Top 3 Things Companies Do Wrong Using Google Adwords

Here at Avant8 we have seen the gamut of Google Adwords accounts that spend anywhere to a couple dollars a day to hundreds of thousands of dollars a day. Marketing on Google Adwords can be very fruitful for many companies, and there is a reason why 96% of Google’s revenue in 2014 of $60 billion came from advertising, because marketing in Adwords generally works. But Google’s system within Adwords is complex and very robust. There are many ways to make your ads as targeted and effective as possible, but there are also many ways to spend a lot of money with little return. Which is why we think it is important to talk about the most common mistakes that companies are making with their Adwords account.

#1 Keyword strategy within Ad Groups is too broad

Google wants advertisers to spend as much money as possible, which is why when using Google’s keyword planner it will “recommend” pretty much any keyword under the internet sun.  When setting up an Ad Group, Google says to use between 10 and 20 keywords. This strategy is ridiculous and destined for failure. You will spend a lot of money with little returns on your advertising spend (ROAS). What we recommend is using single keyword ad groups, aka SKAG’s. By getting as granular as possible with your keyword strategy you then create ads for each ad group that are hyper-relative to your keywords, which in turn will increase your click through rate, and therefore increasing your ad relevancy and expected click through rate, which increases your quality score, which ultimately decreases your cost per click and increase your ROAS. So get out there and start using SKAG’s today!

#2 Negative keyword strategy is non-existent

Negative keywords are an important tool to prevent your ads being served and clicked on by people who are not actually interested in your product or service. By looking through the search terms list that Google provides, you can find out exactly what was Google’d when your ad was shown. This shows you which search terms are relevant to you and which ones are not. Say for instance you are selling hot dogs. After letting your account build up some data you go through the search terms and notice that some of your clicks are coming from consumers who are searching for “veggie hot dogs,” but you don’t sell veggie hot dogs and actually despise all things vegetable. Now you can create “veggie” as a negative keyword so that your ads will not show up and ultimately be clicked on by someone who is looking for “veggie hot dogs.” This will save you money and allocate more of your advertising budget towards the search results that matter.

#3 Conversion Tracking

We cannot stress the importance of setting up your conversion tracking. Many companies will looks at metrics like clicks, impressions, click through rate, and average cost per click. Don’t get us wrong, these are important metrics, but they do not tell us the whole story, and making decisions without the whole story is fatal. Until your conversion tracking is properly set up for each ad, it is futile making adjustments within an account. You could have an ad that generates the majority of your clicks but what if those people who are clicking on your ad actually are looking for something else? Now you think that ad is your biggest revenue driver so you double down and allocate more of your budget to it hoping to see an increase in sales but nothing happens and you just wasted all that money on an ad that doesn’t actually perform. This is why determining what a conversion is for your account, whether it is a form submission, phone call, website purchase, etc., is essential to making your ad dollars work for you.


Your Business Strategy: Firm Focus Or Piece Of Paper?


How is your business strategy being implemented?

Do your employees understand your firm’s current goals? Is it viewed and updated often or is it tucked away at the bottom of your desk drawer? A business strategy is at the root of what your business is and where it is going, without it you may just end up going through the motions and wake up one day to find you are far behind where you want to be. Here are some key points about building a business strategy that will help ensure growth:

  • "Vision without action is a daydream. Action with without vision is a nightmare.”- Japanese Proverb

Anyone who has managed people on any level can relate to that quote. The most important part of a strategy is actually having one. This goes beyond just having a list of goals. What are you doing to accomplish your goals? Are there specific plans of attack next to them? Is there a timeline? It’s not enough to have goals, you need specific plans to accomplish them. More over your strategy needs to be treated like it is important or else it won’t be. This means having it properly formatted and well put together, viewing it often, and keeping it in a safe place.

  • “The result of bad communication is a disconnection between strategy and execution.” - Chuck Martin, former Vice President IBM

Your business strategy won’t mean a thing if you are the only one who knows about. Almost every employee should have an idea of where the business is going and how it intends to get there. Now this doesn’t mean you should share all your trade secrets, but it does mean creating internal messaging. Maintaining a consistent internal message within your organization keeps your whole team moving in the same direction: it provides purpose, focus and coordination. Without these employees won’t feel like they are “a part” of something and will go off in different directions. Cohesiveness goes a long way towards growing your business.

  • “However beautiful the strategy, you should occasionally look at the results.”- Winston Churchill

When performance is measured performance improves. No matter how clever your strategy is for your current environment it can become useless if you are not paying attention. Even very well established corporations can suffer under the growing pains of changes in the market place (the internet is a great example of this). Update and refine your strategy, adjust your messaging, and you will be successful and stay successful.

By following this advice you can take your business strategy, make it a shared vision amongst your employees, keep track of it and make your goals become a reality. A business strategy, properly utilized, is the focus your employees will draw from and the plan you will use to keep driving forward.

Surviving the Google Algorithm Change: What Are Your Options?

Google's recent change in it's search algorithm reflects the truth that more and more people are using their mobile devices to find information.

More smartphones than computers have been sold every year since 2011, and Google wants to connect those smartphones to responsive websites (sites that change depending on the screen it's viewed). With the recent changes not only will websites that are responsive rank higher, but mobile friendly or "lightweight" sites will increase in rank as well. With Americans keeping a mobile device within arms reach 80% of the time, it is important that your business adapt to these new changes to be more visible than your competition.

Here are 5 options to convert your website:

 1) Switch to WordPress - Easy to use with a ready made plugin to convert sites to responsive, WordPress powers over 17% of the web. If you have small or simple site that uses any of the following CMSs ( then converting to WordPress should be easy and cheap.

 2) Separate website - It is possible to make a separate site exclusively for mobile users, and while the initial cost will be low the long term cost and not being future friendly is a large deterrent.

 3) Specialist - If your website is large conversion may not be possible in house. Several companies offer services to convert your website (many will convert it to WordPress), the cost will vary depending on the size and complexity of your site.

 4) Create a new site- The most expensive option, creating a new site from scratch this will insure your site is future friendly and sleek.

 5) Plugins and conversion tools - Other CMSs have plugins or conversion tools similar to WordPress (JQuery has one for example), check to see if your current CMS does. Your modern responsive site may be virtually free.

Having a responsive website is more important than ever with the Google algorithm changes, with 75% of mobile users leaving a site immediately if it isn't mobile friendly, you can't afford to have a low ranking as well.

The Next Google Algorithm Update: Bad News For Non-Mobile Sites!

It finally happened.

After much speculation, Google is rolling out an algorithm update that will flatten the rankings of sites that aren’t responsive on mobile devices. Google appreciates it’s users and that shows in their decision to give less precedence to websites that haven’t made their site friendly for mobile.

Fun Fact: 80% of Americans keep a mobile device within arms reach at all times, a statistic that has fundamentally changed how we search the Internet. Gone are the days of stunted search terms, sparingly typed into a browser window. Now people are using voice capabilities on their cell phones, taking search queries from one or two words to full, grammatically correct sentences and questions. Prioritizing sites that cater mobile device and cell phone users is a logical next step.

Despite how frustrating Google algorithm updates can be for businesses and web masters, they do mean that every day consumers are getting consistently refined, and thus qualified, answers to their queries. Not having a responsive or mobile friendly website tell Google that you don’t care about user experience, and thus, don’t deserve prime ranking positions.

One plus side for those that may be feeling some panic at this news, is that Google reported ‘no change’ on searches from non-mobile devices. So if you currently rank well on a desktop computer, you should continue to do so.

Not sure if your website is mobile friendly or not? Check out Webmaster tools, where Google has created a system to let you know if you’re compliant or not.


Sites are either friendly or not. There is no middle-ground, so be sure to take the time to plug in your url if you aren’t sure. Adapting to a changing market can be the difference between thriving and having to close up shop, so if you get revenue, brand recognition or leads from your website, making it responsive is should be high on your priority list.

Not sure how to go about it? Watch out for our next blog post: How To Make Your Website Mobile Friendly or give us a call….