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5 Common Google AdWords Mistakes and How You Can Prevent Them

by | Updated on: Aug 2, 2021 | Digital Marketing 101 | 2 comments

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Google ads mistakes to avoid

Google AdWords can be an amazing, cost-effective tool for small businesses. An AdWords campaign doesn’t have to cost a fortune, and it can be a great way to boost sales of your services or products. In fact, the Google Economic Impact Report showed that businesses average about $2 in revenue for every $1 they spend.

But even though AdWords is a great tool for small businesses, many small business owners make pretty serious mistakes when setting up their AdWords campaign. Don’t let these four common mistakes cripple your AdWords effectiveness.

Common Google Ads Mistakes to Avoid

Find below the 5 biggest Google ads mistakes to avoid.

Not choosing specific keywords

Many small business owners move into an AdWords campaign with the idea of volume in mind. So they try to choose keywords that lots of people will be searching for, with the thought that they can reach more potential customers that way.

And, yes, higher search volume keywords could result in your ad popping up more times. But if your keywords are general, you’re less likely to attract click-throughs. And if you do attract some searchers to click on your ad, they’re less likely to purchase your product or service because they weren’t looking for it specifically.

So if you’re selling genuine leather cowboy boots, use the keyword “Real Leather Cowboy Boots” instead of just “boots” or even “leather boots.” A large percentage of people who are searching for “boots” probably don’t want cowboy boots. But someone searching for “Real Leather Cowboy Boots” who sees your ad headline “Sale on Real Leather Cowboy Boots” is likely to not only click on your ad but to buy from your company.

Related reading: Keyword Research techniques

Not keeping your audience in mind

So how do you narrow down your keywords to more specific options? By keeping your audience in mind, of course.

As you probably know from Small Business Marketing 101, determining who your customers are is absolutely key to setting out on your marketing campaign. Unfortunately, too many small business owners don’t think about this when they’re setting up an AdWords campaign.

So before you start choosing keywords, get into the mind of your customer, whether he’s a twelve-year-old with a Christmas list a mile long or a forty-year-old looking for retirement help. This will help you determine which keywords are most likely to bring in the customers that are looking for your business.

Only tracking click-through rate

Yes, click-through rate is important. When tracking the success of your Google AdWords ads, it’s important to know which ads are getting clicks and which are not. But only tracking click-through rate can lower the actual revenue you get from your ads.

The goal is to make your AdWords campaign as efficient as possible by getting actual sales out of the clicks that your ads do get. So track the actual sales or sign-ups that you get from your ads – not just how often an ad is clicked on.

Starting out with too few ads

When you first begin your AdWords campaign, it may be in your best interest to set up all ten available ads. Google will rotate among the ads, and you’ll be able to see which ads are the most effective.

Too many small business owners only run one or two different ads, but this gives you nothing to compare those ads against to see if they’re successful. Running several ads with slightly different wording lets you tweak your campaign until you’re running only your most successful ads.

AdWords is a complicated system, but it’s definitely worth learning how to leverage this tool for your business. With more and more consumers looking for products and services online rather than in the Yellow Pages, building your online presence through AdWords is nearly always a great business move. Just be sure you start out with these tips in mind, so you can avoid the mistakes that many others have made before you.

Not using Smart Ads or Responsive Search Ads or other types of Ads

Google Ads have various options for advertisers to get maximum out of their ad campaign budget and depending on their goal. So you must experiment with different types of ad campaigns with different bid strategies and track which one is giving you the better result and continue with those campaigns for longer time period.

Try To Minimize Using Personal Credit Card in Business Account

Another common mistake we see is small business owners using their personal credit card, often as a way to earn cash back or reward points.  Using a personal credit card makes it difficult to sort out your business expenses and small business credit cards often earn more lucrative rewards than their personal counterpart.  

Author:- Debajyoti Banerjee is the Founder, Director & CEO of Seven Boats - A leading digital marketing agency & digital marketing training institute in India since 2011. He is a TEDx Speaker, Google & LinkedIn Certified Digital Marketer & Trainer, Brand Strategist, Consultant & Entrepreneur. B. Tech in computer engineering & post graduate diploma in Marketing, Debajyoti has 18+ years of domain experience and successful track records in digital marketing services & digital marketing training with 500+ clients & 100K+ students in 165+ countries. He has been invited & felicitated by 25+ Top B Schools & universities including London Business School, AICTE ATAL FDP, UGC-HRDC, IIM Shillong, IIM ROHTAK, IIT KGP, IIT Guwahati, Calcutta University, Ranchi University, St. Xavier’s, Brainware, Techno India, JIS Group, Jaypee Group, Shikshayatan Foundation, IIEST Shibpur, Bhavan’s, ICFAI Business School, GITAM Deemed University, Swami Vivekananda Group of Institutions & many more. He has been awarded with more than 20 national awards and he has received notable media coverage. Learn more



  1. Vincent

    A/B Testing is something that companies seem to completely ignore when it comes to Google Adwords unfortunately. Only through accurate testing can you get a grasp of what really works with your visitors. After all, ROI is all that matters when it comes down to it right? As for “specific” keywords, I believe the term is “long tail” keywords vs short tail. The idea being that you can rank a lot higher a lot easier for these long tail terms, gaining more traffic in the long run. As a rule of thumb, I view short tail keywords as anything getting between 1,000 and 200,000 exact searches per month. While long tail phrases then will get less than 1,000 searches per month each.

    • Debajyoti Banerjee

      True. A/B Testing is very effective for Ads or email marketing or even designing landing pages for marketing.


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