google ads mistakes by business owners

Common Mistakes Business Owners Make with Google Ads

As a top ppc agency in Los Angeles we provide highly effective PPC advertising services to many small business clients.  We have been managing Google Ads for over 15 years.  That said, we wanted to share our recommendations to small business owners who are struggling to increase revenues with Google Ads.

Navigating the world of Google Ads can feel like setting sail in stormy seas for small business owners. With a myriad of settings, options, and strategies to consider, it’s all too easy to make mistakes that can capsize your advertising efforts and deplete your advertising budget.  It’s nearly impossible for any business owner to manage their own advertising these days, but if you must, please consider these tips to avoid common mistakes business owners make with Google Ads.

1. Why Your Google Ads Miss the Mark

When small businesses dive into Google Ads, they often aim for immediate sales without a clear strategy. This shotgun approach can lead to ads that lack focus and don’t resonate with the target audience. It’s crucial to define your unique selling proposition and ensure that your ads communicate it effectively. By aligning your ads with your business goals and customer needs, you’ll be more likely to hit your target.

Another common mistake is neglecting to use negative keywords. Without them, you risk your ads appearing for irrelevant searches, wasting precious ad spend. Regularly reviewing search terms and refining your negative keyword list can keep your campaign sharp and on target.

Lastly, overlooking ad extensions is a missed opportunity. Extensions expand your ad with additional information, like phone numbers or links to specific pages on your site. They increase your ad’s real estate and its chance of catching a user’s eye, so make sure to use them to your advantage.

2. Keyword Conundrums

Keywords are the compass that guides your Google Ads campaign, but small businesses often struggle to navigate these waters. One of the most common blunders is bidding on overly broad keywords that drain the budget without delivering results. It’s like casting a wide net and hoping for the best, but all you catch is a boot. Instead, focus on specific, targeted keywords that your potential customers are actually searching for.

Another issue is failing to match keyword types with the intent behind the search. Broad match might bring in a high volume of traffic, but are they the right visitors? Using phrase match or exact match can help you reel in those who are more likely to convert.

Lastly, keyword stuffing in ad copy can make your ads unreadable and unappealing. Remember, your ad needs to engage the human on the other side of the screen, not just the search engine algorithm.

3. Controlling Ad Spend With Bidding Strategies

In the quest for visibility, small businesses often get caught up in bidding wars over popular keywords. This can quickly deplete your ad budget with little to show for it. Instead of fighting over the same crowded space, look for niche keywords that can attract qualified traffic at a lower cost. It’s like finding a quiet cove away from the bustling port – you might catch fewer fish, but they’ll be just the ones you want.

Another budget blooper is failing to adjust bids based on performance. Not all keywords or times of day are equal in the eyes of your business. Analyze your campaign data to identify where you’re getting the best return on investment, and shift your budget to support these areas.

Also, don’t overlook the power of ad scheduling. Running your ads 24/7 can seem like a good idea, but if your audience is only active during certain hours, you’re spending money on empty clicks. Schedule your ads to appear when your potential customers are most likely to be searching.

4. Finding Financial Balance

Setting a budget for your Google Ads campaign is like setting a course for your ship – without a clear direction, you’ll end up lost at sea. Small businesses often set their budgets too high or too low, leading to unsustainable campaigns or poor visibility. To find the right balance, start with a modest budget that you can comfortably sustain over time. Then, as you learn what works, you can confidently adjust your spending.

Another financial faux pas is ignoring the quality score. This metric reflects the relevance and quality of your ads, keywords, and landing pages. A higher quality score can lead to lower costs and better ad positions, so it pays to optimize for this.

Lastly, don’t forget to track conversions. Knowing which ads lead to sales or other desired actions allows you to allocate your budget more effectively. Without conversion tracking, you’re essentially sailing without a map, unsure of where your treasure lies.

5. Creating Click-Worthy Content

Your ad’s content is the siren song that lures potential customers to your business. If the message isn’t compelling, they’ll sail on by. Start with a strong headline that grabs attention and makes a clear promise. It should speak directly to the searcher’s intent and offer a solution to their problem. Remember, you only have a split second to catch their eye, so make every word count.

The body of your ad should build on the promise of the headline, delivering enough detail to entice the reader and provoke curiosity. Use active language and strong calls to action (CTAs) to inspire clicks. Your CTA should be clear and tell the user exactly what they’ll get by clicking the ad. Whether it’s “Shop Now,” “Get a Free Quote,” or “Learn More,” make sure it aligns with your goals.

Lastly, don’t underestimate the power of testing. Even small changes in wording or format can have a big impact on your ad’s performance. Regularly A/B test different versions of your content to find what resonates best with your audience. It’s like trying different baits until you find what the fish are biting.

6. Ad Copy That Connects

Crafting ad copy that connects with your audience is like telling a story that they see themselves in. It should address their needs, fears, and desires. Speak their language and use terms they understand and relate to. This creates a sense of familiarity and trust, which is crucial for encouraging clicks.

Avoid jargon and complex language that might confuse or alienate your potential customers. Instead, focus on benefits rather than features. For example, rather than saying “Our shoes have orthopedic insoles,” you could say “Walk in comfort all day with our supportive shoes.” This translates the feature into a real-world benefit that the customer can appreciate.

Also, consider the emotional appeal of your ad copy. Emotions can be a powerful driver of behavior, so tap into what your audience cares about. Whether it’s the joy of saving money, the relief of finding a solution to a problem, or the excitement of discovering something new, your ad copy should evoke feelings that lead to action.

Next Steps to Ad Awesomeness

With these strategies in hand, you’re ready to take your Google Ads campaigns to the next level. Start by auditing your current campaigns to identify areas for improvement. Implement the tips and best practices discussed here, and don’t be afraid to experiment and test new ideas.

Stay committed to learning and adapting, and don’t get discouraged by setbacks. Every mistake is an opportunity to learn and grow. With time, patience, and a strategic approach, you can achieve ad awesomeness and drive meaningful results for your small business.

By avoiding common Google Ads goofs and following a smart, data-driven approach, you can maximize the impact of your advertising efforts and help your small business thrive in the digital marketplace. Now set sail towards success, and watch as your business grows with each well-navigated campaign.


If you’re business is ready to achieve sustainable growth with a top Los Angeles digital marketing agency with a proven track record, then you came to the right place. eMaximize has been at the forefront of Digital Marketing since 2008. We create results driven strategies that truly move the needle for your business and give you a long lasting competitive advantage. In addition,  we are typically faster, better and cheaper than our competition, because we are structured that way.

If you are ready to get started, kindly send us a note or give us a call and we can start your free analysis and show you how eMaximize can significantly increase your revenue, like we do for all our clients!

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