Seven Critical Mistakes New Advertisers Make When Setting Up Their AdWords Campaigns

Last modified on 11th May, 2007

There are two ways to setup your AdWords Campaign, the right way and the wrong way. Here’s I am going to show you the wrong way to do it. If you commit any of these mistakes, you could end up paying more that you should and there’s a good chance that your campaign will fail.


1. Targeting the Wrong Language & Countries

The first step you do when setting up a campaign is to select the languages and countries you want to target. Most new advertises make the mistake by selecting the “All Languages” and “All Countries” options.

You may think that the more country your ads are shown or the more language the ads support the better. Nothing could be further from the truth.

If you are selling a product which does not support international shipping, you are going to end up paying for visitors who will never purchase your product. Unless you are a global business, choosing the right country is extremely important when it comes to targeting your market.


Language specific targeting is useful if your audience only speaks one or more language. This way you can target these customers no matter where they are in the world.


2. Writing the Wrong Headline

The second step requires you to write your headline. Your headline is by far the most important part of your ad. Most new advertisers make the mistake by entering their company’s name or product’s name as the headline.

While it’s important to have your company’s or product’s name out there, it’s more important to have a benefit laden headline that catches your potential customer’s attention.

Your headline should contain your major keywords. It should be what your visitors’ want, not what you want.


3. Writing the Wrong Description

Some new advertisers write what their product or service is all about, nothing else. They forget that what the potential customers want to know is what’s in it for them.

Now that your headline managed to get the attention of your potential customers, use your description to deliver on the promise.

Here’s a tip. When you write your ad description fill the second line with a benefit. Think of what your visitors can gain from it.

In the third line, write a feature of your product or service. Remember, features always come after benefits. Here’s an example of a good ad description:


Again, it should be what your visitor’s want, not what you want.


4. Sending Your Visitors to Your Homepage.

Unless your homepage is targeted and optimized to sell a specific product or service (i.e. it’s your landing page), you do not want to take people there and hope they look around. If they don’t see exactly what your ad says you are offering in five seconds, they’ll leave before you can say blink.

You can send them to any page within your website but this page must be specifically about what your ad has to offer. If it’s a download trial, show them the download page with a download link prominently visible on that page.


5. Using Generic Keywords Or Small Keyword List

Most people come up with a list of 5 to 20 keywords that are pretty generic and put everything into a one size fits all kind of campaign. Because of the large variety of keywords in the campaign, the ad does not match the keywords resulting in a low CTR and higher bid price.

What you should do is take all of you different keywords and organize them into groups of narrow, and closely relate terms. Each group should have its own campaigns. Take full advantage of other AdWords keyword features such as negative keywords, and its matching options to quality your traffic even further.

If you want to beat your competitors, you should have at least 200 keywords or more.


6. Accepting Google’s Suggested Bid Price

Some new advertisers make the mistake thinking that the suggested bid price is perhaps the minimum bid amount required. It’s actually the maximum bid amount thato you should bid if you want the number one position.

But of course you do not have to be number one most of the time so it’s not necessary for you to accept Google’s suggested bid price.

However, in some highly competitive niches, you may need to bid higher than your competitors especially if you have not accumulated enough history under your campaign or AdWords account. Check out a related post here where I explained why most newbies fail with AdWords.


7. Fail to Split Test Your Ads

I am guilty of this myself when I first got stated with AdWords. I can’t stress enough how important it is to split test your ads.

The secret to long term success on AdWords is to keep your bid prices down. And to do that you’ll need to do split testing.

Split test two ads at the same time, then delete the low performing one. Then create a new ad to try beating the best one. When you have two or more ad in a single campaign, Google will rotate them simultaneously. It may take sometime before one ad emerge as the winner.

You can find a related article about split testing here.


There you have it, next time you start a campaign make sure to avoid these mistakes.


An engineer by training, Victor has been working full-time online as an Internet marketer, a programmer and an app developer since 2001. He has been blogging at Sabahan.com since 2006 sharing his experience and teaching people how to make money online. Click here to join his private Facebook Group for bloggers.

  • […] 7 Critical Mistakes New Advertisers Make When Setting Up Their AdWords Campaigns While this post is written primarily for keyword-targeted campaign instead of site-targeted one, you can adapt the ideas into your site-targeted campaign as well. […]

  • […] Seven Critical Mistakes New Advertisers Make When Setting Up Their AdWords Campaigns […]

  • Hrudendu Patnaik says:


    very nice analytical thouhts.I have been trying to understand why my Adword Campaigns failed yielding no reasult.I got few things from your write up.



  • Katana says:

    This is a great list for an adwords noob like me. Thanks!

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