Not seeing the results you want from your Google Search Ads? Your keywords, AKA the terms and phrases we use to tell Google which search terms are relevant to our ads, may be letting you down. 

Keep reading to see if you’ve made one of these common mistakes we see in keyword implementation on Google Ads and let us help you get the most out of your Google Search Ads!

Mistake 1: Choosing the wrong keyword match type

You may have been persuaded by Google to use a broad match keyword with the promise that your ad will be triggered by a wider range of search terms. While this is true, it is important to note that because broad match keywords are less restrictive, you may be spending to gain clicks on search terms that are less relevant.

Our tip for fixing this mistake: Learn the difference between each keyword match type!

Google offers three different keyword match options, including broad, phrase, and exact match, with each allowing for a varying degree of similarity between keyword and search term.

You’re probably already familiar with the purpose of keywords, but what you may not know is that you have the power to tell Google how closely you want their users’ search queries to match your keywords. 

Broad match keywords:

As its name indicates, the benefit of the broad match is that Google is more inclusive when it comes to deciding which search terms generate your ad. While it is appealing to want our ads to reach a wider audience, it is important to keep in mind that the queries that trigger our ads may not be completely relevant to our keywords.

Selecting a broad match type will mean your ad will appear in the results of searches that have a similar meaning to your keywords but don’t necessarily include the same terms as your designated keywords. 

For example: If you decide to use broad match keywords, we would recommend daily checking the search terms your audience is using to trigger your ad to display. When doing this, select any irrelevant keywords and apply them as negative keywords to deter them from triggering your ads to display moving forward.

Phrase match keywords:

Adopting a phrase match type allows your ads to appear in the results of search terms that share the same meaning as your keywords. Basically, you’re giving Google the go-ahead to run all of your keywords through the thesaurus! 

Although utilising phrase matches reduces the potential number of impressions, you are ensuring that those who see your ad have queries that align with your keywords. 

For example: We tend to focus on phrase match keywords for our clients, as we find it drives the highest quality traffic to the website (which is ultimately what you’re paying for with a pay-per-click model).

Exact match keywords:

Last but not least, we have the exact match type which will only display your ads for search terms that hold the exact same intent as your keywords. Other synonyms for your keywords won’t be included here, meaning if you were a lolly shop selling chocolate and sweets, the exact match keyword [lolly shop] wouldn’t trigger ads to show for the search term sweets shop or chocolate shop

The beauty of the exact match feature is that you get major control over who views your ad, however, the downfall is that your audience size will be limited. 

So which keyword match type should you choose?

Selecting the correct keyword match type will depend on the goals of your campaign. Keep in mind you can use all match types within one campaign to formulate the perfect approach for each keyword. However, it is important to note that your budget may favour keywords that allow for more impressions (ie. broad match over exact match).

It may help to ask yourself, “How closely do I want my keywords to match people’s search terms?” And “how many people are searching for this product and/or service?”

For search terms that have a similar meaning to your keywords, choose a broach match.

For search terms that have the same meaning as your keywords, choose a phrase match.

For search terms that have the exact same intent as your keywords, choose an exact match.

Mistake 2: Forgetting to add negative keywords

When we don’t exclude any keywords through the negative keyword function, we are running the risk of paying for clicks that are generated by irrelevant search terms. Ultimately, this leads to wasting the budget on driving traffic that may not be interested in our content.

Our tip for fixing this mistake? Embrace the negativity!

Now, don’t get me wrong, it is great to be a glass-half-full kind of person but when it comes to your keywords on Google, embrace the negativity! 😉

We can use negative keywording to exclude our ads from search results that include those terms. Similar to the regular keyword function, negative keywords can be broad, phrase, or exact matched, allowing you to dictate the degree to which the exclusion is applied. 

It is important to note though, that (because ad platforms like to be complicated), negative keyword match types work slightly differently from positive keyword match types. You can read more about that here from Google.

An easy way to get started with negative keywords is to take a look at your top-performing search terms and ask yourself – are these search terms relevant to the goal of my campaign? 

If not, try adding any irrelevant search terms to your negative keywords list to focus on reaching the right audience for your campaign. 

Mistake 3: Not researching how people are looking for your product and/or service.

Without keyword research, you have no idea what Google users are searching for, meaning you don’t know how best to target them. Similar to the previous mistakes, this can lead to ineffective use of your budget as you bid on keywords that aren’t actually being searched for.

Our tip for fixing this mistake? Take advantage of keyword research tools!

There are some awesome tools out there that are made specifically to help us understand which keywords are the most appealing to Google users.

Here are some of our favourite keyword research tools:

  • Google Keyword Planner
  • Google Search Results
  • Moz
  • SemRush

Ideally, you want to identify keywords that have a high search volume, but a low cost per click (chef’s kiss). However these golden combinations of keywords that people search for a lot, but don’t cost a lot, can be hard to come by! 

Don’t be disheartened if you see keywords that have a higher cost per click than you’d like. This is just an indication, so we would recommend adding them to your keyword list to test bidding on them and see what kind of results you achieve. 

Ultimately, you want to determine how your ideal customers or clients are searching for what you have to offer. Our tip? Search on Google like your customers would, so you can speak their language and show up where they’re looking.

Have questions or want some more direction when it comes to your Google Ads strategy? Check out our Google Ads management packages or get in touch to find out how our team can assist you in reaching your goals today!