5 Rookie Google Ads Setup Mistakes

By now, everyone has heard that PPC could be great for their brand, but you may also have heard that it has its pitfalls and expenses.

The principle is simple – you set up ads to appear at the top of a search engine and only pay when someone clicks through to your landing page, which is intended to drive the searcher to complete your intended action.

But what happens when you haven’t invested enough time and research into how to setup your PPC account correctly? Not only have you just wasted a whole lot of time, but your budget could be going down the drain as well.

This is why we have put together this handy guide to help you avoid these common and detrimental AdWords setup mistakes.


You could have the most beautifully setup Google Ads account, following all best practices and helpful online tips, but unless you are correctly tracking your ads, what’s the point? An unbelievable number of companies are relying on data that is completely inaccurate because the tracking was not set up well to begin with.

Common mistakes are tracking clicks as conversions and ending up with a nearly 100% conversion rate to the other extreme of tracking no conversions even when your ads are bringing in leads.

It is very simple but very important to set up Google Ads tracking codes and add these onto your landing page’s success page. You can also set up UTM codes to include whatever parameter you require. If you are unsure about how to do this, it is worth seeking help from a developer who can ensure this is done correctly. 

Use Negative Keywords

Everyone who’s setting up a new Google Ads search campaign will no doubt have some idea of the keywords they would like to target – even if they haven’t performed keyword research to see if people are actually searching for these terms!

But most people forget to consider negative keywords. Google Ads campaigns waste a ridiculous amount of money each year from people who click on your ad even though it’s totally irrelevant to their search.

This can be easily avoided by adding negative keywords when you set up a campaign, and not waiting for your budget to be wasted on irrelevant searches before adding it to the negative keyword list.

Obvious negative keywords include ‘eBay’ and ‘YouTube’, but you can find any others easily by looking for your search terms in Google and making a list of any keywords you notice that are not relevant to your campaign.

Understand Your ROI

Unlike SEO, with PPC, it is very easy to calculate your return on investment (ROI). All you need is your average sales value and your average conversion rate, and then you will have your break-even value.

For example, if your average sales value is £1,000 and you typically convert 5% of your leads into sales, then your break-even value is £50. If your PPC cost per lead is £50 or less, then your Google Ads account should be making a profit. You would be wasting money if you spent £5,000 per month on your Google Ads account and only received 2 leads.

If you are unsure of your average conversion rate, you can find industry average figures online.

Of course, there are many ways you can reduce the spend whilst still increasing the number of clicks and conversions you receive through Google Ads. If you need any help with this, we’d be more than happy to arrange a call or a meeting to discuss where we believe we can help.



It should come as no surprise to you that if you only sell to the UK, you would be wasting money if your ads target the whole world. In Google Ads, it’s easy to target specific locations so be sure to utilise this feature.

Similarly, consider the product or service you are trying to sell. You can target by age demographic, or even the device people are searching on. With more and more searches coming from mobiles and tablets, Google Ads lets you set bid adjustments for each device to suit your brand.

Missing Ad Extensions

Setting up ads in Google Ads is more than bashing out a bit of ad copy and using an old image and pushing it live. Alongside carefully considered ad copy that focuses on the intended audience and what they are looking for, Google offers several types of extensions to help your ad performance.

In Google Ads you can add several different types of extensions to your ads:

  • Location extensions – encourages people to visit your business
  • Callout extensions – add additional text to encourage a conversion such as ‘free delivery’
  • Call or message extensions – encourages people to call or text your business directly
  • Sitelink extensions – directs people to a specific page on your website
  • Structured snippet extensions – information a potential customer may find helpful
  • Price extensions – shows your product or services with their prices
  • App extensions – encourages people to download your app

Don’t miss out on the benefits these ad extensions could bring to your business and be sure to look out for any new extensions, as Google makes regular updates.

To Conclude

These are some of the mistakes that can be made when setting up a Google Ads account – there are many more traps people regularly fall into.

ExtraDigital are experts in PPC set up and management and would be happy to discuss the best way to advertise your brand through PPC. Contact us today.

Thursday 31st October 2019

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