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Paid Media 9 min read

Mastering Google Ads: Best Practices and Mistakes to Avoid

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Written by Sarah Edwards

Content Writer @ Galactic Fed

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Expert reviewed by Alexandra Goss

Associate Marketing Manager @ Galactic Fed

Published 21 Feb 2024

Whether you run an online business or operate a brick-and-mortar store, you can benefit from using Google Ads. It’s a marketing staple for all types of businesses — and for good reason. Mastering Google Ads best practices can boost your online visibility and generate more sales for your business.

As you navigate Google Ads, there are also common mistakes that you’ll want to avoid to ensure you’re not spending money on ad space that isn’t serving you. Let’s discuss what you need to know with our Google Ads beginners guide and how you can develop Google Ads expertise while avoiding costly mistakes.

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Benefits of Using Google Ads to Drive Traffic

Each day, around 80% of users see ads on Google, making them a crucial component of any marketing strategy. Whether you’re an ad expert or need to learn Google Ads for beginners, it’s a user-friendly platform suitable for marketers of all skill levels. 

Other benefits of Google Ads include:

Massive Reach

Google is, without a doubt, the most popular search engine on the planet. When someone has a question, wants to learn more about something, or is looking to buy a specific product, they Google it. In fact, Google is visited over 80 billion times a month.

You want your business to rank well on Google, running ads can help you stand out from the competition. Your customers use Google daily, so it benefits your brand to have a presence there. 

A Wide Range of Targeting

Google Ads can address prospects at any stage of their buying journey — from the top to the bottom of the funnel. You can bid on broad or specific search terms, targeting leads from multiple angles.

Campaign Control

Google Ads budget management allows you to maintain control over your campaigns from start to finish. You can start and stop your campaigns, easily stay within your budget, and do it all instantaneously, saving you precious time to focus on other projects. 

Built-In Brand Awareness

The best Google Ads management tips involve using the platform to boost your brand awareness. Reinforcing your name, personality, and voice can build trust with current and potential customers. Even if prospects aren’t clicking your ads, they’ll see your tagline and what you offer. 

Fast Results

Search engine optimization (SEO) is the backbone of digital marketing, so there’s no doubt that it’s necessary for your strategy. However, it can take months or even years to see results from your SEO work.

Google Ads have a much quicker turnaround than relying on blog posts optimization and obtaining backlinks. You can drive traffic to your website quickly and effectively while still working on your SEO strategy behind the scenes.

Google Ads Best Practices

It’s clear that Google Ads has much to offer for marketers looking to take their businesses to the next level. Before investing your time and money into Google Ads, it’s crucial to learn its best practices to maximize your chances of success.

Organize Your Business’s Google Ads Account

Organization is a crucial component for success in any marketing strategy, and Google Ads are no different. When structuring your account, consider your:

  • Campaigns
  • Ad groups
  • Individual ads

Arrange your campaigns by common themes, such as goals, products, or location. You can name your campaigns to better keep track of them. You can also create Google Ads ad groups based on themes like audience segments or promotions. When it comes to the ads themselves, try to use at least three per group. That way, you can test out multiple ad variations to see what works best.

Take the time to review your Google Ads campaign analysis to ensure all the moving parts are organized properly. You can even implement automation to help your campaigns run smoother.

Keep Tabs on the Competition

It’s important to keep track of competitors to ensure you’re always staying one step ahead. Steps you can take include:

Identifying Competitors

Write down your competitors, search for them on Google, and see which ones are advertising in the ads section. 

Checking Competitor Bids

You’ll want to learn what keywords rival companies are bidding on. If they’re bidding on the same terms over and over again, that tells you those terms are likely to result in profitable campaigns. 

Reviewing Competitor Copy

Read competitor ad copy and landing pages to see what they’re doing. You can learn valuable insights that can influence your own campaigns for the better. 

Take Your Ad Copy to the Next Level

The way you write your ads can significantly impact how well they perform. Here are some tips to take note of:

  • Be specific
  • Include relevant keywords
  • Add a clear call to action
  • Review your copy for any grammatical and spelling errors

Put yourself in your customers’ shoes and think about what appeals to you when you’re shopping for a specific product or service. Be concise and to the point, but emphasize what makes your brand an authority in your industry.

Track Your Conversions

There’s no point in creating well-thought-out Google Ads if you don’t know whether they’re increasing your revenue. Conversion tracking is extremely important, so make sure you install it. This tool within the Google Ads management platform can help you understand your return on investment (Google Ads ROI), which will help you optimize future campaigns. 

Optimize Your Landing Pages

High-quality landing pages are necessary for success with your Google Ads. Here are some Google Ads campaign optimization tips to set a solid foundation:

  • Use trust signals
  • Boost page speed
  • Give your CTAs the same goal
  • Match your landing pages to your advertisements

A great landing page can raise your brand’s quality score, increasing your chances of success with Google Ads. 

Google Ads Mistakes to Avoid

You don’t want to waste money on Google Ads campaigns that aren’t generating revenue for your business. Here are some costly mistakes to avoid:

Irrelevant Landing Pages

Remember, relevant, well-written landing pages boost your business’s Google Ads quality score, resulting in better ad performance. If your landing pages aren’t relevant, you’ll have to pay a higher cost-per-click (CPC). Not only that, but your chances of conversion will be significantly lower.

Inaccurately Tracking Conversions

There are two common mistakes you can make when tracking your Google Ad conversions: you track non-conversion events as conversions, or you track duplicate conversions.

For example, let’s say your call to action is to guide people to your contact page in the hopes they’ll fill out a form for more information. You want to know how many forms are getting filled out. However, people are clicking on the contact page and showing interest but not filling out the form. A mistake would be to count those prospects as conversions.

Another mistake is tracking duplicate conversions. If someone fills out a form and submits it two times, you don’t want to count that as two separate conversions, as this could skew your data. 

Not Adjusting Your Geo-Targeting Settings

If you have a physical location, you only want people in your service area to see your ads. After all, if you own a clothing store in New York, you don’t want someone who doesn’t live remotely close to New York to see your ad, as they likely will never shop at your store. 

Make sure you adjust your geo-targeting settings to match the specific areas you want your ads to target. That way, you’re not wasting money on advertisements that are popping up to the wrong crowd.

Not Using Negative Keywords

While Google Ads keywords research is important, finding negative keywords is just as important. Negative keywords are terms you don’t want your ad to pop up for. 

For example, if someone is looking for men’s shoes, but you only sell women’s sandals, “men’s shoes” would be a negative keyword phrase suitable for your brand and its goals. That way, you narrow your audience to the prospects most likely to convert. 

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Master Google Ads and Grow Your Brand

Google Ads is an extremely useful marketing tool to have in your arsenal. Take the time to research how you can optimize your Google Ads to get the most out of them. It may take some trial and error, but the results will be well worth it. 

Try to automate your processes and make it easy for yourself to put out great ads while avoiding mistakes that will burn a hole in your pocket. This can be easier said than done, but a digital marketing expert like Galactic Fed can help guide you in the right direction. 

When you master Google Ads best practices, the sky’s the limit to what your business can achieve.

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Sarah Edwards photo

Sarah Edwards

Content Writer @ Galactic Fed