The Top 6 Reasons Your AdWords Campaign Failed

Many of the clients that come to Everett Andrew Marketing are small and mid-sized business owners who originally created a Google AdWords campaign on their own.  Unfortunately, when their campaign failed to produce results—and their money had been all but wasted—they were left wondering what went wrong.  To that end, I’ve put together six top reasons that campaigns flop and a brief description of each.

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#1. Misunderstanding Keywords and the Search Term Report

keywords adwords campaign failureFirst of all, it’s important to make sure you understand the distinct difference (and detailed implications) between the terms: exact match, phrase match, broad match, and modified broad match keywords.  If you’re not entirely sure, you probably built a campaign that showed your ad to irrelevant searches.

Thus, every time your ad was shown for a “mismatched” search and someone clicked on it (probably merely because it was at the top of the search page), you spent money.

When it comes to making sure you have the right keywords set up, Google’s “Search Term Report” (which, frankly, is buried deep inside your Google AdWords account and can be hard to find) is your very best friend.  Inside this report, you can see exactly what someone typed in to Google, which then triggered your ad, and led to a click.  In other words, it can tell you rather simply whether or not you’re on the right track.  Without it, though, you’re all but sunk.

#2. Misinterpreting What Customers Really Want

Many AdWords campaigns fail because they are built with the company’s goals in mind, rather than the goals of potential customers.

Imagine your goal is to sell your products to visitors who click on your ads.  To accomplish this, you’d build your AdWords campaign to get new website visitors right to the product page they’re looking for.  Right?  Next, you expect they’ll love your product and make the decision to purchase right away.

In reality, however, the customer needs more information and may likely want to speak with someone from your company or learn more before they commit.  She needs to know your company is trustworthy and your product is exactly what she is looking for before she makes the purchase.  If she is coming to your website from a Google Ad, she more than likely wants to learn, rather than make a commitment.

A company that listens carefully to commonly-asked questions and understands their customers’ fears and doubts and also enables them to get in touch (via chat on your website, a contact form, a phone call, etc.) will bring AdWords visitors much closer to a sale in the long run and will make the most of their budget.

#3. Focusing on Features Instead of Benefits

We are all guilty of this one.  As business owners, when we create something, we tend to be in love with that thing’s features (i.e. advanced ingredients, special components, imported materials, etc.).  What we forget to convey to consumer is that thing’s benefits (i.e. convenience, easy of use, prestige, etc.).  Why should Mary care if a high-end skin cream has ceramides when she’s just looking for something to make her look younger?

  • Features: The nuts and bolts of a thing (e.g. 24/7 home monitoring, fast security patrol response time, the ability to control cameras through an app)
  • Benefits: The desired outcome from using a thing (e.g. peace of mind, safety)

Those inside an organization have a difficult time seeing it from the perspective of an outsider—and, frankly, it’s hard to see a thing’s benefits off the bat.  But failure to communicate the benefits in your AdWords campaign may lead to the campaign’s failure…because, for better or worse, shoppers just aren’t compelled to buy with features alone.