10 Covert Defaults in Google Ads That Make You Spend More and Lower Your Account ROI

Google Ads is a powerful tool for businesses looking to drive revenue. However, its default settings can often lead to increased spending and lower ROI if not carefully managed. Here are ten sneaky defaults you should be aware of and adjust to ensure your campaigns are as cost-effective and efficient as possible.

1. Automatic Ad Extensions

By default, Google Ads automatically applies ad extensions such as sitelinks, callouts, and structured snippets. While these extensions can enhance ad visibility and provide additional information to users, they can also lead to more clicks that might not always convert. To maintain control, regularly review and customize your ad extensions to ensure they align with your campaign goals.

2. Broad Match Keywords

Google Ads sets new keywords to broad match by default. Broad match can trigger your ads for a wide variety of search queries, many of which may not be relevant to your business. Switching to more precise match types, like phrase match or exact match, can help ensure your ads appear only for searches closely related to your offerings, reducing wasted spend.

3. Display Network Inclusion

When creating a new campaign, Google often includes the Display Network by default. While the Display Network can expand your reach, it may also lead to your ads being shown on websites that are not relevant to your target audience. To avoid this, consider starting with search-only campaigns and later testing display ads separately.

4. Ad Rotation Optimization

Google Ads optimizes ad rotation for clicks or conversions by default. This means the platform will automatically favor certain ads over others, potentially skewing your performance data. If you prefer to have more control and evenly test multiple ads, switch to manual ad rotation, allowing you to gather more balanced performance insights.

5. Automated Bidding Strategies

Automated bidding strategies, such as Target CPA or Maximize Conversions, are often recommended by Google. While these strategies can be effective, they can also quickly increase your spending. Manual CPC bidding allows you to set individual bids for each keyword, giving you greater control over your budget and targeting.

6. Search Partners

Campaigns typically include Google search partners by default. These partners include smaller search engines and websites, which might not perform as well as Google Search itself. If you notice poor performance from search partners, consider excluding them from your campaigns to focus your budget on higher-performing placements.

7. Location Settings

The default location setting targets “People in, or who show interest in, your targeted locations.” This can result in your ads being shown to users outside your desired geographic area. Adjust this setting to “People in or regularly in your targeted locations” to ensure your ads reach the most relevant audience.

8. Ad Suggestions

Google may automatically create and suggest new ads for your campaigns. While these suggestions can be useful, they might not always align with your brand’s messaging or goals. Regularly review and approve or reject these suggestions to maintain control over your ad content and strategy.

9. Dynamic Search Ads

Enabled by default in some campaign types, Dynamic Search Ads (DSAs) automatically generate ads based on your website content. While DSAs can save time, they can also target irrelevant searches if not carefully managed. Regularly review and refine the targeting criteria to ensure your DSAs are driving relevant traffic.

10. Automated Extensions

Google Ads can automatically create extensions such as callouts and sitelinks. These automated extensions might not always be relevant or effective for your specific campaigns. Review and customize your extensions to ensure they support your ad messaging and drive meaningful interactions with your audience.

In Summary

Google Ads offers numerous features and settings to help you optimize your advertising efforts. However, relying on default settings can lead to increased costs and lower ROI. By understanding and adjusting these ten sneaky defaults, you can take greater control of your campaigns, reduce wasted spend, and improve your overall ad performance. Regularly review your settings and performance data to ensure your Google Ads strategy aligns with your business goals and delivers the best possible results.

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