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The Costly Mistakes Business Owners Make Managing Their Google Ads

  • avdigital | Apr 7, 2020

We continually hear stories here at our agency from clients telling us about their failed attempts to run their Google Ad campaigns successfully

Some report moderate results but wonder whether or not it is worth it, while others describe their efforts as a complete disaster.  

Done correctly, Google ads offer a fast and effective way to drive hordes of traffic, leads, and ultimately customers onto your company website. 

However, Google ads are easy to get wrong. There is a myriad of common pitfalls that are both costly and detrimental that many business owners make. These pitfalls can lead to business owners scratching their heads in frustrating and broke, convinced that Google ads aren’t feasible for their business. 

Why Can’t I Run My Own Google Ads?

Creating high-converting Google ad campaigns that maximize ROI (Return on Investment) is an acquired skill. It is not something that can be learned or mastered in five minutes. It is also not recommended for most business owners to learn these skills. 

The reason being is simple. 

Typically, it won’t produce the best results and most likely lead to a lot of time and money being wasted in the process.

Don’t get me wrong….

It is possible for just about everyone to create a Google ads account and set up various campaigns that will be up and running fast. You may even be successful in getting top rankings for your most competitive keywords in your local area, across the country, or even across the globe. 


There is only one metric that defines successful Google ad management. It comes down to one thing – ROI. 

Bearing this in mind, it is highly unlikely as a novice with no PPC (Pay-Per-Click) experience to effectively optimize your campaigns. Or, even recognize that your ads are optimized for maximum return on investment.

I wrote this article to highlight some of the most common mistakes people make when managing their Google ads and stress the importance of hiring a professional SEO company to oversee your PPC advertising on your behalf.   

Mistake #1 

Appearing in locations not serviced by your business

This mistake is arguably the most common that our agency sees for local businesses. If your company only services a smaller geographical region, nothing will eat up your Google ads budgets other than appearing in localities outside of that service area. 

And, although it is a common mistake, fortunately, it is one of the simplest to fix. When creating campaigns business owners or Google ad managers should always define the geographic area of service or risk pouring a lot of money down the drain. 

This is paramount for nearly every service business as most will only serve an area within a 50-100 mile radius. 

Mistake #2 

Mismanaging keyword categories 

Firstly, if you are not aware, there are three basic categories of keywords on Google ads. 

  • Broad MatchPhrase Match
  • Exact Match

We regularly see many business owners and even other digital agencies incorrectly utilize these keyword categories. 

It would pay to conduct experiments to effectively gauge which type or combinations of models will work best in your business. 

You won’t know until you test, track, and measure the results. 

Let’s dive a bit deeper and review each of these keyword categories….

Broad match – Here, your ads display with a search of your keywords. It doesn’t matter the order; if your keywords are typed, then your ads will pop up. 

For example, if your business sells women’s leather handbags, your ads will display for a broad range of searches which include the following:

“women’s handbags”, “leather handbags for women”, “handbags leather women”, “best women’s leather handbags”, women’s handbags for sale” etc, etc. 

With a broad match keyword campaign, you can expect a lot of traffic and clicks. They may not always be highly targeted. However, traffic abundance is almost guaranteed. 

Phrase match – With phrase match, business owners or account managers are attempting to make traffic slightly more targeted. Ads will appear when the targeted search term is in the exact order.  

For example, if your company is targeting “Attorney in Houston”, your ads will be displayed whenever someone searches for those keywords in that exact order. But, your ads will also appear for other searches; for example, “best attorney in Houston” or “attorney in Houston Texas”.

Exact match – Exact match searches are precisely that – exact match. They include only the search terms that match exactly, excluding all variations. Using the above example, an ad will only display when someone types in “Attorney in Houston” and not any variation such as “Attorney Houston”, “Houston Attorney”, or similar close matches. 

Exact match keyword searches have been shown to enjoy the highest conversions, converting higher than both broad and phrase matches according to various studies such as this one here

But, higher conversions will come at the cost of less traffic. Both broad and phrase matches will help your business reach far more potential clients. And, while they may not deliver the biggest return on investment, it is still possible to see a healthy profit from these wider-reaching campaigns. 

To win with PPC you need to be strategic. Tracking and measuring outcomes is the only way to ensure the execution of effective Google ad campaigns. Conversions are important, but profit is the primary factor. 

Appearing for irrelevant searches

You may not believe it, but appearing for your targetted keyword searches isn’t always ideal. There are many cases where a company’s keywords can produce search engine results that are totally irrelevant to what the company sells. 

For example, your business supplies and installs air conditioning in Houston. You may not want to be appearing for searches where people are inquiring into the air quality of Houston, and they search for something like “Houston air”. 

Not considering negative keywords

Another common mistake Google advertisers make is being found for negative keywords. This is a factor that is particularly important if you decide to run broad-match keyword campaigns. 

Take, for example, your business sells baby formula. I’m guessing you do not want your ads to appear when someone searches for “toxic baby formula” or “baby formula recalls”, correct?

These types of searches not only will result in poor conversions, but also have the ability to cause considerable damage to your business and brand reputation. 

Reasons why you should hire a professional for PPC

If highlighting the common mistakes most people make managing their PPC campaigns hasn’t convinced you it’s a bad idea, let’s take a more in-depth look at why you should hire a professional. 

A professional PPC management company is a powerful weapon to have in your arsenal. 

They can help you:

  • Reach a greater audience
  • Drive traffic to your website
  • Grow sales
  • Scale-up your business
  • Increase your customer base

But, don’t hire just any PPC management company

That is, of course, the case when you choose the right company to work with. 

The wrong PPC company can waste your time and money, focus too closely on stats rather than end results, make excuses why your campaigns are not working. And, worse-case-scenario, put you into financial hardship or entirely out of business. 

This is why you must hire a PPC management company that has a proven track record. 

So, without further ado…

Here are some of the top reasons why you should be looking for a professional PPC management company.

1) PPC Advertising is continually evolving

Even if you feel you have a grasp on Google Ads – you may be accustomed to the old Google Adwords system – Google Ads has changed and will continue to do so. The new system is far from intuitive and requires time to overcome the learning curve. 

Staying abreast of what is happening in the world of Google PPC advertising requires serious learning and relearning. Unless you have the time or the resources internally to do that, it is best outsourced. 

2) Leverage the experience of a professional PPC management company

Ideally, you should hire a company with a proven track record within your industry or one that is similar. The lessons learned will prove invaluable to you and your business by helping to avoid many costly mistakes.

3) Tracking & measuring PPC Campaigns is complicated

Just knowing all of the PPC metrics is tough. There are impressions, clicks, click-through-rates, cost-per-click, conversion rates, quality score customer lifetime value, and so many more. The list is almost endless. 

Tracking and measuring all of these metrics and keeping it as simple as possible is an art form. Misinterpreting the data can cost a business thousands of dollars. 

By hiring a professional PPC company, you can rest assured that the necessary tests are being conducted and your team will understand how to interpret the data to maximize results. 

4) Experience setting up goals and conversions

Imagine you’ve set up a basic Google Ad. The ad is proving successful, and you are feeling pretty confident in yourself. You’re starting to get a grasp of a few more functionalities, and you’re happy with your results. 

Then, you see that you can some more keywords and search suggestions, so you jump on it. 

Things are going smoothly, however, there is a prompt that suggests setting up goals and conversion tracking to increase the success of your campaign.

It is then you are faced with probably the most perplexing, unintuitive panel in Google history – even more confusing than the obsolete Google Analytic GUI for those that remember. 

This is a task that should definitely be outsourced. In fact, it is probably one of the most commonly outsourced SEO jobs – even for those trying to manage their own Google Ads – found on outsourcing sites such as UpWork and Freelancer. 

5) Effective scaling 

So just like the above scenario, you have set up your Google Ad, you are getting results, and you’re happy. You want to scale up your marketing budget because you can handle another 100 more clicks per day. 

Your initial thought may be to increase your daily budget. But, over the next few weeks, you notice an increase in your cost-per-click. So, you go back to your initial daily budget but increase your bid amounts. Again, over the following weeks, you notice a negative impact. This time your clicks become sporadic. Some days your daily budget is exhausted before lunch. 

What’s happening? 

The fact is there isn’t a simple way to scale up PPC campaigns. Simple methods such as those above can easily hurt your return on investment. 

Hack PPC strategists may add more general keywords with the hope that increases in traffic will result in driving up sales. However, what usually happens is this method will blow out the cost per click and conversion rates. 

Scaling-up PPC campaigns to drive home targeted traffic requires a well-orchestrated and strategic plan.   

Beyond the skillsets of most business owners, and even inexperienced PPC management companies. 


Pay-Per-Click advertising done correctly is arguably the most effective form of marketing available today. 

Regrettably, many business owners try and attempt to manage their PPC campaigns without any previous experience or even knowledge of the skillsets that are required. As a result, they end up frustrated, broke, and give up thinking that PPC doesn’t work for the business. 

Armavita Digital can help maximize the profit potential for Pay-Per-Click advertising (PPC). 

We have many years of experience in SEO campaign management in Houston, servicing countless clients across a broad range of sectors. 

Isn’t it time you leveraged the experience of a professional SEO company and stopped wasting time and money? 

Call our office today if you’re not getting the results from your online campaigns that you deserve. 

A quick PPC audit from one of our expert team members can uncover whether or not your campaigns are truly successful.