Google showed your some of your adverts to the wrong people today. You (or someone you hire) must deal with this or your ads are going to start costing more and generating fewer leads.
The wrong people seeing your ad is a problem whether they click your ad or not:
- If they click the ad you've wasted money. On a tight budget that could mean missing out on a future customer.
- If they don't click on your ad it's still a problem. Google uses the click through rate (how often your ads are clicked) as part of their formula for working out how good your ads are. Good ads get shown more and charged less per click. It's a virtuous circle. Ads that don't get clicked as often start start circling the drain.
Google isn't being malicious when they show your ads to the wrong people.
It happens because people don't always use the same words to search for what you sell. 15% of the trillion search phrases that people type into Google every year have never been seen before.
Put another way, 1 in 7 searches typed into Google has never been typed in before.
Google shows your ads for some of those new searches. Most of the time they get it right. Sometimes they don't so they provide a way for you to stop your ads showing in response to some searches.
I've written about this before but I still see this problem in almost every AdWords account I consult on. I got this from a South African client last time I wrote about this.
"We paid Google a fortune for rubbish clicks … people wanting gate opening times, camping and all sorts of nonsense costing us R12 or so per click. It looks like we have wasted R200k!"
It's a silent creeping problem. It took him about a year to waste that money.
Your AdWords campaign doesn't stop dead and it doesn't blow the budget right away. It's a bit like the rust under the carpet of my first car. I didn't even know it was there till my girlfriend put her foot through the floor like Mrs Flintstone.
Dealing with this once a month is right for the kinds of campaigns I manage. You might need to do it more often or get away with doing it less frequently.
I find Google's interface is uncomfortable for this workflow so I built a tool to streamline the work. It doesn't demand a PhD in AdWords and takes only a few minutes per campaign if done regularly.
You're welcome to use the tool for your campaigns.
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A love letter to statistics
This is for you if you’re interested in making data-driven decisions about your Google Ads. Amy Hebdon, founder at Paid Search Magic, wrote a fantastic article she described a love letter disguised as a how to about PPC data interpretation.
How do you know the best way to split your ad budget between search and display, between Facebook and Google, between one keyword and another?
Does Google rip advertisers off?
I'm not saying that everyone who's paid for Google ads has turned a profit. That's definitely not the case. But, when people lose money on Google ads its likely to be because Google Ads was a poor fit for their business, or because of the way they did Google Ads. I can't see Google risking their future to steal your advertising budget
Don't believe my writing
I'm not trying to bamboozle you, it's just that my - and everyone else's - writing isn't always right for your circumstances. Read on to find out more...
Has Google jumped the gun on mobile?
How much commercial activity happens on mobile phones? Is it enough to justify a mobile-first approach to development? Case study with mobile vs desktop AdWords generated leads across 7 industries.
Putting a little science into AdWords
In the past I relied on a combination of the change history in AdWords, some rough notes and my memory to keep track of my testing. It worked but it wasn't great. It became more difficult as my business grew. I started to feel like I was losing control. I couldn't answer questions about an account without having to root around in Google docs, AdWords and email. Read on to see how I fixed this.
Should you advertise on Search Partners?
We check the campaigns we manage regularly to see how much it costs to generate an enquiry on Google search versus search partners. Most of the time it costs more or less the same. Sometimes the difference is huge.