.    Sending people to the homepage of the website
A common mistake is to send all visitors direct to the homepage of your website.  You have just a few seconds to get and keep someone’s attention on the web!  Don’t risk them leaving immediately as they cannot find what they are looking for – send them directly to the page about that particular product or service.

In some cases, this may mean adding in new landing pages for each service, rather than having one page about all your products and services together.

3.    Incorrect capitalisation
Capitalise the first letter of each word in your advert (see the example in point 4 below) – this works by making your advert stand out more and increases the likelihood it will get clicked. In turn this will bring your costs down as it affects a vital factor called Quality Score.

4.    Using your company name as the heading for the adverts
This mistake is often replicated by many web marketing agencies as well as individual advertisers.  Here’s an example:

Bristol Party Hire
Bouncy Castles in Bristol
Great Prices From £45

Your advert is NOT about you – it’s about closely matching what the potential visitor is searching for.  So don’t be vain!

The advert heading should match the keywords the visitor has used as closely as possible e.g.

Bristol Bouncy Castles
Bouncy Castles in Bristol
Great Prices From £45

5.    Not tracking your results
Make sure you track the results from your AdWords campaigns so you can test which keywords work best to generate leads or sales.  You can do this by using Google’s conversion tracking (which can be found in the Opportunities tab).  Conversions are exceedingly simple to set up.  So set up conversion tracking today!

6.    Leaving the content network on
The content network is a large number of unrelated websites, all running advertising on their website.  Visitors to their websites have the opportunity to click on your ad, costing you money.  Turn the content network off to avoid these unnecessary clicks.

I am NOT saying the content network is always bad – in fact I have clients who make a lot of sales via the content network.  However it needs very careful monitoring!

7.    Leaving ads running 24 hours per day
For many products and services, it makes sense to only run adverts at certain times of day.  For example, Business to Business advertisers will benefit from running adverts only during work hours, and pause the adverts outside of these hours as well as weekends.

8.    Not using negative keywords
Negative keywords will prevent irrelevant searches.  For example, you will probably want to cut out people that are seeking “free” things.  So ideally build a large negative keyword list to save yourself money.

9.    Failing to use broad, phrase and exact match keywords
These are the three different keyword types which all need to be included in your ad groups to cut down on costs.  So make sure you include them all. On some occasions, you may wish to add in only exact match keywords to prevent Google matching you against obscure queries.  More on these match types another time!

10.    Underutilising the display URL
The display URL can be manipulated to increase Click Through Rate.  For example if advertising bouncy castles – instead of use  Another example is with a subdomain such as

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Adwords Questions Troubleshooting

Why isn’t my advert showing at the moment in Google AdWords?

This is a very common question asked by new advertisers.

So here’s a list of potential reasons it might not be showing:

  • Your account is new, and you have not entered payment details. When you have entered payment details, they take a short while to be authorised. This can be up to a day or two.
  • You have set up a new campaign with new ad groups and keywords, that need to be reviewed. This can take a short while.
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