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By under AdWords, PPC

Pay-per-click advertising is an industry that is constantly evolving. No matter how on the cusp of new technologies you were at six month ago, things will be different right now.

As a result, you’re most likely making some mistakes with AdWords that are keeping your campaigns from really fulfilling their potential.

We’ve seen quite a few of these mistakes in our time and feel it’s only appropriate we put together a short list of 5 of the most common mistakes we still see AdWords advertisers making.

AdWords Mistake 1 – Writing Too Many Different Ads

You don’t need to have 10+ ads in every ad group when it comes to AdWords, the best advertisers focus on simplicity and get results.

As you have to create the ads manually, the more ads you make doesn’t always mean you get more conversions – it just means more work for you.

However, having different variations of adverts within each ad group is still the best way to run an AdWords campaign – otherwise, you aren’t going to be able to split-test things properly.

But, you need to tread a fine line between the amount of data you have per ad and the number of ads you have.

The more data you have for each advert, the better your optimisation will be. Spread this data across too many ads though and you won’t be able to tell what is working and what isn’t.

So – test 2-4 ads per ad group, look at what the data tells you and then come up with a new set of 2-4 ads to test.

AdWords Mistake 2 – Bidding On Way Too Many Keywords

Too often we see advertisers thinking they need to bid on every keyword that is even closely relevant to their interests. They’re scared they might miss out on potential business.

Problem is, in excess of 90% of keywords never produce conversions – but they still use up your budget. What’s worse, as this list of keywords grow, so does the complexity of your campaign. Some might be so large that thousands of keywords aren’t even receiving impressions!

Instead, look to cut your keyword list down to the top 10-15 keywords that bring in the most profit or are most relevant to your offering. Then, once your ads are performing well on these, you can begin to slowly expand.

Choose your keywords wisely and limit your list to keywords that will get you results. Then pick your bidding strategy carefully to avoid wasting money.

AdWords Mistake 3 – Overusing Dynamic Keyword Insertion

DKI or Dynamic Keyword Insertion is a great way to show a personalised message based on the search of your user. When used properly, it creates completely personalised messages and headlines for people who are in your target market.

But a huge mistake a lot of advertisers make is using DKI in their copy for all their ads then over bidding on lots of non-relevant keywords. Either the adverts won’t make sense or will give you clicks that just will never convert.

Even worse – you’ll start showing up for misspelled keywords which means your adverts will start containing spelling errors. Not only does this look bad, but it will harm conversions.

Be careful when using DKI, make sure your ad copy will make sense with each keyword prior to using it.

AdWords Mistake 4 – Just Using AdWords

When it comes to search, Google has the majority.

However, you can explore other options such as Bing, Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn – sometimes these will be as effective or more effective than AdWords depending on your service/product.

Here are a few reasons why you’d want to use some other platforms:

Bing – isn’t used as much as AdWords so less competition = lower cost for clicks. More conversions for less money.

Facebook – offers enhanced audience targeting that means you can target people who you know are going to want what you’re offering. Also has a large partner network and details on almost everyone on the internet!

LinkedIn – if your offering is B2B focused, then LinkedIn is the social media platform you want to use – you can even target based off industry/job seniority.

Warning – each platform has shortcomings and opportunities, so make sure you’re not just relying on one.

AdWords Mistake 5 – Relying On CPC or CTR

As metrics go, cost-per-click (CPC) and click-through-rate (CTR) are two that many marketers go on about when referring how a campaign has performed.

Whilst they are very useful metrics, lots of clicks and a low cost per click is not an indicator that the campaign is performing well.

What you care about is what people do after they click on your ads. That’s the point at where they turn into customers afterall.

To measure your campaign performance, you want to know which of those clicks are turning into conversions and then closing into sales. If people click on your ads, but don’t ever buy, then there’s something very wrong.

So the key metric is actually CPA – cost per acquisition. This tells you whether people are buying from your adverts and how they’re interacting with your landing page.

By focusing on CPA, you can eliminate lots of poor keywords that are eating budget and not getting you any profit.

What Have We Learned?

That whilst these 5 mistakes are super common, you can fix them really quite easily with a little extra time.

If you’re still not where you want to be, why not let us have a look at your campaign and advise you where you can improve?

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