Navigating the complex world of digital advertising can be challenging, even for seasoned marketers. One platform that’s particularly powerful, yet fraught with potential pitfalls, is Google Ads. Despite its immense potential for businesses, there’s a prevalent issue causing many to haemorrhage funds unnecessarily.
The Root of the Problem: Blindly Trusting Google’s Recommendations
The number one money-wasting mistake? Activating Google’s automatic recommendations without a full understanding of what they entail.
Now, it’s worth noting that Google’s intention isn’t inherently malicious. These recommendations are designed to optimise campaigns based on large datasets and AI predictions. However, without a clear comprehension of how they work, advertisers can inadvertently set themselves up for inefficiencies.
The Domino Effect of Common Mistakes:
1. Incorrect Keywords: Google’s recommendations might suggest certain keywords that seem relevant but can lead to unqualified traffic, meaning visitors who aren’t genuinely interested in what you’re offering.
2. Misaligned Match Types: By not manually selecting the right match type (broad, phrase, exact, or negative), advertisers can end up targeting searches that aren’t entirely relevant to their business.
3. Shifting Bid Strategies: Letting Google automatically adjust bid strategies might sound tempting as a “set it and forget it” approach, but it can sometimes prioritise broader reach over qualified leads.
4. Relinquishing Budget Control: When advertisers allow Google to autonomously determine spend, there’s a fundamental conflict of interest. Essentially, the entity (Google) that benefits from increased ad expenditure is the same one deciding your budget allocation.
The Irony of Outsourcing Decision-Making
When the entity you’re paying (in this case, Google) both sets the rules and controls the purse strings, it’s hardly shocking that costs can spiral. By letting Google have unchecked control over campaigns, advertisers inadvertently create a situation where they often end up paying more than necessary.