Google showed your ads to the wrong people today.

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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Don’t believe every recommendation from Google.

The optimisation score is Google’s newest way of telling you how to run your Google Ads account. Read on to see how following it blindly can hurt your business.

Google showed your ads to the wrong people today.

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. Here's how.

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.

How to get fast traction on a brand new AdWords campaign.

I worked out a process for getting fast results from new AdWords campaigns so I didn't have to worry as much. You're welcome to copy (and improve) my process.

Improve conversion rates by adding extra calls to action.

Need to improve your conversion rate? Here's a tested approach that takes only a few minutes.

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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.

Using the Search Terms Report to find negative keywords.

The Search Terms Report is a great place to find negative keywords to add to your AdWords campaign. It shows (some of) the actual words and phrases that triggered your ads.