3 VERY Costly Mistakes in Adwords

I started in pay-per-click marketing late 2002 early 2003, so with about 14 years of experience in this industry, I saw the PPC Market before Google AdWords was around and when Yahoo and Goto.com were the big players. Just like with any industry, if you spend a lot of time in the field you'll learn the little tricks to succeed well.
Google AdWords | Google (PPC) Pay-Per-Click Online Advertising

There are many different mistakes I've seen made in this industry, especially with AdWords. Some were big and some were small, but that’s how you learn, right? Three of the really big mistakes that I’ve seen and still see most people make, are relatively simple to avoid and easy to fix.

I'm going to list the fixes by how easy they are to implement in your AdWords account.

Disclaimer: I found these changes to be very impactful for most of the accounts I work for. However, there are always exceptions. Always look at your data and conversion rates after making these changes to see if they help you out.

How to Use Google AdWords Effectively

1. Turn off mobile advertising on smartphones and mobile devices 

This should take less than 5 minutes to implement. Most of the time you're going to see that the conversion rate for desktops is going to outperform mobile devices by almost two-to-one, if not, higher so just by making this small change you can see a significant improvement on your bottom line. Take a look at the following chart to see how I do it.

2. Negating broad match keywords that are costing you money 

One of the fastest ways that you can waste money in your account is using the broad match feature in Google AdWords. This feature simply allows Google to match any keyword they think might be relevant to the keywords you assign. What often happens is that you end up paying for a lot of keywords that aren’t relevant. It’s almost the same effect as if you took your money and lit it on fire.

How to Create a Profitable Google AdWords Campaign
To see the Actual keywords that you're paying for, take a look at my graph below and put it up in your account
How to Use Google AdWords: A Simple Setup Tutorial
When you look through your list of keywords, you’ll find that there are many which are relevant. There may, however, be others that should never have made the list. Select those you don’t want and shut them down at the campaign level in your account so you won’t have to pay for them anymore. Some people see these extra keywords and think that Google is doing them a favor by pointing out words they missed. This usually isn’t the case.

There are some strategies where the broad match keywords can be used with extreme success, but this is usually limited to those who have quite a lot of experience. It’s important to know which keywords you are using so that you’re not wasting money. Most of the time, it’s best to use close match and shut the broad match off.

3. Set up a remarketing campaign

You’re making a costly mistake if you’re not using retargeting and remarketing with your site visitors. Why? On many sites, returning visitors will convert almost two times as high as first-time visitors. It makes sense. If someone's been to your website once it's their first time. The focus is on education. If they come back again, they are familiar with you. Marketing and advertising are more likely to lead to a conversion.

The image below shows an example from an e-commerce analytics account where the conversion rate for returning visitors is well over double the conversion rate of first-time visitors.

10 Tips for Creating a Successful Google AdWords Campaign

Google uses remarketing to follow visitors from site to site, encouraging them to return. That’s called remarketing. You pay a little extra so that other sites will show your ads in other locations as your visitors move around the web. It’s a way of keeping your message in front of the visitor’s eyes. You might need to create some graphic banner ads, as visual marketing tends to work better than text marketing. One trick that I use is to offer a small discount or another offer through the remarketing ad. This makes it much more likely that they will come back to complete the offer.

Remarketing is a complex topic but it’s worth your time to study. When you’re thinking about remarketing, consider how long you want to remarket to a particular visitor, where the visitor will land, and putting specific offers to particular remarketing campaigns. It’s quite flexible, but to do it well you’ll need to study it carefully or consult with a remarketing expert.

At the end of the day, remarketing campaigns are about helping you stay in front of your customer. They don’t take a terribly long time to set up and can yield amazing results. Try them.

If you implemented these three steps, you should almost see an instant reduction in your costs and an improvement in your conversions and ROI. When you eliminate waste, not only are you stopping bad ad spending but you're allowing that money to go towards areas where you will get a higher return. Taking the money you save from the first two steps and applying it to the third is my recommendation.

The first two steps will be pretty easy to implement and you should be able to do them in less than 15 minutes. The last step, remarketing, will take longer but it’s well worth the investment due to the much higher conversion rate for repeat visitors. Take a look at your AdWords account and see if these changes could help you. If they do, I would love to hear the results.


Chris Hickman is the Founder and CEO at Adficient – a PPC management company, with 14 years of experience in search marketing and conversion optimization. In 2006 he founded GetBackonGoogle.com to help businesses and websites suspended in Adwords to get back on Google.

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  1. I heard so much about adwords, since the day it was born but never really got the chance to use and implement it. Thanks for these tips, will spread the word and will include this on my paper report which you can read via procustomwriting.com.

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