1.       Too Many Broad Match Keywords

The main reason people use broad match keywords is because when you add a new keyword to your account it defaults onto broad match. This means anything related to the keyword that you have added to your account will show up for example if we have “RocketMill PPC Management” as the keyword, our advert could show to people that are searching for “how to fly a rocket” or “run a mill”. Now don’t get me wrong your adverts are not always going to show up for silly terms but sometimes they will as Google will want you to spend every penny you have on a day to day basis.

Top Tip:

Try looking at adding different keyword match types such as BMM, Phrase and Exact. And if you do use broad match keywords – make sure you run a search term report, so you know what people are typing in to get to your page.


2.       Only Using Exact Match Keywords

On the other hand, some people only use exact match keywords. Now whilst this means your account is really focused and specific it also will mean you miss out on a lot of potential sales.  This is because if you have the keyword as [PPC Management] and the customer types in “RocketMill PPC Management”, your keyword is not going to show. This means you will have to have every different variation of that word to ensure you don’t miss out on any traffic.

Top Tip:

Try using the BMM match type for some of your keywords. By doing this, it will mean that your advert will still only show if people type in “PPC Management”, as well as any search terms that contain these two words.


3.       Not Knowing / Forgetting to Add Negative Keywords

One of the biggest mistakes I see is people forgetting to add in negative keywords.  If you are using any of the match types: Broad, BMM or Phrase you need to make sure you add in negative keywords to stop your advert showing for any unwanted search terms. If we don’t add in negative keywords such as “jobs” or “careers” our adverts could show to people looking for a PPC Management job. Not only would this mean our advert is showing for an irrelevant search meaning our CTR could drop if they don’t click on the advert, but if they do click on the advert it will cost us money for a search that is not relevant.

Top Tip:

Have a look at the search term report – this will show you what your adverts have been showing up for. 


4.     Multiple / Many / Numerous / Excessive / Copious Amounts of Keywords
Staying on the keywords topic, most of the accounts I take on have too many keywords for their budget resulting in a lot of the keywords not getting as much exposure as desired.  The problem with this is that if your keyword is not showing or getting any clicks you will be stuck with the score it got at the start and this means you may have to pay far more than average for it.
The second problem with this is when you have too many keywords; they all tend to be added in the same ad group and by doing this you will get a low score as one advert can’t be relevant to every keyword.

Top Tip:
When creating an account, think about what keywords you are going to have, and then when you are putting your keywords in make sure your put them in their own ad group . This will mean you will be able to add the keywords to the adverts. For example, you can add them into the display URL in your ad, which will help to increase your keyword score.  


5.      Not Setting up Tracking or Conversion Data

Another error often seen is not setting up any tracking. If you don’t set up tracking for your Adwords account you will never know if the money you are putting into it is getting you a good ROI.
This will also cause you problems when it comes to optimising your account and you could end up taking out words that are converting and leaving in words that are not but have a good CTR.

Top Tip:
The best way of setting up conversion data is via analytics – you can set up goal or event tracking. Setting up a goal is easy – all you need to have is the URL of the page you want to track, like the “Thank You” page. To set up event tracking, all you need to do is add a snippet of code to the button or the page you want to track.


6.      High CTR

This follows on from setting up the tracking to make sure you optimise your account in the right way. Having a high CTR is not always good so having this set as one of your goals or as something to improve on is not always the best plan for your Adwords account.
It is easy to increase the CTR on an account – all you need to do is ‘pause’ a word that has had a lot of impressions and very few clicks. Your CTR will jump up and your money will be spent elsewhere but that one click could have been a sale!
A good example of this is remarketing – the CTR is always low but when that customer does come to your website they are the most relevant person and could end up in a sale.

Top Tip:
It is always good to make sure that you run a search term report on any keywords that has a lot of clicks, as they may not be the most relevant.


7.       Showing in the Right Locations – Not Timbuktu…

Another common problem I see is people showing their advert all over the world, even when they have looked at the location setting and select an area to show like the UK. Despite making this change, it will not stop your advert from showing to everyone in the world.

When you set the location targeting you need to make sure you look at the “Location Options” section and set it to “People in my target location only”. If you don’t do this then despite you selecting the UK as a target area, you will continue to show everywhere else in the world.



8.      Display FAIL

Whenever you set up an Adwords campaign it will automatically default to show your adverts on display; also known as GDN. Now whilst display is a good advert type, it should always be kept in its own campaign and should be monitored very carefully as you could show on a random website. As well as this the CTR is always lower and you don’t want this to affect the score of your keywords.

Top Tip:

Keep display ads in their own campaign, and remember to change the default to Search Network Only!


9.      Having Only One Advert

It is important to create more than one advert for every adgroup because adverts should be split tested against one another, as this will contribute towards the score of your keywords. Not only that but you want people to click on your advert over everyone else’s, right?

Top Tip:
Try having 2-3 adverts; one with a call to action like “Book Now Online”, one with a special deal in like “50% off online orders” and one with the flat price of the product, like “starting from £49.99”. By split testing them, you’ll be able to see which out of these 3 is most appealing to your target audience.

Don’t forget: Go into your settings and change your ad rotation to rotate evenly for 90 days before optimising. This will give all your adverts a fair chance to run. 

rotate adverts

10.    Under-Use of Campaign Extensions

Most people when setting up a new account don’t look at the different ad extensions you can get. This is a good way of increasing the size of your advert by getting your number in for people to click and call or having your address at the bottom of your advert so people know that you are local. As well as this you can get your advert to have multiple links so people can pick what page they want to go to from your main advert.

Top Tip:

Make sure your campaign has “All Features” enabled – without this you won’t be able to add in ad extensions!