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The Top 3 Budget-Killing Google Ads Mistakes Beginners Make (And How to Fix Them)

Running a profitable Google Ads campaign takes extensive knowledge and experience. When starting, it's easy to make simple yet expensive errors sabotaging your results.

In this post, I'll cover the three most common Google Ads mistakes, wasting beginners' budgets and how you can fix them to maximise your ROI.

Not Understanding Keyword Match Types

One of the first big-budget killers is not grasping Google's keyword match types.

When you set up and configure campaigns, there are three main types of keyword matches to understand:

Broad Match

Google will automatically try putting new accounts on broad match for keywords.

Here's why this can quickly destroy a small budget...

Broad match takes your keyword's intent or theme and expands it to any number of possible related keywords and variations. So, one broad match keyword turns into Google displaying your ads for a wide spectrum of searches.

This approach can help you discover relevant long-tail keyword opportunities you may have yet to consider. However, the lack of relevance quickly eats through limited budgets as many searches trigger your ads to show where there is little chance of conversion.

Phrase Match

Once you identify keywords and search queries that actually convert for your business, phrase match is ideal for targeting those more precisely.

Phrase match connects your ad to any search that includes the exact keyword phrase you specify rather than loose variations. This eliminates many irrelevant clicks and keeps your ads aligned with proven converting terms.

Exact Match

For the most precision, exact match ensures your ad only shows when a user searches for your exact keyword or phrase that you set. This is the most narrow match type, ideal for focused campaigns around selected highly-proven keywords.

Not Setting Campaign Schedules

Another huge yet easily avoidable budget trap beginners fall into is failing to set campaign schedules. Here's why...

Your target audience is not always actively searching online for your products or services. Even the most eager buyer isn't going to be looking at 3 am in their pyjamas.

Yet if you don't set a campaign schedule, Google will happily spend your daily budget showing your ads at all hours of the day and night to anyone searching your keywords.

Obviously showing your ads outside your audience's active hours means wasting spend on the wrong people at the wrong times who have close to zero chance of converting.

Align Your Ads to Your Audience's Patterns

The fix is using campaign schedules to strictly limit your ads being shown only during your particular audience's peak days and hours of search behaviour online.

Some smart detective work about your buyers' patterns goes a long way here. But the gist is aligning your campaign to only run ads when your audience is most likely to be receptive, not the rest of the time.

Enabling the Search Partners Network

This last one is the most sneaky and abusive budget killer of all when you're first starting out...

Google obviously would love to spend through your full daily ad budget to maximise their revenue. The problem they face is spending that budget genuinely through relevant search engine queries alone with a new account can be difficult.

So that's when they "helpfully" enable a feature called the Search Partners Network for your campaigns.

This opens your ads up to being shown across hundreds of low-quality ad networks, irrelevant websites, and sketchy low value placements where conversion likelihood plummets.

Google enables this by default because blowing budgets is easier spreading ads to the wind rather than targeted search campaigns.

How to Disable Search Partners

Here are the three simple steps to disable search partners network and keep your budget focused on actual search campaigns:

  1. Open your campaign and click into Settings

  2. Under "Networks" uncheck BOTH "Search partners" and "Display Network"

  3. Scroll down and save your changes

This keeps your ads showing only to genuine search engine users, not wasted on low-quality ad networks.

The Key Takeaway

Mastering Google Ads requires extensive skills and experience to profitably leverage. As a beginner, avoid falling into these three common budget-draining traps with the fixes outlined above.

And if you want an expert to optimise and maximise the return from your campaigns and apply proven best practices tailored specifically to your offerings, don't hesitate to get in touch!

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