What NOT to do with Google Ads


What NOT to do with Google Ads: 

We asked The Pilothouse Google team the biggest mistakes brands make when running Google Ads. 

Avoid these! 👇👇👇

💰 Focusing too much on target cost per acquisition (CPA) or target return on ad spend (ROAS). 

This leads to campaigns that are only at the bottom of the funnel and only interacting with those ready to buy. 

Without TOF activity, your BOF will eventually dry up. Business growth requires a balance of top of funnel, middle of funnel and bottom of funnel campaigns.

For top of funnel campaigns, think about expanding your keywords. 

If it’s not possible or if the keyword bid costs for your industry make it prohibitively expensive, then utilize non-search platforms such as the Display and Discovery networks to reach people who could be interested in your business. 

While Google has a wide range of pre-defined, in-market, and affinity audiences, utilizing the power of custom audiences can often be a better way to go. 

Building custom audiences around your top converting keywords and competitors to help maximize the potential of non-search campaigns.

🎯 Not testing cold prospecting campaigns on the GDN:

The Google Display Network is arguably one of the most difficult channels for running profitable ads to a cold audience. 

But with such a massive variety of ad types and bid strategies, and with ads that reach 98% of the accessible web, it’s borderline foolish not to test. 

Display prospecting can drive up to 40% of account revenue. 

⏰ Not spending enough time on Google Landing Pages:

Landing pages not only get people to convert, but they’re also part of Google’s ad rank at auction time. 

Make sure your landing page matches the search term that brought them there and clearly understand the customer journey once they’ve landed on the page. 

Is it a product detail page, a pre-sell page or lead gathering page? 

Understand the type of traffic you’re targeting with your ads (prospecting, retargeting, etc.) and how you can meet their expectations. 

Including social proof and testimonials can be HUGE. Make sure you get some on your pages. 

🤖 Full reliance on manual or automatic bidding: 

Manual bids are good to start off, but generally it’s better to let the AI bidding kick in when enough conversions have come through. 

🎥 Not tapping into YouTube’s potential

Like Facebook, people spend considerable amounts of time watching videos on YouTube – the ability to retarget previous site visitors and reach the right audiences on YT is considerable. 

If you’re using the normal skippable in-stream video ads, then people have to wait 5 seconds before they can skip. 

There’s SO much you can cram into 5 seconds, particularly when compared to static ads on Google’s Display and Discovery platforms. 

Get those first 5 seconds down, and your view rates and click rates will soar. 

📊 Not setting up conversion tracking correctl

It’s insane how many accounts out there are double counting or at least inflating conversions in some way or another due to poor tracking. 

This severely skews the efficacy of every automated bidding strategy, as Google will assume it is converting at a much higher rate than it actually is, and will not optimize your ads as effectively. 

Setup one main Google Ads (website) conversion action that has the “Include in Conversions” setting on “Yes” (make that your account default) 

Then, if required, setup other conversion actions but make sure the ‘Include in Conversions’ is set to No. 

You can always override this at the campaign level if you want to focus a top-of-funnel campaign on email signups, as opposed to the main conversion action which is for website purchases.

If you want to learn more about the above strategies, reach out to the  Pilothouse Google team!

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