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5 AdWords Halloween Horrors

Posted on October 31, 2016


Tonight the darkness falls across the land

The midnight hour is close at hand

Creatures crawl the web looking for deals

To terrorize shops and make steals

Whatever shall be found

Without good ads, shops will go down

Your ads must stand and face hell

Or rot inside their corps’s shell

The foulest stench is in the air

The funk of thousand years

The grizzly ghouls from every tomb

Are closing in to seal the doom

And though you fight to stay alive

You need to know about the big bad 5


Not Using Negative Keywords

Generic Ad Horrors

Mobile Monsters Are Real

Auto-tagging Could Save Your Life

Don’t Be Scared Of Broad Match Modifier

1. Not Using Negative Keywords

Negative keywords prevent your ads from being triggered by a word or phrase in a search query. Negative keywords might seem like a crazy idea because you want your ads to appear for everything right?


Remember that scary time an advertiser spent their entire budget on clicks from customers searching for “Free” products and services?

Not Using Negative Keywords

The advertiser probably doesn't want to pay for clicks from customers looking for free parking

Using Negative keywords will save you money. They stop your ads being shown and clicked on by the wrong people.

2. Generic Ad Horror

If your customer is searching for a specific product or service, make sure your ad copy is tailored to the keywords your bidding on.

The customer is looking for an F150 lease. If the ad copy contains the keywords they are more likely to cook.

The customer is looking for an F150 lease. If the ad copy contains the keywords they are more likely to click.

Think like your customer. If they search for a product or service and your generic ad appears, but below it, a competitor ad matches exactly what they are looking for, they’re going to click the competitor ad.

  1. Ensure that each one of your ad groups has ads relevant to the keywords in it.
  2. Have at least two variations of an ad in each ad group so you can split test the ads.

The perfect ad is;

  1. Relevant
  2. Has a clear call to action
  3. Shows your unique selling point

3. Mobile Monsters Are Real

Your brand name dominates the organic search results. So you might have decided bidding on brand keywords is a waste money.

The advertiser didn't bid on their brand and but it looks a competitor did.

The advertiser didn't bid on their brand and but it looks a competitor did.

Welcome to 2016, where a lot of your customers use mobiles to search for products and services.

On mobile, If you don't bid on your brand terms and your competitors are, you're being pushed off the screen.

Build mobile specific ads;

  1. Shorter content
  2. Be clear what the customer should do next
  3. Use Mobile bid modifiers, bid up or down based on conversion rate
  4. Click to call extensions, make it life easy for your customers

4. Auto-tagging Could Save Your Life (but more likely your money)

Did you leave your brain in a jar?

Auto-tagging gives you a wealth of data at the click of a button;

  1. Hour of day an ad was clicked
  2. Ad placements data
  3. Keyword positions
  4. Display targeting data
  5. Video campaign data
  6. Shopping campaign data
  7. You can compare the performance AdWords data against non Google campaigns
  8. Track Google Analytics bookings and sales in AdWords

If you haven't switched it on, or it’s broken, your going to have a ghoulish time tracking return on ad spend.

Switch on AdWords auto-tagging with the click of a button in and Bing auto-tagging.

5. Don’t Be Scared Of Broad Match Modifier

Be Afraid, very afraid, of broad match keywords.

A broad match fail

A broad match fail. Thanks to for this image.

If you're using broad match keywords, you're probably spending a fortune. Or if you were spending a fortune you may have stopped using broad match already which has cut your reach in half.

I recommend Broad Match Modifier. You can create keywords that reach more customers than phrase match but give you much more control than broad match.

Broad Match
Broad match keyword:
  • pirate fancy dress
Ads may show on searches for:
  • dresses
  • pirate costumes
  • fancy costumes
  • pirate fancy dress
  • pirate games
Broad Match Modified
Broad match modified keyword:
  • +pirate +fancy +dress
Ads may show on searches for:
  • pirate fancy dress
  • children pirate fancy dress
  • pirate fancy dress costumes
  • pirate costumes for fancy dress
  • fancy pirate dresses

Broad match modified keywords or closes synonyms must all be included in the search query but can appear in whatever order. This allows you to gain a lot more volume than just using "Phrase" match but without the risk of broad match.


If you need any help setting up your paid search account, give us a call or email us. We're always happy to help out where we can. As well as providing Google AdWords Consultancy we also offer Google AdWords Training and in house custom workshops.

Authored by Michael King

profile shot of Michael King

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