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As you likely know, Google AdWords is currently the most popular Pay-Per-Click advertising tool on the Internet. Setting up a Google PPC campaign is relatively easy and quick. You can actually be up and running in a matter of minutes. And… yes, you can get instant traffic to your site.

However, new AdWords advertisers often tend to make mistakes in setting up their campaign. As a result, their paid search efforts do not achieve the maximum return on investment (ROI). An underperforming pay-per-click campaign can quickly drain your account.

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The seven novice AdWords Campaign mistakes to avoid:

1. No campaign management
Likely the biggest mistake is launching an online paid ad campaign and just letting it run on its own. It’s like buying a car and never maintaining it. How can you expect it to work properly?  Ensure that you consistently monitor and optimize your campaign in order to get the best results.

2. No campaign goals

Similarly, many new search ad marketers haven’t set goals and haven’t figured out how to measure success. And… they do not know how their campaign is performing. Goal and conversion rates can be tracked with Google Analytics, which can be linked to your Google AdWords accounts.

3. Wrong geo-targeting
With Internet marketing, you can target the entire world. However is this the right location to market your business? Rather than having your ads showing up globally, review your geo-targeting. Select the correct country, city or a specific region. Your budget will go further and your localized clicks will be more qualified.

4. Overlooking ad distribution
If there is one component of AdWords that’s most often neglected, it is ad distribution. By default, where your ads will be displayed (search, search partners and content networks) are pre-selected. Again, you should test, track and modify your selection.

5. No ad variations
Yes – you can have one search campaign with one ad – but why would you? Running multiple ads will allow you to test them to determine which ones perform and which ones do not. During this testing process, you will want to ensure that you have ad rotation switched to “rotate”.

6. Poor keyword selection
There are two equally common errors made during the keyword selection process. The first is choosing too many keywords. Start with a managable number of 10 to 20. Second, avoid using broad match only (again a default setting). These terms tend to be highly competitive and costly (high cost-per-click). Instead select more targeted keyword phrases in narrower niches. They will likely send more qualified visitors at a lower CPC rate.

7. Non-converting landing page
This is the most common mistake that we see during our Google AdWords audits. Ad traffic is sent to the home page rather than to a specific landing page that was designed for conversion. This often results in high bounce rates, poor quality score and consequent lower ad ranking.

PPC search engines such as Google can provide your business with targeted web traffic. It’s a good strategy to use them to help you get found in a search. For optimal conversions, and a good return on your investment, AdWords optimization and campaign management are essential.