6 Ways To Sabotage Your Search Campaigns

time-bombWhether a campaign is big or small, spending a few dollars a day or hundreds of thousands of dollars a month, effective AdWords campaigns take time and work. While auditing campaigns, I have come across a handful of ways that advertisers lose money or are missing out on valuable opportunities, and sometimes it drives me bonkers.

If you don’t want to be profitable, or are okay with giving your money to Google, defiantly make the following mistakes in your campaigns.

Don’t Use Negative Keywords

Creating campaigns without negative keywords is like throwing spaghetti at the wall to see what sticks, yet still paying for what fell on the floor. Not having an effective keyword list, or keeping your eye on search terms, can end up costing money on irrelevant clicks that won’t convert.

Send All Traffic To Your Homepage

There are arguments for sending traffic to the homepage, but unless you have a huge website with unruly structure or changing URL’s, clicks should land on the page that corresponds to the search. Not only is it annoying for a searcher to have to search again to find what they are looking for, it makes for bad user experience.

Don’t Include A Keyword In The Ad Title

The title is first thing that a searcher sees, and if it contains the keyword that the searcher used, they are more inclined to click. It’s okay not to use the keyword in the ad title if it’s a competitor’s name, or to put it in the description if it’s too long, but overall it will increase clicks and help your ad stand out.

sabotageDon’t Utilize Clear Calls To Action

It probably goes without saying that people don’t read as much as much as they skim until they find the information they are looking for. A strong call to action can help attract a searcher and get them to do what you want them to do.

Don’t Use Ad Extensions

AdWords offers at least eight types of ad extensions. While not all extensions will make sense or are available for all advertisers, it is worth trying because it will help an ad stand out. Unfortunately AdWords doesn’t give us a choice as to what extensions show or when, but using a location extension is a no brainer if you want customers walking through the door. Check out Robert’s post about ad extensions and the paradox of choice.

Go Crazy With Broad Match Keywords

One pet peeve I have is wasting money on broad keywords that are unrelated to the target market. All too often I will come across ad groups that have both broad match along with phrase and exact matches of the same keyword, and most of the budget is used up by the broad match. Or campaigns with only broad match terms that are triggering all kinds of crazy searches.

I’m all for testing keywords and using broad match to capture new keyword ideas, but keep it under control. Broad match keywords should be in their own ad group or campaign where the budget can be capped so spending doesn’t go out of control. And unless there is a budget to support broad keywords or a strategy behind it, proceed with caution.