5 Expensive Mistakes you’re Making Right Now in your Google Ads Account
Is your Google Ads account not delivering the quality and volume of leads you’d like? Whether you’re running your own Google Ads or an agency are running them for you.. it’s possible that you’re making these mistakes right now in your Google Ads account….
Mistake number 1 – Failing to focus on Call Tracking
Proper call tracking is essential – especially as up to 70% of traffic will use the mobile version of your website. Ensure your website is properly optimised for mobile, plus you’re making best use of the appropriate features within Google.
- “Click to call extensions” within the Google ad that connect the prospect directly to your phone line
- “Click to call buttons” on your mobile website that will allow you to see which keywords are triggering calls
- Mobile bid optimisation, where it’s possible to increase or decrease bids depending on whether the prospect is searching on a Mobile, Tablet or Computer
Note that if you are targeting a variety of different geographical areas in your Account, call tracking becomes even more important. You’ll need to order a different call tracking number for each city to increase conversion rate ( by giving customers the reassurance of a local number). This doesn’t have to be complicated – a VoIP provider will charge as little as £2 per number per month plus the cost of forwarding the calls.
You’ll need to ensure that Google Call tracking is then turned within the account – this will have the effect of showing customers a local number but also allowing you to track the phone call as a direct conversion. You can even set the length of the call you want to set as a conversion – for example 30 seconds.
Mistake Number 2 – Not turning off Google’s Automatic Settings
Google has a lot of settings that are turned on as default when setting up your account, or that it will suggest are turned on over time. These are supposedly meant to make YOUR life easier but in reality, just make Google more money. So for example, Google will suggest your ads run across YouTube and its other partner websites. Most of the time – this will be a huge waste of money!
Many advertisers are now wise to this and have turned this off, however there are plenty of other automatic settings that have popped up recently.
A couple of example settings to watch out for are features such as Automatic Ads (where Google creates an ad for you and adds it to the account) plus Automatic Site Links (where Google identifies random pages in your website, offers these to the prospect within your ad, and then charges you when they visit them).
These must be turned off in the Account Settings to ensure Google is not able to apply these.
Mistake Number 3 – Lack of Ongoing Optimisation
Managing a Google account effectively takes work on an ongoing basis.
This includes analysing the Search Query report regularly to identify new negative keywords (that prevent your ads showing when the prospect includes that particular word).
A well-managed account will have well over 500 negative keywords to prevent the account being charged for irrelevant searches, with new ones being added each week.
Secondly, as long as your conversion tracking is set up correctly (including all your Click to Call buttons on your mobile website) you’ll be able to analyse what is most likely to result in a conversion.
Based on these reports – you’ll be able to set “bid modifiers” that will adjust your bids and ensure you’re more likely to get a conversion based on:
- Day of the week and time of day
- Location (all the way to postcode/Zip code level)
- Device type (Desktop, Tablet, Mobile)
Finally, you’ll want to keep an eye daily and weekly on Auction Insights – what is your average position? Have you dropped or risen? Have your competitors? Have any new competitors entered the market?
You’ll want to analyse – who is above you and what percentage of the time are they above you?
How often are your ads showing when they “could” be?
If this metric is dropping you’ll want to look at your bids but also your Quality Score for the answers why (see below for more on this).
I’ve seen examples where the advertiser’s ads have stopped “competing in the auction” 83% of the time – meaning they rarely show!
Mistake Number 4 – Not Paying Attention to Click Fraud
Click fraud is a well known issue within the industry, and the good news is that Google has become progressively better at preventing it.
Is click fraud an issue for you? You’ll never know unless you analyse your Invalid Click reports. If this shows you there’s a problem, then you’ll want to consider using a Clickfraud service to prevent it from eating up your budget.
Mistake Number 5 – Not Focusing on Quality Score
Quality Score (QS) is the single most important metric within your account – it’s based on how well your keyword is performing in relation to the ad you’ve written for it, plus the landing page you’re driving traffic to.
It’s the single most important metric that will affect how much you spend on your Google Ads – as QS can have the impact of quadrupling your click costs if your score drops from a 10 to a 3. However, a low score will actually prevent your ads from showing at all! (as Google prefers to show those with a higher score, as it regards them as being a better match for the query the prospect has typed).
A low Click Through Rate on your ads will rapidly lead to a lower QS, as will a poor-quality landing page that doesn’t match what the user is searching for. It’s incredibly important to keep an eye on it for each of your keywords on an ongoing basis.
So as part of your ongoing maintenance each week, you’ll want to keep an eye on QS so you can identify any issues, then create new landing pages and new adverts as needed to increase it.
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