11 Common Google Ads Mistakes That Can Waste Your Ad Budget

11 Common Google Ads Mistakes That Can Waste Your Ad Budget

July 5th, 2020 | Google Ads

Follow these guidelines, and you can stop wasting ad budget on Google Ads.

My position at Dgency allows me getting the chance to audit many Google Ads accounts and see where we can implement an effective PPC strategy to improve campaign performance that is valuable for our clients. Everyday I find myself auditing several Google Ads accounts, and almost without fail, there are many major oversights that could have saved an enormous amount of PPC budget.

My hope is putting together a checklist to fix some common Google Ads mistakes I see every day…and to save you a lot of wasted ad budget if you’re managing your google ads account yourself.

1. Many Keywords in One Ad Group

If you have too many keywords in one ad group, your ad relevancy score might fall. It can cause low Quality Score, CTR & Conversion Rates. As there are too many keywords, your ads won’t be as relevant to the keywords you are targeting.

In this situation, I suggest making search term intent-based Ad Groups. That means, add keywords in ad group based on their relevancy with the theme. Adding similar keywords in one ad group will make the ads relevant, and it will improve Quality Score, CTR & Conversion Rates. You don’t need to get that granular with your account, only put very similar keywords in the same ad group.

2. Location Setting is Not Right

Well, this is a common mistake I see in almost every Google Ads account I review. Google’s recommended, and default Target setting is “People in, searching for, or viewing pages about my targeted location.” Here’s what this looks like:

Advanced Location Options

This most likely gets ignored because you have to drop down the Location Options Advanced Settings to see options when setting up your campaign. You need to make sure you change it to “People in my targeted location.”


Well, unless you want your ads showing worldwide, you need to change this setting. With the default setting, your ads could will show to people anywhere outside of the USA searching about your product/service if Google’s algorithm thinks it’s relevant. I’ve witnessed campaigns waste millions of clicks to users in Asian Countries when the owner only needed to show up for users in the USA.

3. Search & Display Ads are not Separated

When I review any Google Ads account, I find so many accounts are using Search And Display networks together in one campaign. That’s because Google has a default selection of both under one campaign. Many Google Ads users think that its right to use them under one campaign as Google Recommends it. But with my experience and research, I found it never brings good results if you are using it all together under one campaign.
So its better to make Search Campaigns and Display Campaigns differently.

4. Ad Delivery Rotation Settings

If you don’t change anything, the Ad Delivery setting will be set to “Optimize for clicks: Show ads expected to provide more clicks”.
This may seem like an exceptional option, but I wouldn’t suggest using it in a new campaign. Google will make a decision on which ad is better, quickly in the process. The result? A better ad could get shelved because it had a rough first day.

For this reason, I suggest a manual approach by setting it to “rotate indefinitely.” If you cant be as active in your Google Ads account, then select the 90-day option, which will split test for a few months before optimizing for you.

5. Dynamic Ad Extensions

Dynamic sitelinks are an automatic extension format that allows people searching on Google to connect right from your ad to what they want to know or buy from your site. Google Try to show relevant sitelinks to your search ads. But with my experience and research, I found that Dynamic Extension does not always work well for new accounts. So you need to turn it off and create the extensions you want to show with your ads.

6. Too Many Unchecked Broad Match Keywords

Another huge Ad Budget waster I notice in campaigns is too many unchecked broad match keywords. If your broad match keyword is relatively short and isn’t continually being monitored, it will show up for search terms that are not related to your product/services.

I’ve been able to save our clients millions of dollars by removing short-tail and broad match keywords & changing them to phrase, exact, and modified broad.

7. No Keywords In Ad Copy

Putting keywords in ad copies is a technic used by PPC experts to increase CTR. I also found it useful, but in many accounts, I saw that there are no keywords in Ad Groups. People who are searching for anything in Google, they find it relative when they see the keywords they are searching for, showing in the Ads. That increases the CTR and helps to bring more leads.

I recommend using Keywords or at least similar texts to the keywords in the ads.

8. Single Ads in Ad Groups

Creating single ads in any ad group is like forcing google to show the ads you wrote. Google or you have no option to split test which ads are working better. It not always useful to bring desired results for the campaigns.

From my experience, I have seen that using multiple variations of ads helps google to chose the best one for your ad groups, and it brings good results. My recommendations are to add different versions and types for ads like text ads, responsive search ads.

9. Keywords Match Type Not Properly Implemented.

Keywords match type is a vital feature. It decides when your ads will be triggered for which quires. When I review any account, I see no proper use of keyword match type in some accounts. Some accounts are using only broad match keyword, some of them are using only exact match.

My suggestion is to use the keywords match type according to business needs. You need to understand where to put which type of keywords match type for triggering your ads.

10. Landing Pages Are Not Relevant To Ads

In many accounts, I found that they are using a home page link for every ad group and campaign. That not a good practice in Google Ads. If you do that for every ad group, your bounce rate will increase, and that will cause you a higher CPC and a lower quality score. If your bounce rate increase so much, Google can even stop showing your ads. So I recommend using a relevant landing page for ad groups.

11. No Proper Negative Keywords Or List Added

Negative keywords stop your ads from showing on irrelevant search quires. This powerful feature always gets ignored in most of the accounts. In some businesses, I found that doing negative keywords research is as essential as proper keywords research. To reduce wrong clicks and save your money from irrelevant clicks, you need to add proper negative keywords or make a list of negative keywords list for your business.
I’ve been able to save clients thousands of dollars by simply adding negative keywords to their campaigns.

I hope this list of 11 Common Google ads mistakes will help you save some money and optimize your campaigns. Feel free to knock me if you need any help.

Shawon Kayum

 Founder and CEO of Dgency

Shawon Kayum founded Dgency after completing his Masters Degree in Marketing from Rajshahi University in 2016. He is working on building strong & lasting partnerships that drive business growth for clients and career growth for the team.

Shawon Kayum

 Founder and CEO of Dgency .

Shawon Kayum founded Dgency after completing his Masters Degree in Marketing from Rajshahi University in 2016. He is working on building strong & lasting partnerships that drive business growth for clients and career growth for the team.


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