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8 Common Reasons Small Businesses Fail at Using Google AdWords

A Google AdWords campaign is a powerful tool to bring your business right into the search results of people who are actively looking for the products or services you provide, or who are searching for something relevant to your business. For many small businesses, setting up and maintaining a successful AdWords campaign - one that earns you valuable clicks and leads to conversions - is overwhelming. The process can be complicated and time-consuming, but don't let that stop you.

Reasons Small Businesses Fail at Google AdWords

Below are some common reasons for why small businesses fail to use Google AdWords effectively and how you can avoid their mistakes.

1. Lacking Understanding

As a small business, you might not have the time or resources to be an expert in digital marketing - and that's okay! To evaluate the effectiveness of an AdWords campaign, whether it's being managed in-house or by an online ad management company, you need to know what you're buying. Save your business money and frustration by understanding the basics of AdWords.

AdWords is an online service where advertisers (you!) display brief advertising copy to users searching for keywords related to the advertiser's business. Keywords are selected and bid upon by the advertiser. AdWords copy displays within Google search results, or in display networks. In this article, we're focusing on search results ads.

2. Inadequately Measuring Success

To measure a campaign's success, you need defined goals. Are you trying to increase conversions or click-throughs? Do you want to reach as many people as possible, or only the most relevant ones? All of these goals are achievable with AdWords, but you need to know which ones you're aiming for and put in place an appropriate methodology of measurement.

3. Failing to Understand What Customers Want

At the core of AdWords is getting into potential customers' heads and figuring out for what they are - literally - searching. Brainstorm about what needs, complaints, research or concerns a customer might have that would lead them to you, and what you would search for if you had those needs yourself.

4. Utilizing Poor Structure

Structure includes where your ads appear, what your keywords are (you don't want them to be too broad), how many keywords you use (don't use too many!), and your match strategy. How these component work together and separately will determine your campaign's success and ultimately how effectively you spend your marketing dollar.

5. Using Broad Match Exclusively

Broad match is the default match type. Using broad match, your ad will likely reach the widest audience, not necessarily the best audience. Broad match shows your copy to users who search for any word in your key phrase, in any order. Because of this, your ad may be irrelevant for many who see it.

6. Ignoring Negative Keywords

Negative keywords - words to be excluded from your campaign - are often forgotten by small businesses. Using them lets you drill down to focus the keywords that do matter to your customers.

7. Failing to Optimize and Update

AdWords allows you to see what is and isn't working very quickly. Especially when you first get your campaign up and running, you should be checking in regularly (we recommend weekly, or even daily in some instances) and making changes to ensure the best possible results for you.

8. Bad Landing Pages

Now that you've set up a campaign, and you're getting click-throughs, are you noticing only a few conversions? What's the deal? It could be that your landing page doesn't contain the information the user was looking for, or is ineffective. Landing pages should be well-designed, relevant, and guide users toward converting as easily as possible.

Ready to get started with Google AdWords? Check out our recent blog mini-series on Getting Started and the Basics. Know you need to get started on Google AdWords but don’t have the time to do it for yourself? We offer ad setup and ongoing management services. Contact us for help!

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