This article is a continuation of the previous one, which presented four most common mistakes of Google AdWords users. Dealing with them should improve your account quality significantly, but work with Google AdWords system is not a task that may be summed up with these basic steps only. Quite the contrary, it is a never-ending story. Every day you will be confronted with new data that will frequently change your approach towards business and efficiency of your actions.

Mistake no. 5. Disregard for keywords effectiveness

Let us assume that our Google AdWords account contain keywords of the following effectiveness:

Keywords effectiveness

If we would like to keep phrases with profitability over 50% only (because only such phrases guarantee positive revenue at the current margin), then keywords from 1 to 3 should be disabled. However, if we actually disable them on the basis of such a quick analysis, the total revenue may drop to the extent that exceeds the amount of savings brought about by such an action. This is caused due to the so called assisted conversions – situations when the given channel is not the last one used by the client before the transaction is made. Therefore, we should take these assisted conversions into account (their value may be verified in the Conversions – Multi-channel funnels – Assisted conversions – Source/Medium tab in Google Analytics, by clicking the name of the given channel, selecting the dimension “keyword” and adding the dimension “match type”).  In such a case, the table will look as follows:

Profitability with assisted conversions taken into account

You may notice that the values of profitability changed and now all keywords, except the first one, appear to be profitable. Many people may disagree and suggest that assisted conversions should not be considered, because the client eventually purchased the product using the last channel. However, is that really the case? We need to understand, that if the purchase funnel for the phrase “cat food” looks for example like this:

Google AdWords > price comparison > visit > purchase,

then due to Google AdWords advertisement, the offer actually managed to catch the buyer’s attention, but that person decided to look for a better offer using a price comparison tool. After positive verification, the buyer visited the store by typing its address directly into the address bar and purchased the product. Therefore, without Google AdWords, the client would not have the possibility to learn about our offer. That is why we need to take assisted conversions into account to prove the hidden potential of many phrases.

Mistake no. 6.  No negative keywords lists

Another mistake, maybe not so frequent as the previous one, but also made even by the advanced users, is to disregard the list of negative keywords, containing phrases that should not trigger the ads (the lists may be added in the Shared library – Campaign negative keywords tab). Many Google AdWords users focus on improving the texts of their advertisements, looking for an ideal phrase that would improve their CTR.  In their efforts, they do not think about the reason that stands behind the low click through rate. Thorough analyses prove that such a situation is not caused by badly written ads, but by the display of mismatched phrases. Customers’ paths towards our products may be traced in the Keywords – Details – Search terms – All tab, after specifying maximum date range, in order to analyze the whole history of our campaign. Analysis of this data may be a great source of inspiration in the search for words that should not be used to trigger Google AdWords advertisements. In order to cut the expenses, before collecting the data, it may be a good idea to add phrases that in conjunction with the keywords specified in Google AdWords panel may increase the costs of most businesses, i.e. pdf, for free, download, eBay, second hand, etc.

Mistake no. 7. No ads for mobile devices

Lack of mobile advertisements is another typical mistake of Google AdWords users, even the experienced ones.  This option may be enabled when creating a new ad in Google AdWords account; as you may see, all you need to do is to click the checkbox described as “Mobile”. As simple as that.

This way, you will double the amount of your advertisements in Google AdWords panel. For example, two ads will present statistics for tablets and desktops while the other two – for mobile phones. Such a solution will make it easier to verify whether the low effectiveness of your ads is caused by low click through rate on mobile phones, or whether it would be better to use different advertising texts for mobile devices and desktops.

Mistake no. 8. Mismatched sitelinks

Mismatched sitelinks do not constitute a very serious mistake, but they may cause aversion of the given ad viewer. From the marketer’s point of view, it is easier to add identical sitelinks to all campaigns, instead of methodically (and manually!) complete particular campaigns with adequate contents. However, for the recipient of our cat food advertisement, links which inform about the discount on dog collars or about new plant fertilizers offer may be perceived as ridiculous or even offensive. Therefore, it may be worth your time to focus on adding appropriate contents to each of your campaigns.

Mistake no. 9. Focusing on improper variables

Focusing on improper variables is another serious mistake. Every action needs to be preceded with specification of our goals: at the level of the whole Google AdWords account and particular campaigns alike. After the main objectives are determined, we need to select appropriate metrics and concentrate on their improvement. The table below presents the performance indicators for two main objectives of Google AdWords accounts:

Main objectives of actions performed in Google AdWords and their KPI

As you may see, main variables of the sales-oriented campaigns include revenue and conversion rate. Despite the fact, even though many Google AdWords users declare that their main aim is to improve their sales, they spend more time to improve their CTR, which is a crucial variable, but for the reach campaigns. Bear this mistake in mind and try to focus on the parameters which are vital for your goals, paying only the necessary amount of attention to other variables.

Mistake no. 10. No match between keywords and ads

During the process of campaign creation, especially at the later stages, users tend to quickly add words that are related to the previously entered phrases. Why bother to create separate groups of advertisements? If people look for the phrase “Microsoft”, they may as well look for “Microsoft store”. Unfortunately, qualitative results prove that this is not that simple. Google insists on the best possible match between the ad contents and users’ search queries, in order to display information that people are really looking for. If, out of laziness, lack of knowledge or because of any other reason, our keywords that trigger the ad:


Learn more about our offer.

Wide selection, look us up!

will include not only the phrase “Microsoft”, but also “Microsoft store”, we may expect a drop of quality score. Even though the ad presented above is related to the phrase “Microsoft store”, it is not exactly the thing the potential buyer is looking for. That is why we need to be ready to incur higher costs when taking this kind of shortcuts. However, if we do not want to pay more because of lower quality score, we will need to spend some time to create an ad with the following content:

Microsoft store

Learn more about our offer.

Wide selection, look us up!

This small change will assure the users that they will find what they are looking for at our site and will help us to save money due to lower CPC.

This article concludes the summary of Google AdWords users’ major mistakes. Even though the list is not complete and we may discuss its particular elements in much greater detail, we think that paying more attention to the aspects mentioned in both articles will help you to optimize your actions in the area of PPC and, consequently, improve the results of your company.

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Aleksander Szafranski

e-Commerce Marketing Specialist at Divante eCommerce Software House | LinkedIn | Twitter

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