It’s time to talk about the most common mistakes we find in our clients’ contextual advertising accounts when they finally decide, to make a second attempt and come to us after a failed experience with otheradvertisers.

We took only real active advertising accounts as a source for our analysis, rather than inventing theoretical mistakes that can occur in the process. We suggest you to check yourself while reading the article and create a handy check-list, so that you can either make sure that your advertising settings are correct, or find some aspects you’re not sure about and want to fix.

So, let’s get started.

First, let’s pay your attention to the basic mistakes related to your account and Google Analytics, and not to a specific advertising campaign.

1. No connection between Google Ads and Google Analytics accounts

This error relates to inattention or lack of experience. It is common even for accounts that already set up Google Analytics and have detailed tracking of targets and clicks.

What is the follow-up problem? There is no way to analyze the effectiveness of advertising with the analytics tool, because the data from the advertising account will not be transmitted to the analytics cabinet. Naturally, you can look at clicks and displays, CTR, cost, but these indicators are usually beyond the purpose of running ads. Lack of data on conversions against keywords makes it impossible to analyze and optimize the ad display properly, so it is possible that you are just wasting your advertising budget.

If your advertising account is not related to analytics:

You need to link Google Ads and Google Analytics accounts in the Settings -> Linked Accounts tab.

2. No targets configured in Google Analytics

The next typical mistake made by inexperienced marketers is that Google Analytics is not configured to track target actions on the site, or they were incorrectly identified within a particular topic.

What does it mean? Getting customer contacts from a contact form or a call from a website are the main goals for most businesses. Calls are tracked through call tracking, and leads are already tracked through conversion tracking in Analytics. However, there are times when the account is set up to go to the Delivery and Payment page, and clicks on a variety of buttons, and tracks the number of downloads of presentations or the number of pages that users view per session, but the main purpose, which is to get the client’s contact information is simply absent.

So what should you do if a relevant goal isn’t tracked?

The first step is to determine whether the clients can leave their own contact information on the site. Otherwise, if your goal is phone calls, do you have working call-tracking? Without a working contact form and call tracking, there is nothing to track in these two cases. Therefore, if you have successfully completed the first step, the second step is to set up the goals with Google Support on your own, or contact a Google Ads specialist.

(You might also be interested in: Why do we need UTM tags?)

3. Targets from Google Analytics are not imported into Google Ads

This is the third error associated with Google Analytics frequently encountered in client accounts, which can also be a consequence of the previous two. Therefore, if you have found the previous two errors in your advertising account, you can safely put a “Fix” mark on this point, too.

What are the consequences of this error? Well, you can add all the previous problems to the consequences of this point. However, at this point I’d like to mention that without importing conversions into Google Ads you cannot use intelligent bid assignment which is based on the work of the machine algorithm. What does this mean for us? We will no longer be able to use ad display strategies optimized for maximum conversions or target price per conversion, which are now becoming increasingly effective against the backdrop of manual bidding strategies.

So what to do if you forgot to import the conversions?

You can import them from Google Analytics in the Google Ads Tools and Settings -> Tracking -> Conversions.

Here you should consider a small but important nuance – import only those targets for which it is really important to optimize advertising campaigns. Or you can import them all, but not include them in the conversions column. Why? If the automated algorithm will take into account goals such as “duration of a session” or “click to a specific page” to optimize the display of ads, then it will probably make no sense. Consider only those goals that are ultimate for your business.

4. The wrong attribution model is used

The wrong attribution model, namely “by last click,” is found in almost every agency account.

Users may search and click on different ads from the same advertiser multiple times on the way to conversion. Applying an attribution model, you can attribute some of the overall conversion value to individual interactions. For example, a user found your social media site and clicked on a link. Then you launched a remarketing on this person, he clicked on the banner, but still purchased on the next day, when he found your site for a branded query in the search results If the attribution model is set by the last click, the conversion is assigned to the organic results. But what about the merits of remarketing, after all, remarketing also influenced the return of the user to the site? In the case when the route to conversion takes a few clicks, it’s essential to change the attribution model. We hope you understand the example.

What to make with the attribution model?

Go to the conversions tab in Google Ads. This can be done by going to the Tracking -> Conversions tab, click on the conversion you are interested in and set the appropriate attribution model. If you don’t know how to choose the right attribution model, choose the linear model. It works like this: for example, we had three touches before the purchase (conversion). One conversion is divided by three user clicks and each channel will be attributed a value of 33.3%.

(You might also be interested in: Turnkey contextual advertising setup)

5. Remarketing lists are not configured in the Workspace

Remarketing is a type of advertising that allows you to show ads to users who have previously visited your site. We recommend creating remarketing lists right away, even if you haven’t decided yet whether you will use them. If you forget to do this, or if you make lists but do not import them into Google Ads, you cannot use them for advertising, and will have to collect them first.

What to do if there are no audiences?

Create a new audience of previously visited users in the Google Analytics or Google Ads settings (if the Ads tag is set on the site). If the audience was configured in analytics, import the list of users into Google Ads. Then you can use that audience for targeting in your created and new campaigns.

6. There is no mobile version of the site, although the display of ads on mobile devices is enabled

It is not always an obvious problem, which has more to do with websites than with the ad account and analytics. But since this aspect must be considered before launching an advertising campaign and is directly related to the audiences of advertising, we classify it to this part.

If your website is not adapted for mobile devices, you shouldn’t show ads to users who use a phone to search. Sure, in many areas most of the traffic comes from mobile devices, but if you have a bad loading speed or inconvenient site interface, you will simply waste your budget, because users visiting such sites are less likely to make a conversion. Even if the user waited for the download, but the website is poorly designed in terms of usability, placement of blocks and marketing messages, the user may opt in favor of other sites.

What to do in such a case?

You should stop advertising on mobile devices, save up your resources, and contact a programmer, and maybe even a designer, to refine a user-friendly adaptive mobile version. You can find recommendations for optimizing the mobile version using the Google service: