OK, so now I’ve got your attention I will make the bold but rather obvious assumption that you currently have a Google AdWords campaign live & you do not believe it’s performing to the best of its abilities.

Well, you are probably right.

So get your pen and paper ready, because the next 8 minutes of your life are going to help you save hundreds, if not thousands of dollars in advertising spend, whilst improving ROI and driving more conversions to your business.

We all know how to set up a Google AdWords account, how to build a campaign, add keywords and go live. However, what a lot of people don’t realize is that there is much more to Google AdWords, there is a science behind it.

Over the next couple of minutes I am going to discuss 3 of the biggest money-draining issues that appear in Google AdWords accounts, and I can guarantee that you suffer from at least 1 of these.

1. Broad match keywords are sucking up all of your budgets

Pay Per Click

Google AdWords has 3 match types, right? Wrong – they have 4 match types these are – broad, broad match modified, phrase & exact.

To be honest, there are 7 but we are not going to include negative match types, as they are not relevant in this section.

Back to the matter in hand, one of the biggest mistakes most people make when using Google AdWords is utilizing the wrong match type.

One of the biggest mistakes most people make when using Google AdWords is utilizing the wrong match type.


Generally, because they are not fully aware of the options available and secondly, they don’t completely understand how the match types work.

So, let me just put it bluntly – do not use broad match type.

There, I said it and I am very happy to get that out. The reason I am telling you not to use broad match is simply because it’s well, too broad. It’s practically uncontrollable, unless you want to spend hours and hours of your day negative matching irrelevant keywords. Also, it’s just silly since you have a much more effective and efficient match type available called “broad match modified”.

What’s the difference between broad match & broad match modified?

There is a big difference between these two match types, broad match works like this:

Let’s say you are targeting the keyword “Apple iPad” on broad match. This technically means that you could appear for anything including the query “Apple” or “iPad” or both, such as:

• Red Apple

• iPad Help

• iPad Tips

• Applebottoms

• Apple iPad 3

If however, you chose to have “Apple iPad” on broad match modified, and you added the necessary “+” in front of each individual keyword within the query, you would limit yourself to queries such as:

• Apple iPad 3

• Apple iPad Sale

• Apple iPad Case

Therefore, restricting you from appearing for any irrelevant queries within the SERP.

Broad Match Modified allows for significantly more control whilst ensuring you get relevant exposure.

To summarize using broad match type is not recommended in almost any circumstance, broad match modified allows for significantly more control whilst ensuring you are getting the most relevant exposure. I recommend that you go and check your account right now for any broad keywords and change them immediately.

2. You don’t separate your match types into different ad groups or campaigns


Another big issue is when people don’t segment keywords by match type, this is absolutely crucial for those looking to grow their accounts and to reduce waste.

Whether you have a brand new account or a 5-year-old account, you should have separate campaigns or ad groups for each match type you are using. Allow me to explain this properly through the following example:

You are running a campaign for the promotion of the new Apple iPad 3 and you want to ensure you are getting maximum exposure, whilst targeting the most relevant keywords and having a tight control on the best performing keywords.

In this case you will want the following campaign structure:

Campaign 1: Apple iPad – Broad

Ad Groups: Broad

Keywords: +Apple +iPad

Campaign 2: Apple iPad – Exact

Ad Groups: Exact

Keywords: [Apple iPad]

OK the above is a really, really small example of how to structure campaigns and separate your match types, but I hope you get the picture.

Notice I didn’t use phrase match? Well, if you use broad match modified and exact match there is very little point for using phrase match. The whole idea of the broad match modified campaign is to fish for new queries. You then run a search query report that will highlight any winning keywords (those which convert at a target CPA or can be optimized to do so) and any poor keywords (those which spend, but never convert). With the winning keywords you add these to your exact match campaign and then cross-negative match them in your broad match campaign. The poor keywords are automatically negative matched in the broad match campaign.

Over time what you would expect to see is impressions and clicks decreasing in the broad match campaign, whilst in the exact match campaign, impressions and clicks would increase at a slower rate.

I realize the above was a lot to take in, but I urge you to go and check your accounts right now and check whether your keywords have been put in to separate campaigns based on their match type.

3. You do not take advantage of all the relevant ad extensions

Ad Extensions

Another big one, and even bigger since Google changed the algorithm to make it more compelling for AdWords users to actually implement as many relevant ad extensions as possible.

There are a variety of ad extensions, and the list continues to grow but the most obvious and probably most important for you to use are the enhanced sitelinks.

But first, before we get on to the different ad extensions available, let me tell you why it’s more important than ever to use them.

On the 22nd October 2013, Google quietly released an update to their AdWords Ad Rank algorithm that basically meant that ad extensions now factored in to the ad rank algorithm.

To put it simply, if you were trying to outrank a competitor and you didn’t use ad extensions but they did, then they would win. This is why it is now more important than ever to use ad extensions, although you should be using them anyway.

With that being said, take a look in to your account and see which ad extensions you are using, if you are not using the following ad extensions then add them.

These are an absolute essential for any Google AdWords account, I recommend adding 6-8 sitelinks per campaign, and ensuring that you add two lines of text to the description boxes for each sitelink.

Callout Extensions

This is one of the most recent ad extensions to be introduced, which allows you to add additional text about your business. It’s basically an area to highlight your company’s unique selling points or main areas of expertise.

Call Extensions

If you have a company phone number and you take enquiries over the phone then this is a must-have, especially if you are a lead generation business, or a phone call is required.

Location Extensions

If you have a physical location, a shop, a restaurant, a café or an office then consider adding location extensions so potential customers can easily locate you.

Review Extensions

Do you have a product that has been reviewed by a third party company? Then be sure to add review extensions to highlight any glowing reviews of your products or services.

App Extensions

If you have an app, then begin promoting it today through App Extensions.

If you were trying to outrank a competitor and didn’t use ad extensions but they did – they would win.

The point is, if any of the above ad extensions are relevant to you then add them; it will help improve your overall ad rank which will help to improve the positioning of your ad, the click through rate and therefore help to decrease your cost per click. Not only this, but each ad extension will help in its own unique way, whilst also bolstering your advertisement space, therefore creating a more overpowering and engaging advertisement with the SERPs.

Final Thoughts

If you have read this far then I hope you have made the relevant changes to your AdWords account. Now take a note of the date you made those changes and check your performance data over the next couple of days and weeks to see what difference it has made.

I just covered 3 of the biggest issues I find in Google AdWords accounts, but there are plenty more. If you want to optimize your AdWords account, improve the efficiency and generate a more effective advertising campaign then be sure to follow Google’s best practices, use their support website & follow the official AdWords blogspot.