Google Ads is the most popular online advertising platform, and the one with the biggest reach by far. Whatever your business model, your target audience, or your product, chances are Google Ads offers an option for you.
The problem with Google Ads however is that getting it right is actually quite tricky. People expect that setting up their Adwords campaign will result in lots of traffic, and loads of conversions.
Not the case. It can take time for your Ads to start generating a consistent flow of traffic and a decent return on ad spend (ROAS).
In this post, I’ll look at the common problems that affect your Google Ads, and how to fix them.
1. Poor keyword targeting
First and foremost, you need to make sure your search terms are right. After all, if you’re running an ad campaign, you want to be sure that you’re targeting the right searches.
Too many people simply create a list of search terms off the top of their head, without doing much research, and expect the traffic to flow.
The problem with this is that poor keyword targeting can generate lots of traffic, but low conversions. Or, you can pay for high priced keywords that just don’t perform because of your product or business.
The fix: Use keyword research tools such as Ahrefs or SEM Rush. You can also use tools like SpyFu which can help you understand which search terms work for your competitors.
2. Your ad copy is rubbish
We see ads every day. Everyone is aware of the fact that they’re being marketed to, and we don’t have time for bad ad copy.
Think about it: When you see a search result and there are three ads at the top, you scan each quickly to see which one jumps out. You don’t read the whole ad to understand what the offer is or if it solves your problem.
Badly written ads are one of the most common Google Ads problems, and one that is easily fixed…
The fix: Make sure your ad copy is punchy and answers the searchers question. Shorter sentences, power words and clear product offers will help. Hire a professional content writer to put your ads together for you.
3. No landing pages
You have a landing page right? Of course you do.
What is a landing page? It’s a specially designed page that fits perfectly with the ad, and is designed to maximise conversions from ad clicks.
For example, if you’re looking for a pair of shoes, you don’t want to go into the front page of a general shopping website. You want to go straight to the shoes. And, ideally, you want to go to the category you’re searching for – e.g: mens, womens, sports, smart etc.
The fix: You can easily create landing pages for your product or service using most CMS platforms. If this isn’t something you do, make sure to fix this big problem with your Google Ads asap.
4. Bad site layout and slow loading times
When we click a PPC ad, we expect to see our results as quick as possible. Nobody wants to wait for images to load, or try and work out where to click.
The UX (user experience) of your site is crucial to the success of your Google Ads.
The fix: Optimise your site load speed by removing unnecessary elements such as large images, videos or low quality themes. You should also make it as easy as possible for people to see, at a glance, where they should click to find what they want.
5. Invalid traffic
One of the biggest and most common problems with Google Ads is the issue of invalid traffic. This is also referred to as click fraud or ad fraud.
What this means is that high volumes of clicks on your ads are coming from bots, competitors, web scrapers or click farms. In short, you’re getting lots of clicks that can’t or won’t convert.
The fix: Use click fraud prevention software such as ClickCease or Cheq for PPC. This automates the prevention of bot traffic, and alerts you if there are any suspicious clicks on your Google Ads.
6. No negative keywords
Using the right keywords is important, but so is blocking certain search terms that don’t perform. Using negative keywords can prevent some of the big problems with Google Ads campaigns, such as the issues of high clicks but no conversions.
Why use negative keywords? Take for example a business selling accounting software. If you target the search term ‘accounting’, you will find you get lots of clicks for people who might be looking for the definition of accounting, or perhaps a local accountant in their area. It will also be an expensive search term.
The fix: By blocking general keywords, you can avoid paying for expensive clicks that won’t convert. Instead, target specific keywords such as ‘how to do my own accounts’, or ‘best accounting software for freelancers’.
7. Not timing your ads right
It might seem like a good idea to leave your ads running 24/7. But the truth is, this can be a huge waste of money.
If you think about it, people genuinely looking for your ads might only be searching or online for a certain time period. So by running your ads around the clock, you stand a high chance of targeting ads at people who aren’t likely to buy. This can also include the invalid traffic that I mentioned above.
To make sure your ads are working their hardest, work out the best times to run them and make sure you don’t run ads outside of these times. This is called dayparting, and can be a very useful way to improve your ROI.
Using Google Ads
If you’re a freelancer, a start-up or running an established business, Google Ads can be an incredibly effective tool. But the problems with Google Ads come when you are not being efficient and well-optimised.
Whatever your business model, follow these tips to improve your Google Ads and you’re more than likely to see an improved return on investment in no time.