5 Reasons Why Your AdWords Account Is Failing

It’s about time you did something about this…


Trying to get a handle on your AdWords account can be more confusing than trying to get a handle on your teenage daughter’s emotions during prom season…


We’ve got you covered. After reading this short article, you will:

  • Be in the top 10 percent of the most knowledgeable business owners when it comes to managing your AdWords account.
  • You will have a better understanding of the power AdWords can have on the success of your business.   
  • We will also show you the #1 most commonly overlooked management practice that could be costing you 30-50% of your entire budget!

Now, let us dive in…

#1  – Not Tracking AdWords Conversions is like athletes not watching what they eat. Weight is going to be gained and competitions are going to be lost.


Believe it or not, most business owners do not have conversion tracking setup. If you are here, you might be one of them. And that’s okay… Actually, no… no, it’s not.


Conversion tracking is absolutely necessary to improve your account. It is so important, that we refuse to work with anyone who, for some reason, cannot set up conversions in their account.


What is conversion tracking?


  • Conversion Tracking is a free tool that shows you what happens after a customer clicks on your ads — whether they purchased a product, signed up for your newsletter, called your business, or downloaded your app. In other words, they are interacting with a “call to action” on your website.


Having conversion tracking installed changes the whole game. You go from playing a guessing game, to actually changing metrics that generate a greater return on investment (ROI). Metrics such as…


  • Max CPCs for keywords
  • Geographic Targets
  • Demographic Targets
  • Bid Adjustments for time of day
  • Ad Copy split tests
  • Landing Page split tests
  • Match Type optimization


….. can all be precisely tuned to maximize the return on investment your account receives.


A scenario where the benefit of having conversion tracking installed, is where an e-commerce company called, HopScotch.com, that sells an assortment of chalk for sidewalks, spends $1000 evenly throughout 4 AdGroups, “Blue”, “Red”, “Green”, and “Rainbow”.


After tracking conversions for 30 days, HopScotch.com noticed the following Cost Per Acquisition (CPA) data:

  • AdGroup Blue: CPA – $1.23
  • AdGroup Red: CPA – $1.41
  • AdGroup Green: CPA – $1.01
  • AdGroup Rainbow: CPA – $0.50


With this new information, HopScotch.com can now restructure their spend allocated to each AdGroup. Instead of spending the budget equally between all 4 AdGroups, they would spend something like…


  • $400 in Rainbow
  • $250 in Green
  • $200 in Blue
  • $150 in Red


..thus, increasing the overall ROI of the account.


You can set up conversions in your tools tab located in your AdWords account.

#2 – Drinking milk won’t cut it this time. You need to learn how to structure the skeleton of your AdWords Account to form a strong foundation.


You cannot build a superstructure on a cracked foundation.”

      –  Billy Graham



You would be surprised to know that most business owners throw thousands of dollars into AdWords without doing a bit of research on how to properly structure it to achieve a profitable ROI…


The structure that Google has laid out is very similar to how you would store files into your computer’s files system. It looks like this:


Campaign Level > AdGroup Level > Keyword Level


What people don’t understand about this structure is:


  • How to properly organize the Keywords in the AdGroups
  • How to optimize the settings on each level
  • How to avoid wasting 30-50% by improperly using “Match Types”
  • Not using “Negative Keyword Matching” to eliminate search terms that are blatantly irrelevant.


Let’s dig into that list a little deeper…


Google is a company with its own bottom line to worry about.


When you set up your AdWords account, did you use Google’s recommended AdGroup and Keyword structuring?


If you answered yes, I am very sorry but you have been set up to fail from the very beginning.


Google, like any other company, is in the game to make money. AdWords is the reason they are one of the largest companies in the world. So it would make sense for them to squeeze as much dolla bills as possible out of this revenue stream.


However, Google does give you all the resources you need to learn how to effectively manage your account. The problem is, most business owners are too busy to learn the process and spend the time in the account to keep it running smoothly.


How You Should Structure Your AdWords Account


#3 – Match Types the #1 Budget Killer if Done Improperly

What are they?   –   Match Types are settings for each keyword that help control how closely the keyword needs to match a person’s search term in order to trigger your Ad.


Adwords, Match Types, Bid, Strategy

Each keyword uses a matching option to help control which searches should trigger your Ad to show. You can choose one or more matching options for a keyword. If you don’t specify a particular matching option, keywords are considered as broad match.


And that’s the kicker. “Broad Match” is the default match type when you set up the account.


If that doesn’t seem like a big deal, then let me tell you that having your keywords set to ONLY Broad Match is wasting 30-50% of your budget on useless/irrelevant keywords.


If you would like to look at this in your own account, do the following:


Open AdWords > Select your main campaign > Select your largest AdGroup by spend >  Select a keyword with no symbols in or around the keyword (such as +, “  “, or [  ]) > Select “Search Terms”


Now, review those search terms and take note of the percentage of the cost it has taken from your marketing budget.


However, if done properly, Match Types are one powerful tool to generate a successful, predictable, and profitable account. (See figure above.

#4 – Being Above Average Rocks! Here’s How to Boost Your Quality Scores.


Ensuring that your Quality Scores are high is very important for any advertiser, and vital for an advertiser in a competitive market. Why?


Your Quality Score is like a warning light in a car’s engine that shows how healthy your Ads and keywords are. Obviously, anything that is healthy is going to run efficiently.


Quality Score Factors

 AdWords, Quality Score, Factors


One thing I want to make very clear here is that, in the figure above, “Relevancy” is referring to grammatical relevancy.


An example of a good keyword grouping for an AdGroup called “Window Tinting Service”:

“Window Tint” & “Window Tinting”


An example of a bad keyword grouping for an AdGroup called “Car Repair”:

“Car Repair” & “Mechanic”


The same thing applies to your Ad Copy and your website (or landing page) that the AdGroup is directing traffic to. You must be using the same grammatical words on your site and in your Ad copy, as the keywords you set in the AdGroup.


Simple enough? Maybe so. But you would be surprised to know a number of advertisers that do not know about Quality Scores and the impact that they have on your account. See impact graphic below.


Note: The average quality score across all industries is a 7. The chart below displays the increase in CPC and decrease in CPC that you can expect by obtaining a quality score between 1-10.


Adwords, Quality Score, account, effects

Steps to check your Quality Scores:


  1. Login into AdWords
  2. Select “Keywords” Tab
  3. Select “Columns”
  4. Select “Attributes”
  5. Select “Qual. Score”
  6. Select “Add”


You should now see your quality scores for each keyword in the column to the far right of the keywords page.


If you would like to know more on “Quality Scores” and how to improve them to dramatically decrease your CPC, schedule a complimentary audit with our Senior Marketing Consultant, Nate Hadley. He would be more than happy to chat with you and dive into your account to give you a detailed analysis of what changes your account needs to be successful.


# 5 – A/B Split Testing Settings and Optimizing for Efficiency.


Last, but not least, on this list, is the optimizations you can make in the “Settings” section of your account. These settings include:


  • Location Settings
  • Ad Schedules
  • Device Settings
  • Audience Optimizations


Optimizing your Location Settings consists of bid adjusting your Ads based on the location of your audience. This can be a powerful tool if you are a business that has a product or service that would benefit an East Coast crowd rather than a West Coast crowd.


Optimizing your Ad Schedules consists of bid adjusting your Ads based on the time of day your Ads are shown. An example of a business that would greatly benefit from this setting is a local business that is only open from 9-5 and does not want to spend as much money advertising outside business hours, leaving more budget for the hours of operation.


Device Settings are for bid adjusting the share of the budget for Desktop, Mobile, and Tablets. An example of a business that would benefit from optimizing this setting would be a local business or a business with a product that has a lower price point that provides convenience to the customer’s life. Many businesses convert better on mobile and some convert better on a desktop. It is important to track your conversion rates on both and bid adjust to favor the device with the higher conversion rate.


Lastly, Audiences Optimizations is for demographic targeting. If you have an ideal client that you would like to heavily target, you can set bid adjustments for people that express certain interests, are within a certain age group, or by gender. Just like device targeting, tracking conversions based on demographics allows you to see trends and make bid adjustments to favor the demographics with better conversion rates.


Pretty neat, huh? If you didn’t know, well now you do…


Google is trying to make AdWords simpler. But the reality is, they are always adding new features and ways to optimize your account. You must stay on top of them because your competition will.


Although, understanding these 5 steps will get you far in having success with AdWords, success is never guaranteed. There are countless other factors that will determine if you strike gold or bedrock.


It’s up to you to determine your most profitable market and how to target them at the lowest cost possible.


Want more tips? You’re in luck! We are offering a Free AdWords Tips Drip Series. Our goal is to make you an AdWords Pro by the end of the 2-week series. Just fill out the form! 

Want More Adwords Tips?

If you enjoyed this post, enter your name and email and we’ll email you the latest Google Adwords best practices.




A little Bit About Me

  • My name is Isaiah and my official title is General Manager here at Atria Media Group. We are a Digital Marketing Agency that focuses on AdWords Management and Search Engine Optimization (SEO). We are based out of Salt Lake City, Utah.
  • I have been in the AdWords and SEO game for 3 years and have had the privilege of helping dozens of businesses grow from failing marketing strategies to extremely profitable strategies in under 6 months.
  • I truly care about the success of others and I genuinely want to help you.

Thanks for reading and have a beautiful day!