8 Major Google Ad Mistakes and How to Fix Them


Are you making these 8 major Google ad mistakes? We’ll show you the most common mistakes and how to fix them.

What are the chances that someone who sees a financial consulting services banner on a billboard, magazine, or social media, needs a financial consultant at that very moment? Most likely, very, low. For this reason, “push” advertising, such as banners work to boost branding but have a limited impact on direct client acquisition.

Now, picture someone searching for “financial consulting firms” on Google. Such an inquiry generally comes from someone who is indeed looking for a financial consulting solution at that very moment. Google Ads “pulls” the prospect in since s/he is already searching for what you offer.

You’ll want to ensure that s/he finds you, instead of your competitors by avoiding these 8 common mistakes that are made when setting up on Google Ads.

1. Not Matching Landing Page to User Search Intent

Let´s say someone searches for “how to invest in a mutual fund” or “information about mutual funds”, they see your ad, click on it, and end up in your homepage where you showcase the multiple services you offer, company history, latest news, etc. They are overwhelmed by information, become frustrated, and exit without any action. You´ve just wasted a potential client.

For this reason, you don’t want all the “how to invest in a mutual fund” searchers ending up on your homepage. You want them to end up in a focused landing page, which clearly explains how to invest in a mutual fund, and why they should do it with you, answers any question they might have, and contains a simple lead form. It is unrealistic to create a dedicated landing page for every keyword, but we recommend doing it for keywords that are both profitable and have a high search volume.

2. Not Using Phrase and Exact Match Types

Match types tell Google if you want to show ads for every search that includes a particular keyword, or if you just want to restrain yourself to that particular keyword or phrase.

For example, if you are targeting the keyword “financial advisors in Texas” as a broad match and someone searches for “financial advisor courses in Texas” or “financial advisor books” your ads may show up. A broad match type keyword will pick up any search that includes “financial advisors”, even if someone searches for something completely unrelated to what you offer.

Now, if you use exact match type keyword targeting for the phrase “financial advisors in Texas” your ads will only show to users who search for “financial advisors in Texas”, guaranteeing that your ad won’t appear for unrelated searches.

However, not everyone types the same way, some users might type in something like “Texas financial advisors”. Here is where phrase match comes in handy. With phrase match type keywords your ads would show for any phrase searches that include (financial + advisors + Texas).

Your budget will be drained by irrelevant searches if you only use broad match keyword types. Use phrase match or exact match keyword types and show your ads to potential clients –not everyone.

3. Not Bidding on Long-Tail Keywords

 If you´ve ever tried to appear on the top of Google Ad search results with a keyword such as “finance” or “investment banking” you know how tough — and expensive — this endeavor can be. And quite frankly you don’t even want to be in the first position for such generic keywords, as they will get you many clicks, but not many clients.

Long-tail keywords, on the other hand, are more specific, less expensive, and have higher purchase intent, making them more profitable. They are more likely to be used by prospects who are closer to a purchase decision.

An example of a long-tail keyword would be “mutual fund investment possibilities for entrepreneurs”. Such a search query is much closer to a sale than a search for just “mutual fund”.

A great way to search for long-tail keyword ideas is by using the Google Keyword Planner or any other external keyword research tool such as SEMrush or WordStream. Make sure to spend enough time to find as many combinations as possible and create relevant ad copies for them.

4. Forgetting About the Search Term Report

The search term report shows what search terms prompted your ads to appear. You can see the exact words your prospects are typing into Google to find you. The report enables you to see if you are targeting those keywords already and your performance for each one of the search queries.

This information opens a world of possibilities…

You can use the report to weed out irrelevant queries that may be prompting your ads to appear and add them to your negative keyword list. The report can also provide ideas for new keywords to target.

5. Not Using Negative Terms

Now that you´ve looked over your search term report and found some search queries for which your ads shouldn’t be showing. It´s time to make sure your ads no longer show for those queries.

By heading over to the keywords > negative keywords section you can write down what keywords you want to dismiss.

Keywords such as “cheap”, “youtube”, “videos”, “review” should be left out for most campaigns unless they are relevant to your business.

Negative keywords also have broad, exact, and phrase match types. So, for the keywords above, you would use broad match, but for keywords related to your industry, you might need to use an exact or phrase match type.

For example, even though a search such as “what do financial advisors do” most likely won’t get you sales. You don’t want to cut out all searches that include “financial advisors” so you would add as a phrase match negative keyword.

6. Bundling Unrelated Keywords into an Ad Group

 An ad group is a container where you place the keywords that you want to target and the ads that will be shown for those keywords. Keep in mind the same ad copy will be shown to all the keywords in your ad group.

Therefore, one of the most common mistakes made in Google Ads accounts is adding unrelated keywords into the same ad group and showing them the same ad copy.

For instance, If I add “financial advisors in Texas”, “financial advisors in Arizona”, and “financial advisors in Utah” keywords into the same ad group I couldn’t show a relevant ad copy such as “Your financial advisor in Texas” to those searching for the Texas keyword.

However, if I place each one of the keywords into a separate ad group I can show a headline titled “financial advisors in Texas” to a user searching for financial advisors in Texas, therefore increasing relevance. Make sure each keyword in an ad group is relevant to each other.

7. Being Lazy with Ad Copy

 Here is a very common scenario:

You´ve spent all this time setting up your ads. You are targeting the right keywords, your bids make sense, you have a good landing page experience. But when it comes to copy you just throw in any generic text and leave it to luck. “My company is awesome” you think “if they see my ad, they will click on it”.

Remember you won’t have the luxury to be the only advertiser vying for a prospect’s attention. The copy on your ad is the first point of contact with your prospects so it must stand out. Successful ad copy is specific to the query, mentions benefits, offers a call to action, include ad extensions, and can even be clever or humorous.

8. Ignoring Quality Score

If someone calls one of your branches and requests a meeting with a securities specialist, you would connect him with someone who is a securities specialist. Google Ads works the same way. If someone searches for a securities specialist, show them an ad that mentions securities. Google rewards advertisers that show users relevant ads and a good user experience.

Here is where the quality score comes in. Google tells us how our ads perform on these important factors by grading them from 1 to 10 – i.e. the quality score.

If your quality score is low, not even the most generous bid will save your ad from obscurity. On the other hand, if your quality score is high, a lower than average bid can still position your ad relatively high.

The higher your quality score, the lower your cost per conversion

To improve quality score, make sure your ad copy and offer is relevant to the keywords you are targeting, and your landing page offers a good user experience. Improving your quality score can take a while but it’s an effort worth pursuing.


With Google Ads it all comes down to relevance. Before making any change in your ads account always ask yourself: “will this change make my ads more relevant, or not”.  Google´s business is built around relevance; their goal is for searchers to find exactly what they are looking for and your goal is to make sure you give it to them!

Interested in improving the performance of your Google Ads? Contact us.

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