Mistakes made during Google AdWords campaigns

These are real-life lessons literally learned the hard way by ambitious owners who have tried several tricks in their book, but have realized the mistakes over time, in their quest to build and optimize Google AdWords campaigns. In this post, we focus on a couple of them  and analyze the practical problem  areas.

Promoting a new concept or product using Google AdWords

Take the case of co-founders of Zen Class, a travel accessory retailer located in Baltimore, who had very high hopes when they started using AdWords for promoting a new product. Jesse Travis and Brent Hollowell were looking to push a Seat Back Organizer online. While they were aware of the fact they might well get clicks if they paid for terms such as ‘travel accessories’, they still got wary of the cost (roughly $1.50 a click). The duo feared it would be prohibitive since every visitor wouldn’t be looking for the product.

Hence the entrepreneurs opted to be more specific and run an AdWords campaign with the term ‘airline seat back organizer’. It cost just about 5 cents a click. Any visitor who searched on the keywords would notice their ad along the screen’s right-hand side. However, the AdWords campaign, even after running for many weeks, did not produce enough clicks on their website.

The duo realized that most users were not aware that seatback organizers did exist and thus were hardly likely to look for one online. It was tough to promote a new product that didn’t exist before, they realized. The owners concluded that they would achieve better results advertising using search engine optimization techniques and through other more conventional product-placement ads for improving performance of their site on organic Google searches.

Not setting a realistic budget and running out of resources

An emerging entrepreneur based in New York City, who operates On Location Tours, created an AdWords campaign. Georgette Blau promoted tours timed for a movie release (‘Sex and the City’). In doing so, the owner said she did a mistake: It was of running the ad on the popular Google AdSense network without understanding how fast she could run through the money that she had actually budgeted for it.

An ad placed on the widespread network can appear on hundreds of websites in no time and generate countless clicks. While this can be called a positive thing, it can run up quite a tab, too! As the owner recounted, her ads were getting displayed everywhere, and she had spent hundreds of dollars before she could switch it off. The rising businesswoman has now set more realistic budgets – either daily or monthly – for her campaigns to promote theme based tours.