Top 3 Mistakes to Avoid in Google Ads

In today’s blog post I’ll be talking about the top 3 Google Ads mistakes that I see time and time again when dealing with new clients.

I’ll also be showing you how to fix them so that you’re able to make the most out of your campaigns! But first, let me tell you a bit about myself.

Who Am I?

I’m Lewis and I run KonvertLab, a Google Ads agency. I see a lot of prospects and when they first come to me for help it’s more than likely that they’ve made one of the three mistakes I’m about to dive into.

These mistakes are incredibly simple to fix and can help you spend your ad budget more effectively. So, I’ll be going through each of these mistakes, explaining why they’re problematic, and showing you how to fix them so that you can save literally thousands of dollars.

3 Google Ads Mistakes

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Mistake #1 – Broad Match Modifiers

The first point that I want to discuss is Broad Match Modifiers and you’ll want to use these pretty much all of the time.

What are Broad Match Modifiers? Imagine this: you’re setting up an online store and one of your top products are dinosaur socks, so naturally you want to go ahead and invest in Google Ads.

You start typing in the Broad Match Keywords that you want to buy, such as buy dinosaur socks, and you think you’re ready to go. But, the problem with this is that your ad is going to appear when someone searches for tyrannosaurus socks or dinosaur hand mittens. Very quickly your money is being wasted on potential customers who aren’t likely to shop on your store.

broad match keywords to broad match modifiers

It doesn’t stop there though. For whatever reason, even when your ads do get mismatched, some people still click on them and this alone can make a noticeable dent in your budget. I’ve actually had one client who wasted thousands of dollars a month on completely irrelevant keywords, simply because he wasn’t using Broad Match Modifiers.

Out of all the mistakes I see, people not using Broad Match Modifiers (or not using them properly) is the one I see most often.

So, when someone comes to me and asks for my help, and I see that they’re not using any Broad Match Modifiers, I know what my first course of action is going to be – putting them into action.

You want to use Broad Match Modifiers pretty much all of the time – there are very few situations where you wouldn’t want to use them. If you don’t have a negative keyword list but you have decent search volume, a Broad Match Modifier will do wonders.

To start using them all you have to do is add a plus symbol (+) to the left of each keyword in your AdWords campaigns. That is literally all there is to it, no expertise required.

I like to consider Broad Match Modifiers as the sweet spot between phrase match and broad match. Again, there’s only going to be a few scenarios where you shouldn’t use them.

Mistake #2 – SKAGS (Single Keyword Ad Groups)

Moving on to the next mistake that I see too often: prospects not using Single Keyword Ad Groups, otherwise known as SKAGS.

These are exactly what they say, Single Keyword Ad Groups, but you can include more than one keyword in a single group if both keywords are very relevant.

Let’s say you have three keywords in an ad group: buy socks, purchase socks online, and buy socks online. In this case, you’d want to go ahead and make an ad using those exact same words.

The reason for this is that it’ll increase your click-through rate and reduce your cost per click, hopefully, both by noticeable amounts.

The idea behind this is that if I was to search buy socks online then I would be shown a couple of different results, like the world’s number one sock retailer or buy socks online.

Which one stands out from those two? The one that uses the same words we searched, buy socks online. Since it uses the same words that I searched, there’s a higher chance that that’s the one I’m going to click on simply because that’s what I searched for.

This is an incredibly simple concept which can reduce CPC, increase click-through rates, and encourages people to click on your ads over your competitors’.

Mistake #3 – Landing Pages

The third biggest mistake that I see, and this is hands down the biggest one out of them all, is not heavily A/B testing and applying a lot of conversion rate optimization (CRO) tactics to landing pages.

Basically, this means you shouldn’t just throw people towards a crappy landing page. Doing this is like throwing water into a leaky bucket – you’ll spend a lot of money on ads, but virtually nobody is going to convert.

Sure, you might get one or two if you’re lucky, but this is nothing compared to the pile of money you’ll be burning through.

I remember this quote from Clay Collins, the CEO of Lead Pages. According to him, it’s much easier to half your cost per conversion than to half your cost per click, and I couldn’t agree with him more.

I actually have this one case study where I was able to increase the number of conversions by 700%, and I did that by aggressively A/B testing the client’s landing pages.

There are a lot of useful tools for doing this, such as Typeform. With this, you basically take on the idea that a multi-step form is always going to convert better. This is usually the case unless it’s a few short forms and also for specific industries.

Make sure that you don’t have an incredibly long form that users have to scroll 25+ times to complete, unless, again, the industry applies. But most of the time you should make your multi-step form short, to the point, and a very clear call to action page.

Having a nice design will also help you get more conversions and creates users trust, making them more likely to opt-in.

You’ll really want to focus your attention heavily on that landing page because if you do it right, that’s where you’re going to be able to cut down your cost per conversions and make the campaign profitable.


To quickly recap, the key things you want to do are:

• use broad match modifiers
• use single keyword ad groups
get aggressive with your landing page A/B testing

These are the three most common mistakes that I see prospects make before I help them fix the mistakes and before they decide to come on-board as one of my clients.

Hopefully, you can use these mistakes to turn your own campaigns around and increase your conversion rate ten-fold.

Still struggling to increase your conversions after following our advice? Get in touch with our team and we’ll unravel why your campaigns aren’t succeeding and help you get that conversion rate up!

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