What to do When Your Google Ads Campaign Doesn’t Work

August 22, 2019

What to do When Your Google Ads Campaign Doesn’t Work | AIA Book in a free 30 minute strategy session

When you’re new to the world of digital marketing, the options for getting your products and services in front of a target audience can be overwhelming. You can do social media marketing, content marketing, and email marketing. For business owners and advertisers, figuring out how each of these techniques works and fit into a broader digital marketing scheme is overwhelming. Luckily, paid search campaigns are one of the quickest lead generation tools on the market, and getting started isn’t that difficult or expensive.

Google Adwords allows marketers to get their unique offerings in front of millions of potential customers, all with the click of a few buttons. The search network on Google is the largest in the world, capturing close to 90% of all internet viewers searches. But while it may seem pretty straightforward to write compelling ad copy and launch Adwords campaigns, a lot of things can go wrong. If viewers don’t click on your ad and convert to a sale, you’ll waste precious ad spend. Here’s what you can do if your current Google Ads campaign doesn’t work.

1. Use conversion tracking.

Both novice and more experienced marketers can easily overlook this simple solution. It’s not worth it to comb through your keywords and fix other parts of your campaign if you forget to check your ads conversion tracking. Configuring your conversion rates mostly depends on what platforms you’re using to run and track your AdWords campaign. To implement conversion tracking, you’ll need to place the right tracking script in the header of the website code and any other accounts you’re syncing with AdWords.

For example, if you’re using both Google Analytics and Google Adwords, you’ll need to link both accounts so you can track the conversion rate for both. If after looking over your accounts you find that conversion tracking is the issue for why your ads aren’t working, then this is a simple and easy fix. Check out how to set up Google conversion tracking here.

2. Keywords are too broad.

If your targeted keywords are too broad, your google ads won’t work. You need to make sure that the keywords you’re using are specific and accurate for the product or service you’re selling. Also, the keywords in your ad copy and the keywords you bid on need to reflect the search terms and search queries that your target audience member is likely to use. People are far more likely to click an ad that uses language they recognise and words they’ve used to find a solution to their problem in Google.

A significant issue that marketers can have when they use keywords that are too broad is that the keywords you’ve selected are triggering the ads, but the ads may not be specific enough for the viewer. So, the ads show up at the wrong time, your cost-per-click goes up, and your conversion rates fall. Failing to fix an ad that is performing poorly, for this reason, can negatively impact your quality score.

An example of broad keywords would be if you are a contractor who specialises in roofing, using the keyword “contractor” won’t net you a very good ROI. A person searching for a general contractor may click on your ad for “contractor,” and see that you only do roofing jobs, they will click away. If you use more targeted, specialised keywords, your number of impressions may indeed go down. But using the keywords “roofing contractor” will attract traffic that is more aligned with what your business has to offer, and the quality of the traffic will increase the overall performance of your ad. Your conversion rates will go up when you use more targeted keywords.

The key challenge when it comes to choosing the right keywords for your ad comes down to ensuring that the ads display when someone needs your particular product or service. You don’t want the ads to show when the viewer needs a similar product or service, but it isn’t one that your business offers. If that happens, it will hurt your budget and the performance of your Google ads.

3. You’re not using negative keywords.

Many a marketer has overlooked the power of the negative keyword and gotten a poorly performing Google ad in the process. Don’t forget to use negative keywords and be sure to use them correctly.

Negative keywords will keep the wrong traffic from seeing your ads. So, if you know there are certain keywords that you don’t want triggering your ads, then you’ll want to add them to the “negatives” for your Google ads campaign. When you identify the correct negative keywords for your ad objectives, users that are using targeted keywords in the search terms plus negative keywords won’t see your ads.

It might seem counterintuitive, but figuring out your negative keywords should be a priority over configuring positive keywords and phrases. Correctly identifying negative keywords and using them will stop campaign reporting inaccuracies from happening. It’s not enough to find out your click-through-rate if there are an inflated number of impressions because the ad is displaying to people who would never be interested in your offerings anyway.

For example, if you own an insurance business, you don’t want people who are searching for “insurance scams” to end up seeing your ad on the SERPs. So, identifying “scams” as a negative keyword will prevent your business from showing up for people who want to learn about insurance scams. Also, be sure to check the specific match types for your negative keywords, too. Most keywords can be singular and will work as a broad match, but not all keywords are suited for broad match. If you have identified a negative keyword that contains two or more words to form a specific phrase, then it’s a good idea to consider using other match types such as phrase or exact match.

4. Change your match types.

If you’ve checked everything off this list so far and your ad groups still aren’t performing, you might want to consider changing the keyword match types. When match types aren’t specific enough, you will end up bringing increased amounts of unqualified traffic to your website.

Phrase match lets you use more specific language for targeting an ad audience since it won’t include phrases or synonyms that place a word in the middle of the original keyword phrase. It will also exclude common misspellings. Exact match, in contrast, allows you to trigger the ad when a person’s search query is an exact match for your targeted keywords. Exact match allows for common misspellings, synonyms, and other similar phrases that contain your targeted keywords. Figuring out which match type to use can take time, and you’ll need to get inside the target customer’s head. It’s a good idea to brainstorm common misspellings too if you want them excluded or included in your match types. Your goals for Ads campaign will inform your overall strategy with match types.

5. Change location targeting.

Another possible reason for why your ad isn’t performing very well is if your budget is spread too thin for location targeting. It’s possible to have fully optimised keywords, ad groups, and written ads, but if your budget isn’t big enough for your targeted location, you can quickly blow through your ad spend without getting a conversion.

There are two ways you can fix this. First, you could consider cutting a few locations from your targeting goals, and instead, dedicate your budget for fewer locations. This way, you can increase your market share in these regions before expanding into bigger areas. Another option is to increase your budget if you have the money for it. Your ad will show up more frequently, which can positively impact your Google search rankings and your quality score. But the issue here is that for a lot of marketers, increasing ad spend isn’t always an option for better location targeting. Fortunately, it’s possible to scale an AdWords campaign for any budget. Using the first option will allow you to increase your ad performance and your conversion rates until you have room in your budget to expand.

No one wants to spend their marketing budget on something that requires a lot of effort and planning but goes down like a lead balloon. AdWords is an incredibly scalable, flexible, and affordable way to get started with paid search advertising.

When a Google Ads campaign doesn’t work or is not run correctly by being optimised for maximum ROI, you’ll see the negative impact for your business and bottom line. At Australian Internet Advertising, we’re dedicated to getting a positive and robust ROI on all campaigns we launch and run. If you have noticed that your Google Ads campaign doesn’t work and is not performing, contact Australian Internet Advertising today and see just how quickly we can turn your Google Ads campaign around and get it working for you.

Book in a free 30 minute strategy session
Google Reviews Icon