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As an SEM Strategist (PPC Manager) with about a decade of experience under my belt, I can honestly say that I’ve seen just about every possible mistake that can be made when creating and managing a Google AdWords PPC Campaign.  To find out if you’re making any of these very common mistakes, request your AdWords Audit today!

In the meantime, here’s a list of the top 8 AdWords mistakes:

The “Set it and Let it” Strategy Non-Strategy.  AdWords campaigns need to be babysat.  Creating a campaign and just letting it run is like giving a 2-year old a crayon and placing them in a room with blank walls and no toys.  Make sure that you are checking in on your campaign a minimum of weekly, and making appropriate adjustments and optimizations consistently.

Not grouping Ad Groups and Keywords correctly.  Just throwing a bunch of keywords that you feel is relevant to your business is the #1 way to guarantee low Quality Scores, higher CPCs and lower positioning of your ads.  Ad groups should be keyword-specific and as highly relevant as possible, containing keywords that relate to each ad groups and ads that contain keywords from its own ad group.

Not using the right Keyword Match Types. Unless you’re looking to really beef up your site traffic with little concern for relevancy or high bounce rates, stay away from Broad Match keywords!  Instead, start with an equal mix of Broad Modified Match, Phrase and Exact match keywords and consistently prune them based on performance and set benchmarks in order to obtain a positive ROI.

Not using Negative Keywords. Negative keywords are an often overlooked, but highly important component to every campaign.  In fact, they are as important as your targeted keywords themselves because they help to keep your ads from irrelevant searches.  Run a Search Report on a weekly basis and add negative keywords to increase your Quality Scores, positioning, and lower your costs per clicks.

Allowing ads to run all hours, all days. Is your customer likely to be up at 3am and if they are, are they likely to buy from your site or give you a call?  In most cases the answer to that is no.  In addition, late night and early morning hours have a tendency to produce higher spam; so instead, limit your ads to only those hours of the day, or days of the week in which you’re most likely to receive a conversion.

Not bidding on your own Brand.  A lot of people feel that if they’re already ranking for their Brand, there’s no point in Bidding on their own Brand too.  While that is one way to look at it, remember that your competitors ARE more than likely bidding on your Brand.  Not only does bidding on your own Brand give you more real estate on the search results page, people who are searching for your Brand are more likely to convert – so at the very least, test it!

Targeting all Devices & Platforms.  Are you spending tons of money on Mobile devices when more people convert via desktops?  And, are your customer more likely to convert on Google’s network, or the Search Partners network?   Do a review.  Then, put your money where the money is – on those devices and make bid adjustments based on performance so you’re not throwing money away on the wrong devices and platforms.

Expecting too much from AdWords (or too soon)  Getting in front of a large audience for $100-$200 per month will not get you very far.  And, setting a small budget and expecting your campaign to be fully optimized and producing a positive ROI in a month is not realistic.  Google AdWords is all about strategy and testing and it takes time to dial in a campaign, especially when the budget is low.  Start with a large enough budget to produce a good amount of traffic and stick with the campaign long enough to give them time to optimize and determine what strategy works best for you. (We recommend at least 90 days, but longer if your budget is low.

So are you making any of the above 8 Mistakes?  Find out by requesting an AdWords Audit!

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