5 Dangers to Avoid with a Self-Managed Google Ads Account

Google Ads (formerly called Google AdWords) paid search advertising, is instant online marketing. Unlike SEO (search engine optimisation) Google Ads will help you get your business on the first page of the search results now, not in 3, 6 or 12 months’ time. But it will cost you!

I’ve seen it time and time again, businesses side-track by the flashy lights of being on page one but not really understanding if they’re making money via this form of marketing. You should never forget to analyse your ROI (return on investment) when it comes to your marketing channels, especially Google Search Ads.

For some companies paid search advertising is a long-term strategy because they know they’re making more money from it than they’re spending on it. But for others, especially small to medium businesses, it’s more a fill-in until the organic listings are ranking high enough to relieve the dependence and cost of paid advertising.

At White Chalk Road we handle a number of paid search accounts and therefore we must be on our toes with advanced advertising concepts from campaign set up to management and ongoing optimisation.

This means sitting the yearly Google Ads exams. Nearly every month something is changing in the Google Ads dashboard and new functions/rules are being rolled out. In order to get the best results for our clients we need to stay up with the play and the exams make certain of this.

Time is of the essence for so many of us, so to help those who are self-managing their own Google Ads account we wanted to highlight 5 dangers to avoid so that you can get the upmost out of your Google Ads spend and be able to analyse whether or not it is working for you.

1. No Conversion Tracking

If you’ve not got conversion tracking set up in Google Analytics, please stop reading this post right now and go do it or get someone to do it for you. We can’t stress enough how important it is to see how many people are buying from your online shop, filling in your contact form or downloading a brochure and also where they are coming from. If you have conversion tracking set up in Google Analytics you can easily import these goals into Google Ads. With conversion tracking you can then make more thorough decisions on getting rid of underperforming ad groups which could be costing you thousands of dollars each year.

2. Not Doing The Maths (Cost / conv.)

Yes it’s great you have conversion tracking set up, but how much is a conversion worth to you? Is the amount you’re paying Google bringing you back more in return? This is the absolute key and probably the most important stat to your business. Obviously you want to aim for the cost per conversion (also called CPA ‘cost per acquisition’ or CPL ‘cost-per-lead’) to be as low as possible to ensure you’re getting the best return.

This online ROI calculator will help make working out your overall profit a cinch.

3. Ignoring Search Query Reports

Within Google Ads you can actually see the exact keyword combinations which are triggering your ads – if only we could get the same data for SEO! Therefore the search query reports should be regularly viewed in your optimisation efforts. The reports will help you spot keywords which you might be throwing your money away on. For instance, you may be a florist and all of a sudden your ads are showing up when people type in ‘florist jobs’ – as this is not what you offer, you’ll want to make ‘jobs’ a negative keyword so whenever anyone types this word in, your ads won’t show and you won’t be throwing money away.

4. Test Your Ad Message – More Than 1 Ad Per Ad Group

Take the time to craft at least 3-4 ads per ad group. Under the Settings tab for campaigns you can then adjust the ‘Ad Rotation’ to show ads expected to provide more clicks or conversions based on the data filtering through. After the campaigns have been running for a decent amount of time you’ll start to see what type of messaging is working and what’s not.

In the small amount of characters you have to use, think about highlighting your point of difference, include promotions and prices, use a strong call to action and try to include at least one of your keywords in your ad copy. Here’s some good tips on what not to say in your Google Ads copy.

5. Don’t Sit Back and Forget

There is a reason we quote at least two hours management a month for our Google Ads clients as you do need to check on your account weekly, if not more. If you’ve set up your campaigns as best as possible according to the Google guidelines then you’ll definitely have an easier job with managing them. Looking at key stats like CTR (click-through-rate), keyword quality score, cost per conversion and making sure you’ve utilised the Ad extensions as best as possible will help you get the best bang for your buck.

This post is only touching on what you need to watch-out for when you’re self-managing a Google Ads account. Make sure to set aside even an hour a week to read about how to improve or do something new. Keep an eye on the Inside Google Ads blog for the latest updates or follow them on Facebook if you find it easier. You’ll be kicking yourself in 2 years’ time if you work out that you could have saved thousands of dollars by putting in just a little bit more time to this marketing channel. Don’t make Google richer than they need to be!

At White Chalk Road we manage a number of Google Ads accounts for clients. We can also do a one-off reviews of your account with suggestions and tips on what you can improve on to get a better return-on-investment moving forward. If you’d like to hear more, please give us a call on (08) 9361 9534 or contact us online.

Share this Article