4 Factors That Cause Google Ads Campaigns to Fail
Google Ads campaigns can be a very effective way to generate leads if you know what you’re doing. The problem is that many people jump into Google Ads blindly. They figure Google will lead them through the steps and instantly, they will start getting sales and phone calls.
Unfortunately, it’s not that simple.
Google Ads can be a lot like riding a bull. You jump on the bull, and you think you got it. But all of sudden, it starts jerking around, and you immediately see that it really isn’t as easy as it looked at on TV. After a few close calls, the bull flings you off and you hit the ground. All you can do is look up at the bull and think, “What just happened?”
Some businesses spend thousands of dollars on Google Ads every single month and don’t see nearly enough return on investment. Many businesses vow to never use Google Ads again because it’s “a waste of money.” The reality? Often the campaign failed because of common mistakes many beginners make.
Knowing what factors contribute to failing campaigns is important for success. Learn them now, so you can get back on the bull, and take it by the horns next time.
1. Using Too Many Keywords
Don’t get greedy with keywords. You only need the ones that will reach your target audience interested in your products and services. Adding other keywords will not lead to more business, but instead, drain your budget.
Some key takeaways here are:
- Focus on "buying-intent" keywords, not "research-intent" keywords. Ask yourself, is the person more likely to be searching this keyword in order to make a purchase or to do research?
- Use Phrase and Exact match keywords. By default, Google will use Broad match keywords which means your ads will show for any search Google thinks is related to your keyword. Don't let Google decide how to spend your money!
- Let your conversion data guide your bidding decisions. Bid more aggressively on the keywords that are driving leads and sales and lower bids on keywords that are not converting.
2. Bad Ad Copy
Once you're targeting the right keywords, then the next area to focus is your ads. People have limited attention spans, and if those ads don’t spark their attention, they will move on. As Seth Godin would say, "Be Remarkable!"
Plus, focus on benefits. People always want to know how something will benefit them. So, ask yourself: How does my product or service benefit customers? It’s the benefit that you want to market — not the product or service.
Lastly, make your ads congruent with the keywords and website landing page. Ultimately, this means you'll need different ads for all the different keyword phrases you want to target. If your ads are not congruent, or relevant, then your prospective customers are not likely to click. Even worse, if your ads are not congruent with your landing page, then the prospective customers who do click are going to quickly leave, because the message on the website doesn't match the message in the ads.
3. Insufficient Ad Budget
With Google Ads, there is no minimum budget. However, depending on your industry and the keywords you want to target, the cost per click for your ads can vary from $1 to $10 or even $50 or more. If the cost per click for your keywords is on the lower end at $2, then you can generate 500 clicks for $1,000 per month. But if your keywords cost $20, then that same $1,000 budget will only generate 50 clicks per month.
Fifty clicks are not going to give you much data to work with in order to optimize your campaign month after month.
Another way to look at this is to calculate your daily budget. If your monthly budget is $1,000 and you want your ads to display every day of the week, then your daily budget is about $33. Again, if your keywords cost $20 per click, then you would only be able to generate one click per day! That's just not enough; you'll need to increase your budget and/or limit the days your ads will run during the month.
4. Not Spending Enough Time Managing the Campaigns
Google Ads campaigns aren’t like Crockpot meals. You can’t set it and forget it.
Your campaigns need attention. They need nurturing. This is true whether you're a beginner or a seasoned veteran.
A lot can change in just a day or two. New competitors can start advertising and increase the cost per click of your keywords and steal impression share. Alternatively, competitors may leave or run out of budget, which gives you an opportunity to lower your bids to get the same amount of traffic for less! Unless you're closely monitoring, you'll miss these important changes that affect the profitability of your campaigns.
OK, let’s review what we've learned here.
Don’t try to attack every keyword you can find for your campaigns. Instead, use the best buying-intent keywords for your target audience. When you create ads, be sure to highlight the benefits of your products and services. Don’t over-promise anything, and match the message of the ad to the keyword and the message of the landing page. Make sure to test out different times to run your ads, as well, if you don’t have enough of a budget to run them all day and night. Finally, manage your campaigns by paying close attention to what works, what doesn’t work and the moves of your competition.
Phil is Founder and COO of Main Street ROI. Phil leads the company’s operations and is primary creator of Main Street ROI’s marketing training programs. He is an expert in search engine marketing, website analytics, and sales funnel optimization. Phil’s marketing thought leadership has been published on Forbes.com, Inc.com, MSN.com, and many other major business media outlets.
Phil earned his Master of Engineering Management degree from Thayer School of Engineering and Tuck School of Business and his Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Engineering degrees from Dartmouth College. While attending Dartmouth, Phil started every game on the varsity football team as the defensive safety.