Creating an AdWords account and taking advantage of all the tools that are available with your account is fairly easy. There is a ton of information already on the internet to help you get past the learning curve and start managing your campaigns. However, there are plenty of common pitfalls that you can encounter and if you don’t take the necessary precautions and learn to recognize the signs before it’s too late, you run the risk of making it more expensive to run your AdWords account than it should be. Here are some of the most common mistakes to look out for.
Broken Destination URLs
If you’ve just made a change to your landing pages, you might want to check your destination URLs. If you’re careless, you might miss that they no longer lead to a page. PPCHero.com has a small checklist to follow:
Forward slashes (/) and backward slashes (|); replace them with a blank space or a dash
Commas; replace them with a blank space or dash
Apostrophes; replace them with nothing
Parentheses; replace them with nothing
Ampersands; replace them with a blank space or dash
Long Load Time
Another thing you can get careless about is your ad’s load time. Load time has always been a factor in the Quality Score algorithm, which is why it pays to improve it as much as you can. According to Barry Schwartz of SEORoundTable.com:
Page load time is the time it takes a web page to load in seconds. If the load time in slow, Google says it will impact your quality score. Why? Slow loading landing pages are bad for your user.
Thankfully, there are a few tips on how to improve your load time. You’re going to want as few redirects as possible. Trying to reduce the size of the page to speed up the time it takes to load should be a given. Another thing that can slow down page load times is interstitial pages, which you should completely eliminate. You should also minimize the usage of iframes on the landing page. One last thing you can do is get in touch with your host and see if there is anything else they can do on their end to speed up load time.
Not Revising Ads with Low Click-through Rates
As much as possible, you should be monitoring which ads are performing well and which ones are not. If some of your ads aren’t performing up to snuff, don’t just ignore them. You can actually revise them to help improve their click-through rates. In a lot of cases, you only really have to tweak a few things here and there. According to GeniusStartup.com:
The default styles applied to new ad units generally work ok but you should definitely spend some time experimenting to find a look that brings in a little more money. Often a small change to the look can increase your CTR, and therefore your earnings, quite considerably.
Not Turning Off the Content Network
One last mistake that a lot of AdWords newbies make is not turning off the content network when you are setting up your account for the first time. According to BlogDeviant:
The content network is set to on by default, and unless you are very familiar with it, you should shut it off. This is a type of contextual advertising in which Google puts your ads on partner sites it deems relevant. You generally won’t get a good click through rate using this type of advertising. You will see impressions but the CTR will be poor. It’s also not a good way to attract serious prospects or customers, as many of the clicks come from people who only want to take a look and leave.