5 Common AdWords Mistakes, & How to Correct Them

PPC campaigns have the advantage of delivering results quickly. That doesn’t mean, however, that getting PPC right is easy. To ensure the maximum return on your PPC investment, you need to know how Google AdWords works, and how to avoid the following pitfalls that doom poorly-executed AdWords campaigns.


1. Choosing the Wrong Keywords

Choosing the right keywords is critical to your PPC success. For example, let’s say you sell pool chemicals in Tampa. If you choose broad keywords like “swimming pools tampa,” you’ll attract customers who want to build a new pool, or redesign an existing one. They’re interested in pools, but they’re not going to buy your products. If they click on your ad, you’re increasing your costs without getting results. To target the right keywords, use free online tools like the AdWords Keyword Planner Tool or WordStream’s Free Keyword Tool.


2. Defaulting to Broad Match

When you buy keywords, AdWords automatically defaults to “broad match” unless you tell it otherwise. This means that your ad will appear when people type any of the words in your keyword string, regardless of order, and even if they add more words to the string. So, broad matches for “running shoes” would include everything from “shoes running,” to “best running shoes for a marathon.”

That can work if these broad matches reflect products you sell. If they don’t, you’re better off selecting an exact match.


3. Omitting Negative Keywords

Negative keywords tell AdWords what customers you don’t want. For example, let’s say you sell used cars. If your keyword is “used cars” and you opt for broad match, your ad will appear if someone types “used salvage cars.” Since you don’t want these customers clicking on your ad, you can designate these phrases as negative keywords, ensuring your ad won’t appear when they’re typed into Google.


4. Forgetting Ad Extensions

Ad extensions give you the option to include more information in your PPC ad. You might want to add your business phone number, address or even a store rating. This information gives you more real estate on the page, “grounds” your ad, and increases click-throughs and conversions.


5. Ignoring Mobile Searches

Almost 60% of all searches are now on mobile devices. If your ads are not mobile-friendly, you risk losing some or all that business. Because mobile screens are smaller, people frequently use shorter keyword phrases—which means you should consider truncating keywords to accommodate this behavior. Also include a “click-to-call” extension, allowing customers to make a call to your business directly from your ad.



These are only some of the mistakes people make using AdWords—others include not using bid adjustments, not scheduling your ads, and not linking your PPC campaigns to a robust analytics program. The point is, to ensure the success of your PPC strategy, you need to do your research. It’s an investment of time which will pay off handsomely in more effective—and cost-effective—PPC campaigns.