My Top Ten
More than occasionally, one of our ambitious sales reps will ask me to look at a Google AdWords account in order to qualify a lead. Looking at new accounts is always exciting, yet depressing at the same time. It’s thrilling to discover all the possibilities it has, but also heartbreaking to see the novice oversights that could of easily been avoided.
Before even logging in to this particular AdWords account, I tried to guess what the top ten errors would be. Although I am a Google Advertising Professional, I don’t consider myself the definitive connoisseur of Pay-Per-Click by any means. Just as an exercise, I wanted to see if the trends I have found over the last few years continued to be in style. So here we go, my top ten:
1. Neglecting to add negative keywords. It just kills me when I look into their analytics account, if they have one, and see all the irrelevant search phrases that are generating clicks. What a waste of advertising spend!
2. Cramming hundreds of keywords into one ad group. Although the Long Tail strategy is on its way out, so the industry experts say, breaking out keywords into specific ad groups is just plain good organization. In addition, tailoring text ads to just a few keywords more often than not increases CTR and quality score. Who wouldn’t want that?
3. No conversion tracking. This maybe the one that gets me the most riled up. How is anyone supposed to know which keywords are generating leads and/or sales?
4. For Ecomm websites, no revenue tracking. So what if a keyword generated 20 sales today at a $5 CPA if the revenue generated per product is $2? Without revenue tracking, you really don’t know the worth of a keyword and you could be over bidding on a keyword that generates revenue less than both hard costs and advertising costs.
5. Using just one match type. Although you will find PPC marketers that will swear that broad match is the way to go, then you will find others that will say phrase match is the winner, and then there are always those that are exact match fans. Well, in my opinion, it all depends on the account. Regardless of which match type works best in an account, all three types have their advantages and should be tested.
6. Every destination URL is going to the homepage. Searchers need to be directed to what they are looking for. Although the website designer and web savvy individuals may be able to navigate your website easily, there are many people out there that get overwhelmed with beefy navigation and too many options. In order to decrease drop off rate, it’s best to direct visitors to the product they want to buy, and maybe a few “suggested items” on the side for an up-sell opportunity.
7. Only one advertisement per ad group. In the world of SEM, we live by the motto “test, test, and test again”. Especially in newer account, I always set Ad serving to Rotate. This way the ads are served evenly I can give each ad I write a fighting chance. If the ad looses, just write another ad and test it against the winner. Rinse and Repeat.
8. Why is the Content Network a default? This may be a bold statement, but the content does not work for every account, especially when it is not refined. I would advise any new AdWords advertiser to turn the Content Network off until they know how to optimize the campaigns that will work in the Network.
9. Adding the wrong keywords. The keyword tool is great if used correctly. Sometimes people see so many great keywords and they add the whole list of search terms, even though some words are really not qualified.
10. Not taking advantage of Ad scheduling. B2B companies typically don’t advertise on weekends because of the unqualified traffic. Display your ads when your customers are most likely to convert.
After reviewing the account, I was 9 for 10. Not too shabby.