3 Google Ads Mistakes You Didn't Know You Were Making (And How to Fix Them)

After keyword research, audience targeting, budget discussions, creative brainstorms, and all the other steps that go into creating a Google Search campaign, it’s easy to overlook some of the most important settings when putting the finishing touches on your campaign. Although these three settings might not be top of mind when planning your next campaign, make sure you do a final check and put the right ones in place before going live.

1. Choosing the right networks

When running a search campaign, the assumption is that your ads will appear on Google Search. While this is true, Google also automatically opts all new campaigns into the Search Partner and Display networks. Initially, this might seem like a good thing since you’ll get more eyes on your ads, but often, the leads from the Search Partner and Display networks are not as high quality as those you’ll find on Google Search. Although Google Search is more expensive than Search Partners and Display, you’ll often find the most high-quality, high-intent interactions here. 

But what if you want to run on Search Partners or Display? It’s not a bad idea to test Search Partners within your Search campaign, but make sure you keep a close eye on the quality of leads and whether they came from the Search Partner Network or Google Search itself.

When it comes to Display, your best option is to keep these campaigns separate from Search campaigns. Google will give you the option to put unspent budget on the Display Network within your existing Search campaigns, which can be tempting, but a better option is to put this budget into its own campaign specifically targeting the Display Network.

On Search, users are actively looking for products or services related to your keywords, but Display campaigns are served to users across websites, apps, and other Google-owned properties, so they might not see these ads at the ideal time. Putting unspent budget into a separate Display campaign allows you to optimize for goals better aligned to the ad format and placements, for example, brand awareness.

2. Target locations the right way

For new Google Ads users, location targeting seems pretty straightforward. You select the locations you want to target, and that's where your ads will show. This is true only if you turn on the ‘Presence’ location setting for each of your campaigns. By default, the locations you target are set to ‘Presence or interest.” But what do each of these mean?

  • When you choose the ‘Presence’ location setting for your campaign, this means your ads will only serve to people in or regularly in your targeted locations.
  • If you choose ‘Presence or interest,’ your ads will serve to individuals in your targeted locations or those who show interest in your targeted locations.

For campaigns with highly location-specific needs, such as a business that only makes transactions with other businesses within the United States, selecting the ‘Presence’ location setting is important if you want to ensure that leads are physically in your targeted locations.

3. Automatically Created Assets

There’s lots of debate around using automatically created assets in your Google Ads campaigns. While the effectiveness of this feature varies highly from business to business, we’ve often found that in the niche B2B world, it’s best to turn off automatically created assets so you have control over your ad copy and assets.

It’s important to remember that this is a setting you have to toggle on/off at the campaign and account levels. Within each campaign, you have the option to tell Google whether or not you’d like automatically created headline and description assets for your ads, and at the account level, you can control automatically created assets like sitelinks, callouts, structured snippets, and more.

If you use automatically created assets of any kind in your Google Search campaigns, we recommend checking on them often to make sure they align with your business goals.

Any time you’re starting a new paid advertising campaign, it’s important to ensure you have a solid strategy in place. There are great resources you can reach out to for help, like the Google Help Center or agencies like drop & hook. Drop us a line to talk more about digital advertising!

Back to Blog