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The Top 9 Reasons You’re Wasting Money on AdWords

AdWords Management Services, Plymouth, Devon

Google’s AdWords provides almost unbeatable return on investment (ROI) when used properly. Coupled with Google Analytics (GA), it provides marketing feedback to finely hone your campaigns.

However, there are many cases of people incorrectly setting up Adwords campaigns, relying on default settings, meaning that it could be providing a poor ROI.

Below is a non-exhaustive list of the most common reasons why people are wasting money on AdWords:

  1. You’re not Using Google Analytics (GA)
    GA allows you to monitor which campaigns, ads & keywords  are attracting the better performing visitors to your site.
  2. Bidding Too Broad
    AdWords default match is ‘broad’. This means that if your keyword is ‘red tennis shoes’, AdWords may be matching your keywords against ‘tennis bags’ and ‘designer shoes’ which is a waste of revenue. Try to use phrase or exact match where possible. If you really must use broad match, use the + modifier to narrow the search.
  3. You’re not Using Negative Keywords
    E.g. Unless you’re in the discount end of the market, you’ll need to exclude searches containing ‘cheap’, ‘budget’ or ‘discount’ and so on.
  4. Poor Quality Score
    Your ad position is based on a) your bid and b) its quality score. A poor quality score can mean you having to pay 400% more. Quality score is calculated by Google based on a number of factors such as quality and relevance.
  5. You’re not using conversion trackingThis allows you to monitor what happens after a visitor clicks on one of your ads – whether they purchase, contact or leave.
  6. You’re not Separating the Search & Display Networks
    Whilst the display network used to provide poor ROI in the past, it just needs to be treated differently to get the best out of it.
  7. You’re not Sending visitors to a dedicated landing page and instead sending them to your home page (and hoping they will find what they want)
    .. which results in a high bounce rate
  8. You’re not using Mobile Bid Modifiers
    If you’re business does noticeably better (or worse) on mobile devices, then you’ll need to modify how much you’re prepared to bid on mobile devices
  9. You’re not using Location Targeting
    Unless your business is global, you want to advertise in your target regions – whether that be the whole of the UK, the South East or Greater London instead of wasting money advertising in areas you cannot service.

Find out more about managed AdWords services here.

References & External Links:

  1. Google Analytics (GA)
  2. Negative Keywords
  3. Conversion tracking
  4. Separating the Search & Display Networks
  5. Understanding landing page experience
  6. Making it easier to manage bid adjustments in enhanced campaigns
  7. Complete Guide to AdWords Geotargeting & Local PPC

Peace of Mind

Crescent Digital specialise in providing digital marketing services to help businesses grow. We have the appropriate insurances including PI (professional indemnity), enhanced CRB checked and have 16 years experience of search engine optimisation and pay per click marketing to provide peace of mind. Please get in touch, as our advice could save you a lot of money.



Certified Google Partner and Chartered Institute of Marketing Accredited Digital Marketing Specialist.

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Crescent Digital Ltd,
Fairbairn House
Higher Lane


Company reg no. 08583564

Recent Comments

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