What better way to improve your AdWords campaigns than to learn from mistakes (preferably the mistakes of others!)? There’s no better way to learn than by example. I can wax poetic about how you can stretch your Google budget, save money, and attract more qualified visitors to your website all day long, but until you see concrete examples of how lax keyword and search term strategies will cost you money AND potential clients, improving your AdWords campaigns isn’t likely to get pushed to the forefront of your mind. After all, you’ve got a business to run, and your Google budget is one of the last things on your mind! I’m now going to give you some real-life examples of how useless search terms are big-time money wasters.

Here, I’ll go over Google AdWords campaigns I’ve worked on, specifically discussing any useless search terms that cost business owners cold, hard cash.


Google AdWords Campaign 1: The Shoestring Budget and the Digital Marketing Disaster

I’m almost too embarrassed to include this example in this article, but I’m going to take one for the digital marketing team and reveal my most awful Google AdWords campaign ever. And the worst thing about this one? I CREATED IT TO PROMOTE MY VERY OWN DIGITAL MARKETING SERVICES. Nearly 40% of my shoestring Google budget was completely wasted because of two things: a failure to check my “Search Terms” and a failure to add negative keywords. What did every single one of my useless search terms include? The word “free.” This is Digital Marketing 101, folks. If you’re not offering a free product, add “free” to your negative keywords. Needless to say, this paid search campaign failed miserably, and I wasted 40% of my Google budget.


Google AdWords Campaign 2: The Vinyl Record Store’s Very Good Promotion

For this blog entry, I audited a Google AdWords campaign I created and ran for a vinyl record store. I’m a stickler for reviewing all keywords before adding them to AdWords campaigns, and it showed in this one. Only 7% of my Google budget was wasted! The useless search terms included “vinyl fencing for sale” and “used vinyl fencing.” This campaign example is important in that it shows that it’s important to regularly review your search terms; there was no way that I could have known that AdWords would have shown vinyl record ads to people searching for vinyl fencing. If I would have reviewed my search terms more often, I would have caught this earlier, and I would have wasted less of my advertising budget on useless search terms.


Google AdWords Campaign 3: $25,000 Down the Drain

When I reviewed the Google AdWords campaigns for a professional transportation company I once did business with, I discovered something jaw-dropping. Over $25,000 of this transportation company’s Google advertising budget had been wasted on useless search terms. These useless search terms included (but were certainly not limited to):

security jobs
auto parts
auto repair
car repair
security license
security guard jobs
auto repair labor
car parts

Not ONE of those search terms had ANYTHING to do with the professional transportation company’s services. If this company had carefully reviewed its search terms, it would have saved over $25,000. OVER $25,000.


a conclusion

In conclusion: money is tight these days, so your marketing and advertising budget is probably smaller than ever. It’s really, really important to carefully review your AdWords campaigns so that your business will be promoted to the most relevant people.

Would you like me to review your AdWords campaigns to see if your Google budget is working to your advantage? Drop me a line, and I’ll be happy to help!


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