Google AdWords is a great way to market your business to people who are searching for it. However, after working with it for almost a decade, I have seen some plenty of people throw their marketing budget away by making these three common and costly mistakes.
Mistake #1 - You're account is setup to show to everyone around the world all the time.
If you don’t have a properly targeted region or time, your ads are showing around the world 24/7. Great for global companies, but for most small businesses, it’s really important to only show your ad where your future customers are, and when they are likely to want to interact with your business. There is a feature under the settings of your campaign where you can specify the location your ads are shown in. Note this is only on the campaign level, not on the adgroup level. Under the settings tab, select locations. Here you can enter an address and target a radius around it, target a specific region, city, county, or state, or even a zip code. Right next to that locations option is an option for ad schedule. Here you can change how much you bid for time of day and time of the week.
2 - You never add negative keywords.
On the keywords tab, there is an amazing feature called 'search terms'. This tells you what words people actually searched that triggered your ads. If you have broad match or phrase match keywords, you might find some terms here that are not what you want to be seen for. Select the term and add it as a negative keyword to make sure that your ads aren’t shown for that search term anymore. Pro Tip: If you don't see any in your list, try changing the time frame in the upper right hand corner to the last 3 months, or even more.
3 - You only have one match type, and it’s probably broad.
There are three main types of keywords: broad, phrase, and exact. There are a few variations of each, but those are the main ones to talk about. Broad match is the main type of keyword Google automatically makes all of your terms, unless you tell it otherwise. Broad match terms allow google to show your ad to any searches closely related to that set of words. For example, if you advertise birkam yoga class as a broad match term, that means your ad can be triggered by searches for other things that are broadly related, like yoga pants, history class, or bikram poses. Great for learning what terminology people use to find what you have to sell, broad match is usually not the best option for a small business with a small budget. That brings me to phrase match - a set of keywords in "quotations". This means that your ad will only show when that phrase is searched in that order, even if there are words before or after. For example, if you had the phrase match "yoga class", your ad would trigger for afternoon yoga class and yoga class near me, but not for yoga pants or history class, like the broad match would. The last type is exact match - this is noted by [brackets] around the keyword, and tells google that you only want your ad to show when that specific set of terms is searched in that order, with nothing else. If you used the example of [bikram yoga class] your ad wouldn’t be shown for local yoga class or yoga class near me - only the specific search, bikram yoga class. For most small businesses, I recommend mixing phrase and exact match terms, only using broad when you have some budget to explore terminology related to your business. Be sure to use the search terms feature to regularly audit your own list of keywords to make sure your ad is still showing for the right searches.
Now I have a heck of a lot more to say about AdWords, so I am working on a new ebook all about paid search marketing for small business. Keyword being small - this will be all about stretching a limited budget to reach the right audience. If you want in on the book when its available, let me know in the comments below and I will be sure to share more details with you when its ready. A few lucky folks will even get a chance to read it before the rest of the world so I can get some opinions before I release it to the masses.
So those are the top 3 common and costly mistakes I see in AdWords accounts; I hope you found those tips helpful!
If that kind of blog post got you excited about working on your business, you should have read the email I wrote to go with it. Sign up below to get more ideas like this in your inbox every week, along with exclusive insight and discounts not found anywhere else.