last Updated 10 May 2022

Are Your Google Ads Campaigns Falling Flat?

Running a Google Ads campaign can sometimes fee a bit like baking a soufflé. You might know what ingredients to put in, how to mix it, and how long to bake it for, but the smallest mistake can mean that the soufflé doesn’t rise. And a flat soufflé just doesn’t work.

It can be the same with your Google Ads campaign. You know what you should be doing, but if you don’t do it right, it will fall as flat as your soufflé and not bring in those leads that you need for your business.

I audit a lot of Google Ads campaigns for my Predictable Pipeline Programme members and as part of my done-for-you service, and I will often see the same problems and mistakes being made time and time again.

Why is Google Ads not working?

One of the issues that can mean Google Ads isn't working for you is if you haven't understood how keywords work.

In this blog post, I am going to share with you one of the common mistakes I see people make with their Google Ads keywords, and I'll explain how you can fix it and therefore generate more leads for your business.

Watch out for a low CTR

Something that always rings alarm bells for me is if I see a Google Ads campaign with a low click through rate (CTR).

If we take this account, and look at the campaign Cheap Mortgages, we can see that it has had over 21,000 impressions, but only 96 clicks. That is a very low click through rate.

google ads isn't working - Are Your Google Ads Campaigns Falling Flat?

This would suggest that the ad is being shown to the wrong sort of people - ones who are not interested in cheap mortgages, or even in mortgages at all.

Or it could indicate that the ads themselves are simply not appealing enough and need to be improved.

We can also see, by turning on the columns for conversion data, that there have been zero conversions. That means £121 down the drain.

google ads isn't working - Are Your Google Ads Campaigns Falling Flat?

If we now click into the campaign, we can see that these results come from one ad group. And here we have the next problem.

It's an ad group that contains lots of single word keywords, such as tax, property, mortgage, cash, etc.

google ads isn't working - Are Your Google Ads Campaigns Falling Flat?
google ads isn't working - Are Your Google Ads Campaigns Falling Flat?

These are very broad, very generic terms. And most of them aren't going to be the kind of thing someone would search for if they were looking for a mortgage broker.

If we take the keyword “tax” as an example, is anyone looking for advice on tax wanting to speak to a mortgage broker? Probably not.

Or “Property"? Yes, the searcher might be looking for a mortgage broker if they are thinking of buying property, but not if they are using the word "property" in their search because they are are thinking of renting or looking into doing some DIY.

Avoid using single word keywords 

As a general rule, although we talk about a keyword, what we really mean is keywords or a keyphrase. We should never use just a single word, and instead use two or three word phrases, such as

  • Mortgage broker 
  • Mortgage adviser
  • Bad credit mortgage

These are the sorts of phrases that someone looking for a mortgage broker is more likely to use rather than “tax” or “property” or even just the word “mortgage” on its own.

Let’s now look at the Search Terms Report to see what things people were actually searching for when the ads from this campaign were shown to them.

The keywords used are so broad that the ads have been shown to people looking to speak to HMRC, get a cheap flight, or get advice on car tax. They are all completely irrelevant to the services offered by a mortgage broker. 

google ads isn't working - Are Your Google Ads Campaigns Falling Flat?

The clicks may only be costing 5p or so each, but they all mount up and mean that this mortgage broker's Google Ads budget is being used up on showing ads to people who are simply not interested in mortgage advice.

The mistake to avoid here is that the keywords are too vague. They should be specific, targeting the types of enquiries that you want to receive.

How to fix your keywords if Google Ads isn't working 

I might not be able to help you with your soufflé but I can help with some advice on how to select the sort of keywords that will place your ads in front of people who are likely to be interested in your services rather than those who are not.

This post is based upon the video below. It's one of a series of videos from my YouTube channel that will help you get better results from your Google Ad campaigns.

My YouTube channel contains all sorts of resources that will help with various aspects of marketing your business effectively and efficiently.

Have a look at it, and if you think it will add value to your business, hit the subscribe button so that you don’t miss any of the new content I post there regularly.

If you have any comments, please add them below, or send me a message if there is anything else I can help you with. 

About the author 

David Miles

As a digital marketing consultant, author and trainer, I specialise in helping businesses in the financial services sector use the internet to get more enquiries and increase profits.

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