Running Search and Content networks in the same campaign.
Although not detrimental to your campaign performance, running the Search and Content networks together in your campaign can be more difficult to manage. Since impressions typically run higher and click through rates lower on Content, campaign performance reporting can be tricky. More importantly, splitting the networks into different campaigns will allow you to write ad copy specific to each group.
Using broad match keywords with no negative keywords.
Unless you’re the Dog Whisperer, it’s kind of like letting your dog run loose at the park without a leash. If you’re going to run broad matched keywords, make sure you establish boundaries by incorporating negative keywords into your account at the campaign or ad group level. Run a search query report and use keyword tools to discover negative matches that will help improve your ad targeting and click through rate.
Duplicate keywords across multiple campaigns or ad groups.
Don’t gamble on Google making the right decision and take back control of your ad serving. Download your entire account using AdWords editor and use the duplicate keyword tool to spot all of the offenders. Determine which duplicate keywords are performing the best by analyzing recent performance statistics. Pause out the the duplicate keyword that isn’t performing or isn’t as relevant to the ad and corresponding landing page.
Serving only one ad variation at a time.
Split-testing ads is one of the easiest and most effective ways to improve the performance of your entire account. See what your competition is up to and incorporate your unique selling point into some new ads. Emphasize benefits over features and be sure to include a call to action. If you’re worried about a new ad tanking the performance of your ad group, clone out your existing ad and run the new ad variation in less frequent rotation. Just remember to change your ad serving options to “rotate” instead of “optimize”.
Not using conversion and analytics tracking.
Sure, you’re click through rate might be through the roof, but if 3 out of 4 visitors are bouncing off your site the likelihood of the remaining visitor converting is much slimmer. Take advantage of the free conversion and analytics tracking tools within Google AdWords to better understand what your customers are doing “after” the click. Even if you’re not using a full e-commerce shopping cart solution, you can create a conversion action for nearly any activity on your site. Take it a step further and setup additional goals and funnels within Analytics to complete the picture.
Lumping all your keywords into one ad group.
Don’t sacrifice your quality scores by dumping all of your keywords into a single ad group. Instead, create more thematic ad groups with highly relevant ads to improve your click through rate. Since click through rate is one of the most significant factors in determining your keyword quality scores, segmenting your keywords into more focused themes is key. Tip: Not sure what your quality scores look like? Download the latest version of the AdWords editor and sort all of your keywords by quality score.
Not running performance reports at regular intervals.
It’s difficult to fix something if you don’t know it is broken to begin with. If you haven’t already done so, start off by running a search query report. Isolate any irrelevant search queries that you do not want your ad showing up for when searched. Add these negative terms to your campaign and immediately cut out wasted ad spend while improving your ad targeting. Also, if you’re serving ads on the Content network, run a placement performance report to find out where your ads have been shown and just make sure that is where you want to be!