Internet Marketing

Common Mistakes When Creating Your First Adwords Campaign

30. 07. 2012

Google has recently been ramping up its campaign to get businesses to start using Adwords. They’ve started advertising on YouTube and sending creative mail outs that include $100 gift card for free advertising. It’s very possible that you’re one of the lucky few to get one, which means you’re ready and excited to start your first Adwords campaign. This post is going to cover all the most common mistakes people tend to make when creating their first campaign and how to avoid them.

Not doing keyword research

Let’s say you own a little bakery in Toronto. You’ve received $100 in the mail from Google and are excited to give Adwords a try. You’ve been told it can significantly increase your customer base. So what do you do first?



When you sign into Adwords, click ‘Tools and Analysis’ and the keywords tool. After compiling a list of potential keywords yourself, you can use this tool to find keywords closely related to the ones you’ve thought of on your own. You’ll be surprised at the keywords you didn’t think of that Google suggests. Look for keywords that have high monthly searches but low competition. Then take those keywords and put them in the box for even more.

There’s a lot more to do in terms of keyword research, such as competitor analysis, but that could take up an entire article on its own.

Using all Broad Match Keywords

When you first create your ads, Google tells you to create a list of keywords, providing a nice empty box into which you start typing relevant terms. The problem is, that by default Google makes every keyword ‘broad’ as a match type. This means that absolutely any search term that includes the words you type in will trigger your ad.

This may sound good in theory, making it so more people see your ad, but it has its downfalls. Back to that bakery you own: if you type ‘fresh bread’ as a broad match keyword, your ad will show up for not only that term, but will also show up for searches like ‘home made fresh bread’ ‘how to bake fresh bread’, ‘how to keep bread fresh’ and others that aren’t related to your term at all. This can lead to not only clicks from people who won’t buy your service, increasing your advertising costs, but also lowers your quality score because less people click your ads when they see it and may even cause your ads show up less for important terms.

Your best bet is to use a combination of exact, phrase and broad match modifier keywords, as well as negative keywords.

Not organizing properly

It may not seem too important now, but in the future you will be thanking yourself for organizing your account properly. Adwords gives you access to an incredible amount of data and by having it all organized in proper campaigns and ad groups, it will be easier to process all the data and make more informed advertising decisions in the future. It will also make it easier for you to identify problems that may be happening.

As a baker, you can organize ad groups by product, or maybe by style. For example, you can have ad groups for bread, others for doughnuts, and so on. By keeping things organized now you’ll be much happier in the future.

Only Having One Ad

One of the best features of Google advertising is the ability to create multiple ads for an ad group and equally rotate them. This means you can test multiple ads to see what is the most effective.

Continuing with the bakery example, you can write an ad talking about how delicious your bread is, another about its freshness, and yet another about how your bread is baked fresh every hour. You can then see which ad gets you the most clicks and refine your ads accordingly for better success in future campaigns

Not localizing

The baker we’ve been using as an example is based in Toronto; let’s say their store is right downtown at Yonge and Dundas. People in New York are probably not interested in driving for a whole day just for some bread (unless it’s REALLY good bread), so the best use of your marketing budget would be to target people who live near your bakery.



There are two ways you can do this: either city by city or by radius. The city feature is simple; just select the cities close to you in which you want the ad displayed.

The radius feature is much more useful to the baker though. You can choose a distance away from your location and only people within that distance will see the ad.

This ensures that you won’t be wasting money on people that are too far away to enjoy your fresh baked buns.

Sending users to your home page

So you've done your keyword research, used exact ad phrase match types, wrote great ads that you'll be testing against each other, organized everything perfectly and localized so only people in your area are seeing your ads—are you done? Almost!

When people click on your ad, the instinct of most business owners is to send them straight to their home page. This means that when people click an ad for say, 'fresh bread' they find a page with tons of other information on doughnuts, croissants and more. This can lead to people leaving your site because they haven’t found exactly what they are looking for.

Instead, you should make specific pages for each ad you are running, so when people click on the ad for fresh bread, they land on a page that is all about fresh bread. This makes for a better experience for the person clicking the ad.

While this is just a list of the basics, Adwords gets much more in-depth than that and gives you, the advertiser, an amazing amount of control and data. When you’re ready to go beyond the basics and really take your Adwords campaign to the next level, give us a call at 416.923.9898 and we can discuss the next steps for your search engine marketing initiatives.

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