13 Possible Reasons Your Google Ads Are Not Working

Trust us when we say we've seen our fair share of issues when first logging into a new clients Google Ads Manager Account. Here are a few highlights of what we've seen:

1. Conversion Tracking Incorrectly Set

The Google Tracking and remarketing codes will ultimately inform every aspect of your campaign. They will determine success or failure when running any campaign on Google. ensuring that these codes are setup correctly on every page of your funnel, or website will determine how well your campaigns performs.

2. Conversion Goals and Optimization Not Set

Unlike Facebook Ads, selecting the correct conversion goal on your campaign is not as initiative. Specific care has to be taken to ensure that conversion tracking is working and reported correctly, and then each campaign set manually so Google understands what you are trying to achieve with your campaign. Most advertisers do not understand this well enough.

3. Too Many Keywords In Ad Groups

To a certain extent having lots of keywords in a campaign can make or break your ad campaign. While there is no one fits all approach here, setting up of a campaign in the right way is generally not done in a way that is easy to manage or one where Google understands the nature of the campaign. Businesses are throwing campaigns together without much thought or effort and as long as there are clicks at a decent rate, they do not do any more.

4. Lack Of Organization Or System

Organizing your campaigns in a way that makes it easy to understand is a big problem. Generally, time is not spent on this area of a campaign because Google has said that performance of a campaign is not dependent on how it is organized. We believe this to be a mistake, because without proper planning and organization of Google Ads account, it is easy to get lost in the complexity of what it takes to run an ad campaign on the platform.

5. Generic Ads Shown On All Keywords

Another area which is overlooked is ad copy. To save time, marketers and business owners are writing one, two or three versions of ads and copying them across all active ad groups and keywords. Each ad group, needs a specific ad written depending on the nature of the campaign and the landing page traffic will land on. The closer an ad aligns with the landing page, the lower the cost per click and lower the conversions.

6. Keyword Types Not Tested

Keywords are the lifeblood of any Google Ad Campaign. Not enough emphasis and time is spent on understanding the nature and differences between phrase match, exact match and broad match keyword types. Again an area where not focusing on this aspect can cause losses to your campaign and performance.

7. Negative Keywords Not Set

Google Ads are not only shown on keywords that you choose. Google will show your ads according to the match type selected for each keyword and then show your ads on other related or closely related keywords. Reviewing this list of search terms can be a long and laborious exercise, but one that can help save you money and generate additional opportunities which may not have been obvious before.

8. Search And Display Ads In the Same Campaign

Too often we have seen Search Ads and Display ads placed in the same campaign without any thought. Search and Display campaigns should be set in their own Campaigns as they both have different implications and targeting options which make them successful or not.

9. Landing Pages Not Optimized For Ads

Companies who treat advertising on Google, or any other platform, as separate to the landing pages they are sending traffic to, should be fired. There is a direct relationship between the quality of traffic and the quality of the experience on the page people are going to interact on. If the page load time is long, loads slowly, then the overall performance of the Google Ad Campaign and account is affected. If the page is not optimized for mobile, then users will leave the page at a higher rate than normal, which will affect every other area of the campaign.

10. No Retargeting Campaigns

Retargeting on Google takes more effort than Facebook, and because of this, people are skipping this step. Audiences need to be defined and set prior to any campaign going live. These audiences need to be monitored for size, membership length and engagement in order to effectively understand their value and effectiveness.

11. Extensions Not Used

Google Ad Extensions are easy to setup and manage, yet most advertisers are not taking advantage of them. This is a huge opportunity missed. Extensions not only inform the searcher more of what your company offers, but also allows the advertiser to take up valuable real estate on the results page pushing your competitors ads lower and giving you a lift in Click Through Rate (CTR).

12. Google Ads Not Linked To Other Google Properties

This is big one. Most advertisers do not go through the process to link Google Ads to Google Analytics, and Google Webmasters and YouTube. Why? It takes effort and persistence to have them connected. Once they are however, Google Analytics can provide additional tracking information visible in Google Ads which makes it easier to manage your campaigns.

Once Google Webmasters is linked to Google Ads, a comparison of traffic, ranking and effectiveness can inform ad creation and spend decisions to further optimize a campaign.

YouTube, if your business has a channel and is growing an audience, can be a goldmine of potential customers. YouTube subscribers, viewers and people who engage can be retargeted to using all the properties Google Ads has created for us. Yet, this particular audience is generally not targeted by ad agencies or advertisers.

13. Audiences Not Collected Correctly

Google allows for more granularity and targeting using the Google Remarketing code. However, we find that advertisers are not taking full advantage of them.

This is just 13 of the major flaws we have seen when performing an initial audit for a new Google Ads client. It does not surprise us when their campaigns were not performing as well as they would like.

Benefits of Advertising With Google Ads

There are countless benefits to adding Google Ads into your overall marketing campaign. We've listed just a few of the most obvious ones below:

We Start With Search

87.96% of people use Google to search for products, services or information online (Market Share stats - Statista). People in your ideal customer audience are also more likely to click on a Google Ad (63% - SparkToro) than any other search engine. This leads to a higher level of engagement on your paid advertising efforts.

Search Intent

When you search for something on Google, you are usually searching with a specific intention. Like you, your customers are following the same behavior and turning to Google for answers. The nature of the phrase entered on Google, will inform, to a large extent, the level they are at in the buying cycle for a particular service or product. Search intent leads a more qualified customer to your website thus making it easier to obtain a conversion.

Machine Learning

Google has spent a lot of time and energy to study and identify patterns in societies to understand not just the intent of the user, but also understand the context of the person searching. This goes back to where they may be in the buying cycle as well as the fact that people around the world use language in slightly different ways. Sometimes the words be use in every day language may not exactly translate to what we actually want. Google continues to work on understand this level of language, dialect and intent into the Google Ads Platform and it provides a major opportunity to businesses.

Our Google Ads Marketing Approach

1. Google Ads Audit

If you are already running a Google Ads Campaign on Search, YouTube or Display, we perform a complete audit before working on new campaigns.

The Google Ads Audit will cover the following elements of your existing campaign:

  • Correct implementation of Google Tracking , Remarketing and Google Analytics codes
  • Marketing funnel (landing pages, sales pages, order forms or checkout process) review
  • Campaign and Ad Group structure and organization review
  • In depth keyword and search term review
  • Negative keyword review
  • Platform and device performance review
  • Extensions review
  • Cost Per Click (CPC) review
  • Audience and retargeting review
  • Location targeting review
  • Conversions review
  • Behavior analysis from Google Analytics
  • Ad creatives (for YouTube or Display Ads) and performance review
  • Placement review (for YouTube and Display Ads)
  • Basic SEO Audit
  • Site speed analysis

Proper analysis of these elements will determine the approach used to promote your product or service.

A report and discussion will follow the audit. Our findings will inform recommended changes to make to stages of the campaign to improve performance of new campaigns.

2. We Develop an effective Google Ads Strategy

Based on our findings from the Google Ads Audit, we can assist you in the creation or editing of campaign elements where necessary.

Not all campaigns are treated the same way. We spend time with you to get to know your mission, your product, your customers and your level of service during the process. This level of attention and detail follows through in the all ad campaigns.

3. Initial Testing And Implementation of Campaigns

Once the first round of creatives and changes to the marketing funnel are complete, we will begin testing each element of the campaign including:

  • Keyword types
  • Location targeting
  • In-market audiences
  • Device types
  • Ad Copy
  • Landing page copy
  • Landing page design
  • Placements (for YouTube and Display Ads)

A number of tools are used in this process including Google Analytics, Google Optimize, VMO, HotJar and other tracking and reporting tools. Each element which is reported will be discussed and decisions will be made once there is enough traffic and intelligence is collected on enabled Google Ads campaigns.

Each step of the funnel is monitored and opportunities for improvement is analyzed and worked on.

Advertising is not a one hit wonder, there is an art and science to its eventual success.

4. Conversion Optimization

No matter what type of campaign is run, the eventual key indicator is sales. Conversions allow for ad campaigns to continue running, products to continue to be produced, wages to be paid regularly and the lights to stay on.

Profitable sales are the life-force of any business. Without profit, there is no business.

Our approach is to work towards reaching profitability as soon as possible.

A number of factors determine the success of a campaign on Google Ads:

  • Cost Per Acquisition (CPA)
  • Click Through Rate (CTR)
  • Cost Per Click (CPC)
  • Conversion Rate
  • Bounce Rate
  • Funnel flow
  • Assisted attribution
  • Conversion Path
  • Conversion Time

Ultimately each conversion is measured and analyzed to identify improvements lower costs and increase conversions.