9 Stupid Mistakes You (The Agency You’re Using) Might Be Making With Adwords!

9 Stupid Mistakes You (The Agency You’re Using) Might Be Making With Adwords!

No Proper Call Tracking

This one is crucial to getting your account to profitability and one that cannot be overlooked. This doesn’t mean a single special landing page with a specific number so that you can tell which calls came from adwords. This just simply isn’t good enough.

We need to not only know that the call came from adwords, but which keyword, adgroup and ad was shown to cause that conversion. If we don’t have those details then how are we optimizing the campaign?

Our agency uses Callrail and it works great, but there are tons of other phone tracking companies that do dynamic call tracking so that you can understand  exactly where you are profitable and of course where you are not.

Question For Agency: Are you tracking my calls at the keyword level? Do you know exactly which keywords and ads are generating the calls?

Negative Keywords

You have to have negative keywords at both the campaign level and the ad group level. This is essential if you want to make sure you are getting the right traffic.

You need them at the campaign level for obvious reasons, but also you need them at the ad group level to drive traffic to the specific campaigns you want traffic to go to.

For example: You may want to bid on other brands, but that doesn’t mean you want that traffic to go to every campaign. You want that traffic to go to a specific competitor adgroup where your ads are optimized towards competitors.

Here is a list of negative keywords we use for most accounts. (Be sure to filter them as you might need to take out some.)  

Question For Agency: I’d love to see my negative keyword list and search terms for the past month. Do you mind sharing those with me?

Not Trusting the Data – Your assumptions don’t matter

Of course, your assumptions can help guide you in the beginning or when you are trying to think of new ideas/strategies, but beyond that let the data talk.

I was running all our ads to a basic landing page the other day and the client was super frustrated with it because her designer said it wasn’t “pretty enough” and HER clients liked “pretty” things. The reality was our landing page was converting at 25% which was better than any of the other pages including her website. She would simply not follow so we designed exactly what she wanted and conversions dropped down to 10%.

Just trust the data and make decisions based on data. 🙂

Making too Many Changes at once

Making too many changes at once can really hurt your campaigns. It’s a simple concept really..

If I make tons of changes to the ads and also a ton of changes to the bidding structure how do I know which changes made the positive affect?

Be patient and focus on what you think will influence the account the most.

Not organizing your Ad Groups correctly

Remember, your Ad groups are the sets of keywords that show a specific ad or hopefully multiple ads in rotation. This means that if your keywords are different then in reality you should be showing different ads.

If someone is searching for Attorney & another is searching for Lawyer, you best be showing different ads for each of these keywords focusing on the specific term. People that use the word attorney and those that use the word lawyer, although they essentially mean the same thing are different people groups and by the way are associated with different costs.

Organize your Ad Groups as best you can and it will save you a lot of trouble while giving you much better results.

Question For Agency: How many Ad Groups do I currently have and what are each of their targets?

A/B Testing

Adwords and Digital Marketing is amazing in the sense that we can really track everything that is done enabling us to have full control over our budgets. A/B testing is a way to really take advantage of this especially when it comes to your Ads and their rotations.

Question For Agency: How many Ads do you have for each of my Ad Groups?

Match Types

Match types are incredibly important and you should be using multiple match types with each keyword.

I’m not going to talk about the different match types here. 🙂

You will certainly want to bid differently on variations of your keyword than on the exact match of your keyword and for that reason you have to have it all.

No Ad Extensions

Adwords and SEO is all about Real Estate. You need as much real estate on Google as you can located in the best position possible (top of page 1) in order to get the most traffic to your site and essentially as many leads as you can.

If you aren’t utilizing all the Ad Extensions you can, then you are simply missing out on Google giving you more space in the SERP.

Why would you miss out on this?

Question For Agency: Can you show me which Ad Extensions we are utilizing?

Not Knowing the Value of your Clients (LTV)  

One of the things I personally do with our team is ask them what the numbers are for each of our clients. It amazes me how often (back in the day) that we didn’t know a thing.

How do I know if I’m actually profitable for a client? How do I know if it’s time to expand? How do I know if an Adgroup or Keyword is costing too much per conversion? If I don’t know the value of the clients for my customer then I can’t answer any of these questions.

It’s simple, there are 2 questions you need to ask.

If I gave you 10 phone calls, how many could you close? (I need to know the closing rate)

What’s the value of each client or how much do you profit on average per client?

With these two questions, I can determine roughly if I’m profitable for a client.

If I have a client that is investing $1,000 and I’m getting them 10 leads. They close 50% of those leads and the value of each client is $500. This means they are investing $1,000 and getting $2,500. Not bad! If the Impression Share is only 50% then this is a GREAT opportunity for us to increase the budget and help the client grow!


Adwords isn’t a magic wand. You don’t just turn it on and magically start getting clients. Adwords is very competitive and you have to work the account before you can have a solid ROI a lot of the times.

This doesn’t mean that with experience you can get some accounts to be profitable in month one, because you can sometimes.

This means, don’t over sell yourself. Undersell and overdeliver. We try to set up 3 months of goals for our clients.

What is your clients expectations? Are they realistic?

Running AdWords Express??

Most people will say Adwords Express is terrible and if you’re solid at Adwords, it really is. With that said, I have seen clients that don’t have any clue get better results from Express than “The Real Adwords.”

If you’re an agency and using Adwords Express or you are outsourcing to an agency that is doing. Please stop. It’s a waste of funds on everyone’s part and just wrong in some ways.

Question For Agency: How do I cancel?



If you’re working with an agency, make sure they are taking care of you and they care about your business. If your agency doesn’t care, check out Hite Digital! Not that I’m partial 😉 , but they are pretty amazing.

If you’re an agency, please care about your clients and do what is in their best interest. There is nothing wrong with you not being the best, just outsource this work until you learn. I recommend my agency Hite Digital that specializes in White Label PPC for agencies all across the U.S. 😉

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