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10 Google Ads Mistakes You Probably Make Each Day

by Nedim Talovic · Updated 16 Aug 2021}}

Google Ads mistakes are common and even experienced Google Ads specialists make them. There’s nothing wrong with that. In fact, we mostly learn from our mistakes.

However, when you can avoid a mistake, then do it. Marketers are always looking for acquiring new customers at a lower price as much as possible.

Various mistakes will definitely increase your cost per click. For example, bad landing page experience will have a strong impact on lowering your quality score which is something that you don’t need.

Specifically, in this blog post, I’ll mention 10 mistakes that you have probably sometimes made.

Here are some of them:

  • Too many keywords
  • Wrong keyword research
  • Not knowing CLV
  • Lack of measuring

It’s really hard to say which of these keywords are more important. They’re all important, so let’s explore each of them.

#1 Too Many Keywords

Adding too many keywords in the ad group will hurt your campaigns. There are various reasons why this is so true, and here are some of them.

Firstly, your marketing budget is limited which means if you add too many keywords, your daily budget will be spent very fast.

Some keywords simply won’t get enough clicks.

Furthermore, it will take lots of time to get statistically significant results for all keywords, which means your campaign will be very expensive in first weeks or month.

AdWords Keywords

Now, the question is how many keywords should you add per ad group? Google says 5 - 20 keywords per ad group.

As for me, that’s too many keywords, especially for broad match keyword type. Of course, it depends on the search volume of picked keyword, a lot.

Anyway, I’d suggest you following SKAG - Single Keyword Per Ad Group tactic. SKAG is great because this way you can create a unique ad for every keyword you want a target.

This way, you can write selected keyword both in headline and description which makes your ads more relevant.

#2 Not Using Negative Keywords

Once you start advertising, you’ll see how your traffic and conversions, hopefully, increase.

However, some keywords won’t convert at all. Sometimes, keywords that you think about as a great are actually horrible.

On the other sides, keywords that you wouldn’t ever think about as converting keywords (but you give them a try) appear to be the best.

One of the ways that you can increase the keyword efficiency is by adding negative keywords.

The first step is to get a list of all keywords that appeared in search results. You can do it by clicking on Search Terms in Keywords tab.

Search Terms Tab

Then, you’ll see the list of all keywords.

Search Terms

Once you realize which keywords are not converting but have lots of clicks, you can exclude them.

#3 Wrong Keyword Matches

Keyword matches help you in controlling which queries may trigger your ad. Whenever you add keywords, you’ll have to choose a keyword match.

Here’s the list of keyword matches that Google Ads provides:

  • Broad match
  • Broad match modifier
  • Phrase match
  • Exact match
  • Negative match

Broad match is a default type which targets synonyms, variations, misspellings, related searches, and other variants.

As a result, broad match will bring a lot of traffic, including traffic from less relevant queries.

Match types

For example, formal shoes will also trigger evening footwear.

Every ad should be relevant to query and it should include a phrase in the headline and description. This way, there are more chances for achieving less quality score.

Next, match type has a different impact on conversion rates - they’re different.

Conversion rate by match type

When you use exact match you’ll see a higher conversion rate by 18% and 8% for phrase match.

Simply said, control queries as much as possible. I know it’s more work to do when you use exact match, but marketing ROI will be definitely higher.

So, always use exact match and create a unique ad for every keyword you target.

#4 Not Knowing Your CLV

You probably know what’s your average order value. In fact, if you’ve implemented E-commerce Tracking, you can check it directly in Google Analytics.

Average Order Value

But.. you need to know how many times an average customer comes back to your shop.

In other words, you need to know your CLV - Customer Lifetime Value.

CLV tells you how much an average customer spends on your shop during the lifecycle.

Here’s the formula.

E-commerce CLV

For example, if your AOV is $213.58 and an average customer buys products three times a year while being your customer for three years, then your CLV is $1,922 ($213.58 x 3 x 3). Why is this important?

You should make the profit with Google Ads. That’s why. Paying $3 per click while 1 in 250 clicks converts means acquiring a new client costs $750 (3 x 250).

In this case, if your CLV is less than $750, then you’re definitely making the loss.

However, you need to include a gross profit in the math too.

#5 Not Using Site Extensions

Extensions are expanding ads with additional information such as location information, additional text, call buttons things like that. There are two main group of extensions:

  • Manual extensions
  • Automatic extensions

Manual extensions include location extensions, affiliate extensions, message extensions, sitelink extensions, and many others.

Sitelink extensions are great when it comes to CTR increase. Here’s the evidence.

Ad Extensions and CTR

It’s possible to increase CTR by 64% just with adding a sitelink extension.

As for automated extensions, you have no impact on extension type (location, consumer rating, seller rating, previous visits, etc.) because Google will personalize ad to users.

Google Ads charges you as usual - whenever someone clicks on your ad (or extension). There’s no extra cost when you add extensions.

In fact, increased CTR will make your costs lower because Google wants to display ads that are users likely to click - they charge you per click.

Here’s how a taxi driver from NYC can add a call extension.

New York: Call a cab

As you can see, a call is just one step away.

Furthermore, if you have an amazing advertiser, you should show it.

#6 Not Optimized Landing Page

Every landing page must be optimized due to many reasons. Here are two most important: lower CPC and more leads.

Landing page experience is a component of quality score. That’s logical because Google wants to send visitors to the most relevant pages.

Achieving higher QS is possible with optimizing a landing page. Bounce rate is one of the best metrics which shows you if your landing page is optimized or not.

Here’s the formula.

Bounce Rate Formula

Rb – Bounce Rate Tb – Total number of visits viewing one page only Te – Total entries to page The landing page must be good enough so you can generate leads and conversions.

For example, you can’t ask too many information because your lead rate will be lower.

There was a research from VWO which says that removing three fields may increase a conversion rate by 11%.

A/B Test

Anyway, if you don’t add enough text fields, your leads will have less quality, which will have an impact on conversion rates.

Simply said, find a sweet spot. You should always place a CTA above the fold.

In order to see how users use your site, you can use a heat map, scroll map, and click map.

It’s not needed to pay different tools because you can get everything for free in Yandex Scroll.

#7 Wrong Keyword Research

Keyword research is the first thing when it comes to Google AdWords. If you pick bad keywords, everything will fail.

Generally, we can group keywords into three groups:

  • Transactional
  • Informational
  • Navigational

Transactional - Informational - Navigational

Transactional keywords are those keywords that convert well. Here are some examples:

  • Buy blue iPhone case
  • Book a flight from Barcelona to Berlin
  • Get insurance quotes

It’s obvious that these keywords have commercial intent.

Whoever searches for it will probably buy a product or service. Informational keywords have lower conversion rate because users are just informing themselves.

They haven’t made a buying decision yet. Navigational items are just keywords which users enter when they want to visit a website.

As for Google Ads, you should always use keyword research tools such as Keyword Planner,, Ahrefs, Moz… That’s how you can see which keywords have a potential.

Long-Tail Keywords

Finally, always try to pick long-tail keywords because they have lower cost, risk, and what’s more, high probability of conversion.

This way, you’ll be able to outrank your competitors.

#8 Not Separating Display and Search Network

Google has created multiple networks where you can place your ads. Here’s the list:

  • Search Network with Display Select
  • Search Network only
  • Display Network only
  • Shopping
  • Video
  • Universal app

One really important mistake is using one campaign to place ads both on Search Network and Display Network. Why?

Segmenting ads and campaigns into a group will make optimizing easier a lot. Next, you’ll read reports easier a lot. For example, clicks on search network are more expensive.

Google AdWords Average CPC

Conversion rates are higher too. Users on search network are usually looking for something, so that’s why conversion rates are higher.

If you pay $3 per click on search network and $0.3 on display, it will be definitely harder to understand what’s happening.

#9 Lack of Measuring

In digital marketing, everything is about measuring. Do you have answers to the following questions:

  • Which campaigns provide the most visits?
  • What keywords perform the best?
  • How many leads did you capture?

Answers to these questions are available in various tools such as Google Analytics and MixPanel. Google Ads too, of course.

Here’s how sales funnel looks like.

Traffic - Leads - Sales

Sales funnel is very important because it allows you to see where your campaign performance is poor.

For example, maybe some keywords are great for driving traffic, but bad when it comes to leads and sales. For that reason, you need to be 100% focused on measuring and learning from the data.

You need to segment the data and check which campaigns provide the best results.

However, don’t expect results over the night because it takes some time to optimize. Bottom line: measure everything!

#10 Lack of A/B Testing

You know that you have to measure your campaigns. But, you need to test different approaches as well.

The best way of optimizing your campaigns is performing A/B tests.

A/B test in AdWords means creating a different version of ads, so you can see which ad provides better results. Here’s what you can test:

  • Headline
  • Description
  • Different site extensions
  • Landing pages

For example, you can create two ads within an ad group.

Everything except description can be different. Or headline. According to Google Trends, there were no interests in A/B testing 10 years ago.

Today it’s completely different. There’s no successful business who don’t experiment with variations.

In fact, if you improve a CTR by 10%, for example, you’ll definitely increase a quality score and pay less per click.

Google Ads won’t tell you if variations are statistically significant which means that you need to calculate it on your own.

Luckily, there are lots of free apps that will do the job for you. One of them is the following Google Sheet document where you simply need to enter how many impressions and clicks each version has.

A/B Testing Significance Calculator

After that, you’ll see how big confidence is. For example, lots of specialists use 95% confidence. I’d suggest you do the same.

Statistical error of 10% is just a bit high, so use 95% or even 99%. In fact, advertising a few weeks will provide you statistical significance results.


As you could read in this blog post, there are lots of potential mistakes that you might be currently making. If you ask me which three mistakes are the biggest, here’s my list:

  • Wrong keyword research
  • Bad landing page experience
  • Lack of measuring

Everything starts with keyword research. If you fail there, you’ll fail everywhere.

Furthermore, you can be the best AdWords specialist in the world, but if your landing page doesn’t work well, then everything will be useless again.

Finally, measure everything! Measuring lets you learn what works and what doesn’t. For instance, sales funnel is very important part of digital marketing, and without that, you won’t know which step of the sales process is struggling.