In 2016, paid search comprised nearly half of all digital spending, adding up to around $35 billion spent on search ads, including search giant Google’s AdWords platform. Whether your brand represents a smaller or larger portion of that spend, it’s important to ensure that your advertising dollars are used well. Here are five mistakes that you don’t want to continue to pay for:
1. Incorrect Keyword Match Types – Misunderstanding of keyword match types are one of the most common mistakes in AdWords management. The match type determines who sees your ad, making it important to know when and how to use Broad Match, which pairs with the largest range of search terms, Modified Broad Match, which matches specific terms, Phrase Match, which pairs with everything including the phrase and Exact Match, which works as it sounds.
2. Not Using Negative Keywords – Negative keywords are an essential factor in ensuring that your ad dollars aren’t going to waste. Used properly to remove similar search terms that are irrelevant to your business, they can help you focus your targeting to potential customers who are more interested in what you have to offer.
3. Not Linking Ads to Relevant Landing Pages – From Google itself, your landing pages have a significant impact on your Quality Score, which affects your ad’s rank and the cost to make the ad show with search results. A landing page that is not well-designed and relevant to your ad will also result in a higher bounce rate, meaning fewer sales.
4. Not Segmenting Keywords – While it can be problematic to segment your AdWords campaigns by too many factors, not segmenting your keywords can result in wasted advertising budget. Segmenting by keywords can allow you to see which keyword types (and match types) work best for your brand — and you can also pull out the highest performers to give them a larger piece of the budget.
5. Not Using Ad Extensions – Ad Extensions are a relatively simple way to increase the click-through rate (CTR) of ads within your AdWords campaigns. Providing details such as contact information, social links, products and even site links all make your ads more attractive to viewers, making it more likely that they will click and make a purchase.
There are several easy traps to fall into when it comes to AdWords management. By avoiding these common and costly mistakes, you can not only avoid wasting advertising spend, but also increase revenue with more effective advertising practices.