One Big Mistake Newbies Make When Setting Up a Google Ad Campaign

Nicolas Menchaca

If you’re considering running a Google Ads campaign (formerly known as a Google AdWords campaign) to help build your business, you may be overwhelmed by the complexity of the platform and the horror stories of campaigns gone wrong. But, in this article I want to share with you one big mistake newbies make when setting up Google Ads campaigns and how to avoid it.

The Intent Behind a Google Ad Campaign

The whole point of Google Ad campaign management is to get your products and services in front of the right people at the right time in a way that resonates with them and ultimately generates sales. For this reason, keyword targeting and match types are of the utmost importance. If you get this element right, you’re one step closer to connecting with the right audience at the right time and growing your business.

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The Mistake

Many people who are new to the Google Ads platform don’t even know that there are different “match types” to use when setting up keyword targeting. However, this element can be the difference between a profitable and an unprofitable campaign.

The four keyword types are broad match, broad match modifier, phrase match, and exact match. In short, broad match keywords are keywords you place no additional punctuation or special characters around.

These principles can be applied to any product or service you’re selling. But, just for an easy example, say you have a business selling straw baskets.

When setting up your keyword targeting, in an attempt to serve ads to potential customers, if you entered the keyword straw baskets, you would be using the broad match keyword type. However, if you entered the keyword +straw +baskets, “straw baskets,” or [straw baskets], you would be using the broad match modifier, phrase match, or exact match forms respectively.  

You pretty much never want to use broad match keywords because they end up allowing your ads to be served to people who are searching for things totally unrelated to your product or service. When using broad match keywords, your ads can show to anyone who searches for almost anything remotely related to your keyword.

For instance, if you entered the broad match keyword straw baskets, your ads could show for the search term “how many straws fit in a basket,” or other wildly irrelevant things such as “baskets and straws new album.” Needless to say, you don’t want people who are entering these search queries into the Google Search bar seeing your ads or clicking on them because this wastes your advertising dollars and fails to give them what they’re looking for.  

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The Solution

By contrast, there are a few tactics you can use to help serve your ads to people who are looking for the products and services your business provides.

One tactic is using more specific keyword match types. This means using broad match modifier (+straw +baskets), phrase match (“straw baskets”), and exact match keywords ([straw baskets]) when setting up your keyword targeting. These keyword match types help to make sure your ads are served to individuals entering queries more closely related to your keywords.

A second valuable tactic is using long-tail keywords. This means using a longer phrase like straw baskets for sale, or best straw baskets to buy, instead of just the short-tail keyword straw baskets. Using these types of long-tail keywords when setting up your keyword targeting helps you to serve your ads to individuals who have the highest intent of purchasing your product. It also helps to minimize the number of irrelevant search terms your ads show for. If you also happen to be running an organic search strategy you can meet with that manager to discover how PPC and SEO work together in generating ideal keywords for both sets of marketing strategies. 

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The Continued Journey with Google Ad Services

If you combine long-tail keywords with more specific keyword match types, you’ll greatly increase your chances of serving ads to audiences who are looking for your products or services, driving relevant traffic to your site, and generating sales. It’s not super intuitive at first. But, as you work with these tools, it becomes easier to implement. And, although there are many factors to consider beyond these initial tactics, these techniques alone can save thousands of dollars in ad spend.

In conclusion, if you’re currently running Google Ads campaigns, you’ll want to make sure you’re using the platform in the most effective way possible. Like the common mistake I outlined above, there are numerous pitfalls business owners and PPC management services run into when attempting to manage campaigns effectively. These mistakes can waste tremendous amounts of time and money. If you’re concerned your accounts are not making the best use of your advertising dollars, consider signing up for a free Google Ads audit with WEBITMD. Our team of experts can help to pinpoint the elements preventing your campaigns from performing at the highest level and offer solutions. If this interests you, visit out Paid Media Expertise page to sign up for a free account audit today!   

Paid Google Ads are Just One Piece to a Custom Growth Stack

If you found this article helpful yet you seek a more customized approach to year-over-year scalable business growth, we invite you to download our FREE guide on the WEBITMD Growth Stack. This is where we combine PPC with other marketing strategies to align and work together to hot your high-revenue targets. Give the guide a read, and call us with any questions. Besides, we love to talk shop over business growth!
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About
Nick is a Google Search Advertising certified digital marketer with experience analyzing paid media on major online platforms such as Google AdWords, Facebook, and Instagram. He is direct support to Matt Moore, our Director of Paid Media at WEBITMD.