18 risky Google Ads mistakes you should avoid

Mistakes in Google Ads can be deadly.

They can put you in a very difficult position.

And you can lose a ton of your budget.

All mainly because of ignorance.

In this post, I’ll cover

18 risky Google Ads mistakes you should avoid

This differs from the important Google Ads reports that you should check.

Here are the first nine Google Ads mistakes…

google ads infographics 1

Going into detail…

1. Not setting up the account properly

Now, a mistake can be made as early as your account creation itself.

Time zone

time zone change

The time zone that you choose is important.

You can change it only once.

Hence, choose it carefully.

This is the time zone where your Google Ads will be shown.


currency set up

You can use a debit or a credit card.

But you cannot change your currency in one account.

You have to create a new account to change the currency.

So, set your billing currency correctly.

2. Not setting up conversions

You need to do this before running any of your ads.

And you need to do this when the nature of your campaigns change.

I ll explain.

How to set up conversion?

Click “Conversions” under “Measurement” in “Tools” option.

converion option in tools

You get the below.

Conversions page

Click “+ Conversions”.

And you get…

conversion set up option

I ll select “Website”.

Select the kind of conversion you want to track.

Conversion category

This will change as per the type of campaign.

Say, you have many eCommerce transactions for which you are creating Google Ads.

Now in this case, the above conversion category would be “Purchase”, as selected.

But if you are running another kind of campaign, say, for generating lead.

Then you need to set up conversion again and select “Lead” as the conversion category.

As a Lead is different from Conversion.

Next in setting up conversion,

Give a name to the conversion.

conversion name and value

Then the value.

Here is where it gets a little tricky.

In the first option, the value for each conversion remains the same.

And hence is simple to set up.

But an eCommerce site will have different product at various prices.

Hence, you have to use the second option.

So, that means the conversion value will be the value of the product(s).

How do you set this up?

I won’t go into detail here, but Google Tag Manager (GTM) is an easy way to do so.

Now, in the next section, select the conversion count.

Conversion count

For lead generation, the second option should be checked.

As it does not matter if a potential lead sign ups multiple times.

But select the first option for eCommerce transactions.

As every conversion here counts.

The other details like the conversion window and attribution models can be left as is.

Click “create and continue.”

You get the below.

conversion tag options

You need to now add the Google Ads conversion tracking code on to your website.

Of the three given options, it is easier to go ahead with GTM (last option).

Click that and you will get Conversion ID and a label which you need to add to GTM.

Once added, click “next”.

Conversion tracking code set up is done.

You can learn more about Google Ads Conversion here.

3. Not grouping your campaigns

campaign grouping

A specific-product campaign will always perform better than a generic one.

So, should you avoid generic campaigns?

Of course not.

But if your campaign has the potential to be grouped, do it.

Create multiple ads under ad groups.


You want to create Google Ad on shoes.

Check what products fall under it.

Then group them as shown above.

Say, you have sports shoes, casual shoes, formal shoes, etc.

Under sports shoes, you again have running shoes, training shoes, badminton shoes etc.

The more granular you get in grouping the better will be your ad performance.

4. Not creating enough ads

Multiple ads

Creating just one ad in a campaign will greatly hamper improvement in ad performance.

Yes, you can do it.

Create only one ad per campaign.

But how would you know the process to make it better?

Hence, create ad variations.

Ideally not less than three ads per ad group.

Google will give preference to the ad that performs best.

Giving you the opportunity to work on the other ad variations.

5. Not using the proper networks

There is the Search network and the Display network.

Each has its own selling propositions.

So, check what kind of Google Ad you want to run.

Usually for sales, the “Search Network” only is the best option.

And Display works better for re-targeting ads.

6. Not using the right keyword match types.

The match types are:

-broad match

-broad match modifier

-phrase match

-exact match

Check out my guide on Google Ads keyword match types.

Broad match has no restrictions.

No targeting.

Your Google Ad will show up for a wide range of keywords.

Every match type will have its own restrictions.

7. Not using negative keywords

negative keywords

Negative keywords are those where, when searched, your Google ad should not be shown.

Why is this important?

It saves you money.

By not displaying your ad unnecessarily.


Say, you have a website on Javascript course.

But you see that your Ad is showing up for the keyword “Java”.

But Java and Javascript are not the same.

Hence, you should add “Java” as a negative keyword.

Keep checking your keyword list which displayed your ad to separate Negative keywords.

8. Not using unique keywords

When you create multiple campaigns and ads, make sure you don’t use one keyword multiple times.


Cause you will compete with your own ads.

If two Google Ads have the same keywords, then they will compete with each other.

Which you want to avoid.

9. Not checking for Search Term report

search terms

There will always be potential keywords that you would have missed.

And Search Term report will give you just that.

The keywords for which your ad showed up.

This is a good opportunity for you to find new related keywords.

Moving on…

Here are the next 9 Google Ads mistakes:

google ads infographic 2

10. Not checking for keyword quality score

You will select the best possible keywords for your Google Ads – no doubt.

But you need to actually make sure that the keywords you chose are good enough.

keywords quality score

Hence, the Quality Score check.

Google rates your keywords on a scale of 0-10.

This list can be separated as below;

0-4 – Low

5- Needs improvement

6-10 Good

So you should aim to have keywords with a Quality Score of not less than 6.

New keywords usually get a “Null” quality score.

This is because there is no sufficient data to categorize those keywords.


Quality Score is different from Ad Rank.

Ad Rank is dependent on the CPC and the Ad Quality Score.

The keyword Quality Score is a more general estimate based on past performance.

Only keywords are used to arrive at the final number.

How to check your Keyword Quality Score?

In your account, select “Keywords”.

keywords options

Select “Search Keywords”.

You get the below:

search keywords

Select “Columns” at the top right.

Click “Modify columns”.

And you get:

modify columns

In this list, scroll down to find “Quality Score”.

You’ll have many options here:

quality score

Select the first two. Click “Apply”.

Your Quality Score column will now appear in your report.

quality score column

11. Not adding Ad Extensions

Extensions greatly enhance CTR.

They provide extra information about your product or service.

Which you can highlight separately in different forms.


Below are the types of Ad extensions.

ad extensions list

The Lead extension is the latest added feature.

As the name implies, this is for Lead Generation Ads.

Ad extensions also make Google Ads bigger.

And will occupy more space.

Potentially grab attention.

mailchimp ad extension

12. Not bidding on your own brand

There is no hardcore rule that you cannot bid on your competitor brand as a keyword

Like Amazon can create a Google Ad and bid on “eBay” keyword.

So when “eBay” is searched, Amazon ad displays at the top.

Hence it is important that you bid on your own branded keyword.


Limeroad has an ad for its own brand keyword.

limeroad ad

13. Not focusing on Ad Quality rather than on bidding

Once your Google Ads are running, you will start to see numbers filling in.

You will also work on improving your ad performance.

But instead of increasing your bid, you should focus on improving your Ad quality score.

-continuously check on keywords

-remove low performing keywords

-add potential high-value keywords

-check for negative keywords

-test it out with different Ad copies

When you do this, your Quality Score improves.

Thereby your Ad Rank increases.

And your CPC decreases.

Formula to calculate Ad Rank:

ad rank formula

So you see, keeping the CPC constant, you can improve your Quality Score to increase Ad Rank.

14. Not checking for ROI

You have set up conversion tracking for a purpose.

That purpose is a positive ROI.

Hence, you need to check that.

You know the cost of your Google Ads.

You know the number of conversions.

You know the price of your products.

Hence you can calculate your ROI.

As follows

ROI formula

15. Not checking for device

You cannot forget about the mobile devices.

Check your Ad performance report for the device-based data.

Device report

If you see that mobile is contributing more to conversions than desktop, change your bidding.

Increase it for mobile and decrease it for desktop.

16. Not checking for location performance

Just like the device, you need to check your Ads for location as well.

geography report

If a location is getting more conversions, increase your bid there.

17. Not optimizing your landing pages

Your landing page is the actual gateway to your revenue.

Many-a-times, customers do not convert due to a bad landing page.

Therefore, you need to optimize it.

landing page optimization

How to optimize your landing page for a better Google Ad conversion.

-Add your Google Ad keywords on the page

Your Ad copy and the landing page should be closely related.

So, add your keywords – naturally in the content.

-the website should be mobile-friendly

Again, this is a given.

Your landing page should be mobile-friendly.

Meaning your website should be mobile-friendly.

-offers stated clearly

The offer in your Google Ad should on your landing page.

Stated clearly.

Above the fold.

The customer should not scroll to find it.

-have good navigation with a simple layout

Customer should not get lost once he lands on the page.

-strong CTA

The final action that the customer should take should be neatly laid out.

It could be “Buy now”, “Add to cart”, “Download now” etc.

18. Not connecting your accounts

connect accounts

Finally, last one but not the least.

This is a simple yet effective way to ensure smooth running of your Google Ads.

Connect your Google Ad account to

-google analytics account

-google merchant center account

-google firebase account

This way all your data will flow across platforms leaving no room for error.


Running successful Google Ads also requires avoiding these important actions.

By just being vigilant and pro-active, you can ensure an errorless paid search activities.

Resulting in a growing ROI.

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