6 Mistakes to Avoid When Managing A Google Ads Account

6 Mistakes to Avoid When Managing A Google Ads Account

Google Ads can be a powerful marketing tool that allows you to generate cost-effective quality leads and sales for your business. This is thanks, in part, to the many features and settings available in the tool that help you get your ads in the front of the right people at the right time.

Yet with all these options within the account, mistakes can happen. If these go undetected, they can be quite costly. By learning how to identify these common mistakes, you can avoid them and work towards your goals productively and cost-effectively.

Search and Display Network Campaign Settings

When creating a new search campaign, you can create ads to appear in Google search, other Google sites on the search network, and on the display network (banners on videos, websites and apps across the internet), or both.

For search campaigns where the sole focus is lead generation, we recommend you only choose the search network. When you choose to show your ads on the display network only, Google will attempt to place your ads on relevant sites but not to those searching your keywords in Google’s search results. Conversion rates for clicks from the display network are usually quite low, which can drive up the Cost Per Acquisition (CPA). Showing ads on the display network can produce good results for brand awareness and driving return visitors to your site through remarketing. When targeting the display network, we recommend keeping creating a separate campaign and not selecting both the search network and display network inside of one campaign.

Choosing the appropriate ad network for your campaign will help keep costs down and drive more relevant traffic that will actually convert.



Too Many Keywords

Having a large number of keywords within your Google ads accounts may give the impression that you will capture a lot more traffic, conversions, and leads, but this isn’t always the case. When you target a large number of long-tail keywords (more specific search queries with more words) you will find that many of them will generate low numbers of impressions and clicks, while the high volumes of traffic that come with broader keywords don’t necessarily lead to high-quality traffic. When trying to generate leads while maintaining a positive ROI, you need to be ruthless when pruning your keywords, if the keywords are not generating conversions or leads and are driving up your cost per acquisition then pause them. With the keywords that remain, make sure they are grouped in tightly themed ad groups with 3 to 5 other relevant keywords and ads that specifically mention and speak to the intent of those keywords. Being ruthless with the keywords you target in your account and keeping them in small tightly theme ad groups will help you to appear in front of the right audience more frequently, with the most relevant ads, while keeping your costs low and your account manageable. Always keep looking for new keywords to target, but again, keep them in small tightly themed ad groups and be ruthless when assessing keyword performance data!

When managing the keywords in your account, you should also consider your daily budget. If you have a daily budget of $50 and you have 20 keywords with a CPC of 2$ in one ad group, you run the risk of reaching your budget limit very quickly. As you approach your budget limit, Google will show your ads less frequently, and when you reach your budget limit, Google ads will automatically stop showing your ads. This can mean your ads aren’t showing at peak times and can mean potential customers don’t see your ads at all. Reporting on how your ads perform by hour of day and by day of the week will help you understand if you are running out of budget at key times.



Not Bidding on Brand Keywords

Bidding on your company’s brand terms can help improve the overall health of your Ads account (as they naturally generate positive quality and engagement signals), but can also help protect your brand’s visibility in Google’s search results. Bidding on a competitor’s brand keywords can be a go-to tactic for many Google Ads advertisers, so make sure your competitors aren’t stealing your traffic away by advertising on your own brand keywords first. Cost Per Click for your own brand keywords are generally pretty low.

There are many other benefits to bidding on your brand keywords, one of which is being able to choose the destination a user will reach following a click. It is likely a brand search term in the organic listing will direct traffic to your homepage, whereas on Google ads, you can direct them to a specific landing page. 

Bidding on brand keywords isn’t always the best approach for every business, for example, those operating in less competitive markets who already dominate the search results, but more often than not it is a strategy worth testing. Using reports such as Google Ad’s paid & organic search results report can help you understand how often your website pages and ads are showing in Google’s organic and paid search results for your target keywords. Comparing your search visibility and click-through rates before and after launching brand keyword campaigns can help you understand if bidding on brand keywords is helping you drive more traffic and leads.


Disregarding Negative Keywords

It’s easy to forget about negative keywords until your ad costs and cost per conversion skyrocket due to irrelevant search terms. Negative keywords are a word or phrase that is not associated with your services, products, and brand, but that can still trigger an ad. For example, if you are a personal injury lawyer, you can bid on personal injury lawyer as a broad match keyword, but then your ads may be triggered for terms like ‘criminal lawyer’ and ‘corporate lawyer’.

Along with keyword research, it’s essential to regularly review your search term reports and add all irrelevant and unnecessary terms as negative keywords, to ensure your ads only appear for relevant search queries. Regularly adding negative keywords to your campaigns will not only improve the quality of your ad traffic but will also help control costs and free up budget for you best-performing keywords.

Consider adding a general negative keyword list to your account that contains all broad match terms that you are certain you don’t want to appear for, for example, adult-themed keywords, job, career, support, free, and employee name keywords.


Not Testing Bid Strategies

There are many bid strategies available in Google Ads, and it can be a daunting task to figure out which one to use and when to use them. It is crucial that you test out strategies to find which one best matches your needs. You can choose a manual strategy so you can have more control over Cost Per Click (CPC) and ad spend, or you can aim for an automated strategy, where Google’s machine learning algorithms will adjust your bids automatically to generate the most clicks or conversions at the best possible price. 

Just remember that with Google Ads bid strategy there is no one size fits all strategy, so keep testing different strategies to find which one will help you get the best return on ad spend possible. Also, keep in mind that you may need to switch back to manual or non-conversion focused strategies if you experience a drop off in clicks and conversions (for example, during seasonal drop-offs). This gets performance back on track faster and feeds the system with more reliable data to base its decisions on when you switch back to an automated strategy.


Not Adding Ad Extensions

Ad Extensions are a great way to add extra information to your ads and increase the visibility of your ads in the search results. There are a variety of Google Ad Extensions to choose from, and you can even add multiple extensions, such as businesses location, site links, phone numbers and many more. 

Ad Extensions can be an effective way to increase your ad’s CTR and can even generate conversions before your prospect reaches your website. 


Along with SEO and inbound marketing, well optimised paid marketing campaigns can significantly bolster your lead generation efforts and help your business hit its growth targets. If you still have questions or would like to discuss how our team can assist you in driving more traffic, leads and sales, we are just a click away and ready to help




Cian is the Paid Marketing Associate at Dotdynamic and has been working in the industry for two years. Graduating from Maynooth University with a Bachelors’s degree in Digital Media, Cian is interested in all forms of online media and marketing. As the Paid Marketing Associate, Cian is focused on giving clients the best return on investment possible through all paid marketing platforms through creative writing, keyword research, and actively researching new ways to optimize and grow client portals. Outside of work Cian can be found watching sports and playing 5-a-side football.