The 3 Most Expensive Mistakes Businesses Make with Google Ads

Posted January 26, 2015 by Joe Kashurba

With paid Google advertising, you can get your business on the first page of Google search results immediately. If you’re a business owner looking to get your phone ringing with ready-to-buy customers, this is one of fastest ways to do it.

However, most people don’t know how to setup Google ads correctly, and neither do most agencies that manage Google ads for clients!

In this post, I’m going to walk through the 3 most expensive mistakes that businesses make with Google ads. If you’re making any of these mistakes, then you’re probably throwing an enormous amount of money down the drain.

First off though, let’s talk a little bit about how Google ads work.

How Google Ads Work

Google’s paid advertising program is called Google AdWords.

Paid search results show up either above the normal search results or on the right side of the page, and they are either highlighted in yellow or have a yellow “Ad” icon to identify them as advertising.

With Google ads, you write your ad, you choose what keywords you want to show up for, and you only pay when people actually click on your ad.

The cost per click depends on how many other businesses also want to show up for that keyword. For some industries, clicks cost as little as $2, but for other industries clicks cost $50 or more.

Alright, now let’s talk about the big mistakes.

Mistake #1) Using “Broad Match” Keywords Instead Of “Exact Match” Keywords

I mentioned before that you choose what keywords you want to show up for, right?

Well, what most people don’t realize is that by default Google will show your ads for all kinds of other keywords.

You see, by default the keywords you select will be marked as “broad match” keywords. This means that Google can show your ads for the specific keywords you select— and for anything else that Google thinks is “broadly-related” to your keywords.

For instance, if choose the keyword “commercial construction,” your ads may show up when people search for “residential construction,” “construction jobs” or even “commercial catering.”

Someone who clicks on your ad after searching for one of these so-called “broadly-related” keywords is extremely unlikely to contact you and become a customer.

By changing a few settings, you can switch your keywords from “broad match” to “exact match”— meaning that your ads show up only when someone searches your keyword exactly.

By doing this, you can ensure that your ads show up only in front of people who are actively searching for the products or services that you sell.

Mistake #2) Sending Everyone Who Clicks on an Ad to Your Homepage

Another expensive mistake people make with Google ads is sending everyone to their homepage regardless of what keyword they searched for and what ad they clicked on.

Someone searching for one of your products or services has a very specific need.

Rather than sending that person to your homepage— where they’ll probably have look around and click a few times to find what they needed —you should send them to a webpage that is specifically about what they searched for.

For instance, if you have a plumbing business and run Google ads for the keyword “water heater repair,” you should create a webpage specifically about your water heater repair service.

By creating individual webpages for each of your products/services and sending people to these individual webpages, you can easily increase the likelihood that they’ll contact you by 50% or more.

Mistake #3) Not Tracking Results

Finally, the 3rd big mistake that most businesses make with Google ads is that they don’t track the results.

Therefore, they don’t actually have any idea whether or not they’re making money, and they certainly don’t know which ads, keywords and products/services are making the most money.

Very few businesses and agencies that manages Google ads do this, but the correct way to setup Google ads is to use phone call tracking software.

The phone call tracking software that I use places a unique local phone number on your website based on what keyword someone searched for and what Google ad they clicked on.

As a result, I’m able to provide my clients with a report at the end of the month that shows how many calls they got from each keyword and ad, so they know— for sure —whether their Google ads are making money.

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