As a Google Adwords manager you often get hired to take over Adwords accounts that were set-up by other people with varying levels of skill. After a while it becomes apparent that there are a number of mistakes or poor management practices that seem to recur.
Below I’ll highlight 10 of the most common problems. If you discover that your Adwords account has any of these issues then perhaps its time to hire a Google Adwords management consultant.
- Poor naming conventions
As your Adwords account grows it becomes increasingly important to use a naming convention when naming campaigns and ad groups. The way you chose to name your campaigns and ad groups will change depending on your account structure and there is no single ‘right way’ to do it. Just make sure that there is a standard followed and your life, or that of your Adwords manager, will be a lot easier.
- Budgets not effectively managed
Once you’ve decided on your budget there are a number of ways in which you can control the daily spend. If you don’t employ a planned approach then you will quickly lose track of everything from keyword bids to campaign cost management. Shared budgets can help here.
- Cost-per-click (CPC) bids all the same
Unless your account is tiny there is rarely an excuse for having the same CPC for all keywords. Bids need to be adjusted in response to numerous factors including competition, ad position and click-through rate (CTR).
- Poor targeting
There are many ways to undermine targeting if you aren’t sure what you are doing. Not only will this drive up the cost of your ads but it will degrade your account’s historical performance – an important factor in Google Adwords bidding auctions.
- Failure to use exclusions
Exclusions help refine your targeting and filter out unwanted ad impressions. Exclusions can be as simple as a single keyword but extend right up to whole keyword lists, locations, topics, interests, placements, etc.
- Failure to use keyword modifiers
Modifiers allow you to stipulate how close a search term must be to your keywords before triggering one of your ads. Too often they are left set to ‘broad’, incurring many impressions and resulting in low conversion rates. Keyword modifiers are an important topic so check out the keyword modifier help page on Google if you aren’t sure how to use them.
- Poor landing page choice
A landing page is where an ad links to (sometimes called a destination page). If you don’t chose a page that is closely related to your ad and the related search terms then your chances of converting visitors is low.
- Failure to create segmented ad groups
Ad groups exist so you can create tightly related groups of ads and keywords. If you are too lazy to break these out into specific, logical groupings then the only thing you will boost are your costs.
- Failing to define goals
This is a HUGE problem. Without any goals how can you possibly determine if your campaigns are a success or if your budget is well spent? Additionally, a number of Google Adwords optimisation features need goals to be defined before they become available to you.
- Ad extensions left unused
These helpful augmentations can be applied at the account, campaign or ad group level. They allow you to add additional information to your ads that will further encourage people to click on your ads and not a competitor’s.
As I wrote this list, so many issues came to mind however those seen above are probably the most common.
Hire a Google Adwords Management Expert
When a consultant such as myself becomes a Google Partner we must pass regular exams to prove our ongoing knowledge of best practices. The Google Partners program is designed to ensure that our clients are getting a certified Google Adwords management professional.
It should be stated that Google doesn’t guarantee the work done by Google Partners. However, the certification does give clients some assurance that the consultants proficient in the Adwords system.
The link above verifies my certification status and anyone claiming to be a Google Partner should be able to provide you with a similar link (hosted on Google itself). If they can’t or won’t, find someone else.