Because Google Adwords is a system that’s easy to ‘get wrong’, companies can unknowingly be wasting budget simply because they’re not aware.

An example we saw some time ago was a company that sold interactive white boards but they were paying for clicks from people who searched for interactive note pads.  They didn’t have phrases like ‘interactive note pads’ in their Adwords campaign but the campaign was set up so that their adverts would be visible when people typed such phrases.   All the campaign showed was that they were getting lots of clicks for ‘interactive white boards’ when in reality, they were getting irrelevant clicks.

Unfortunately (or fortunately for Google), the Adwords system doesn’t say “hi, we’ve sent all these clicks your way but actually, they were from people who typed different keyword phrases”.   That type of data is available in Adwords/Analytics but most people don’t think to go looking for it.   That’s why we make it easy to identify within A1WebStats.

The starting point is to use A1WebStats to identify any clicks you’ve had from Google Adwords.  You can then extract data (including in Excel format) to show you the actual keyword phrases that brought people in from Adwords.  The results will fall into the following categories:

  1. You’re mostly happy with the actual phrases that people typed, although a few odd ones may have triggered your adverts.
  2. You can see some obvious wastage (e.g. people using ‘free’ in their search phrase) and can make changes.
  3. You can see keyword phrases that people used, in large quantities, but that aren’t directly relevant to your business.

How common is it to make mistakes with Adwords campaigns?   Very common – we’ve looked at hundreds of Adwords campaigns over the years and (using A1WebStats to prove it) we see significant wastage in roughly 60% of them.

We also see much bigger wastage from relevant keyword phrases that have brought people in from Adwords, but the website itself isn’t strong enough to convert clicks into enquiries or sales.  However, that’s a completely separate subject to focus on.


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