Alert! 10 Alarming Signs You Need Help with Adwords

#1: Your Account Is Disorganized

This is the number one red flag that the Adwords struggle is real. Tackling a mess of an account structure can be quite the task. So, what are the easiest ways to identify that your account structure needs major renovations?

  • Overstuffed Ad Groups: Do you have lots of ad groups with over 25 keywords? Be careful: Having too many keywords per ad group leads to relevancy issues, and if you dig into the data you’ll most likely notice that only a handful of your keywords are generating traffic.  Ensure your keywords match your ad copy, and if your ad groups have tons of keywords, the chance that all of those will match your ad text is slim.
  • Irrelevant Groupings: This typically ties in with overstuffed ad groups, but it can go even beyond that. Your campaigns should have a relevant theme that ties into the ad groups, which should be grouped based on keyword semantics. Keywords should relate directly to the ad copy and landing pages that searchers are being directed to.
  • A Huge Number of Campaigns and/or Ad Groups: Unless you’re a massive retailer selling globally, your account likely does not need to have thousands of ad groups or campaigns. Accounts with too many ad groups or campaigns end up stretching their budgets far too thin, or have a bunch of junk ad groups that aren’t generating any revenue and few impressions. Your account needs to be decluttered to focus on the campaigns and ad groups that actually provide ROI.

#2: You Inherited an AdWords Account OR Have to Build One from Scratch

If you’re inheriting an account, it can be extremely challenging to understand how to make appropriate optimization decisions moving forward. You need to dig into the past history, investigate metrics like average CTR, CPA, Quality Score, impression share, and average positions to set realistic goals and understand where you are in terms of industry standards. Is conversion tracking set up? How is attribution being handled? Is there a mobile strategy in place? Unless you have support from the previous account manager, taking over an account that was already running can be extremely challenging to do alone.

Building out from scratch can leave you in a similar situation, wondering where to start. Creating an entirely new AdWords  account requires a tremendous amount of attention to detail, not to mention a strategy for structuring, and unfortunately there’s no one right way to structure an account since each industry and company is unique.

#3: Your Click-Through Rates Are Low

Did you know that the average click-through-rate (CTR) for the Search Network is 2% (according to Google)? CTR is the ratio of clicks to impressions on your ad, so a CTR of 2% means that out of 100 impressions, you got two clicks through to your site.

So if your CTR is 2%, you’re good? Well, not necessarily. The average CTR is different for every industry and business model. Plus, if 2% is average, don’t you want to be above average? CTR also varies depending on the position of your ad – the higher your ad rank, the higher your CTR tends to be.

Wait, why do we want high CTR’s in the first place? The higher the CTR the more you have to pay, right? Not necessarily… According to WordStream founder Larry Kim, advertisers with low CTR’s end up paying up to 400% more for fewer clicks because of the penalty for lower Quality Scores. Not only does having lower click-through rates negatively impact your Quality Score (which impacts the amount you pay per click), it also affects your impression share (how frequently Google displays your ads).

There are lots of ways to improve the CTR of your ads, from testing your ad creative to adding extensions, but if they’re low across the board, you definitely need help!

#4: You’re Responsible for Social Media, SEO, Content Marketing + More

The problem is, many of us are not able to wear multiple hats effectively. If you’re juggling a thousand responsibilities it’s incredibly easy to shove your AdWords account in the corner.  Half of small-business marketers – the ones most likely to be extremely busy and trying to do it all – only do ad optimizations once per quarter. You let the dust accumulate until you realize you’ve wasted thousands of marketing dollars on irrelevant searches.

The thing with PPC is, you cannot set it and forget it. Many multitasking marketers end up learning this the hard way. Luckily, there are ways to save your account from neglect. If you’re able to, block off some time in your calendar each week to focus on AdWords, and create a workflow to follow and track your progress. Even 20 minutes per week can make a big difference!

#5: Your Average Keyword Quality Score Is 5 or Lower

Quality Score, the mysterious metric that everyone loves to hate. What is it exactly? It’s essentially the score of how much Google likes you on a scale of 1 to 10. You want Google to like you a lot because you’ll end up paying less for the highest positions with the most visibility.

Some known ways to improve Quality Score include improving relevancy between your keywords, ads, and landing pages, as well as achieving high CTR relative to the expected CTR at your ad position. While QS is extremely important, it’s also difficult to control and improve. If the majority of your keywords in your account have Quality Scores below 5, then Google isn’t finding your account too attractive, and you’re likely paying a lot more per click to rank below your competition. This is one scenario that 100% requires help.

#6: Your Spend Is Off the Charts But Your Conversions Are Not

If you’re not seeing revenue flowing in, it’s a MAJOR issue that needs to be addressed. What’s the point of advertising at all if you’re not making a return on what you’re spending?

Could it be that AdWords simply doesn’t work for your business? Most people who think AdWords doesn’t work are making one or more mistakes:  

So many factors can come into play, so you need help to figure out why you’re not seeing ROI with your PPC efforts.

#7: You Aren’t Sure How & When to Adjust Bids

Understanding how to set budgets and bid properly is probably one of the most challenging aspects of PPC, because it’s an auction that is constantly changing. What you’re bidding for your top converting keywords one week might not work the next week, depending on the ebb and flow of the auction. Also, how should you prioritize your budget? How much should you even be spending all together? And then how do you divide that between campaigns or between search and display?

Determining realistic budgets, setting and optimizing keyword bids can be a complicated process. While auto-bidding might seem like the easy way out, DON’T DO IT. Giving Google the reins isn’t always the best idea, especially when it comes to your ad spend.

#8: You’re Afraid to Try New Things

The most effective PPC marketers are analytical, creative, hands-on individuals who are NOT afraid to try new things. In fact, being an early adopter can have serious advantages – if you’re among the first to jump on a new AdWords feature, you can reap all the benefits of higher CTR before your competitors catch on and even the playing field.

Too often, advertisers don’t even know about new features, or worry that experimenting could tank their accounts. So, how do PPCers keep up? Well, staying informed is one way – whether it be through the official Google AdWords blog or following publications like Search Engine Watch. Don’t be afraid to make changes and try new things, like the super-effective call-only campaignsbecause you will benefit from staying ahead of the game.

If you are afraid to try new things or don’t have time to keep up-to-date with Google’s ever-changing landscape, then yes, you need help!

#9: You Rely on Google’s Suggestions to Optimize

Don’t get me wrong, I’m a huge Google AdWords fan. I’ve spent tons of time in the interface, and the advertising platform they’ve build is insanely impressive. And it’s getting better with new tools and features all the time.

If you’re solely relying on the optimization tips that AdWords provides, then you’ve got a problem! No, they’re not all bad, but you will likely notice that Google’s solution is often to up your budget or bids. While this is needed at times, there are usually other things you can do to improve results.  If you’re solely dependent on Google’s suggestions when optimizing, then you need help.

#10: You Don’t See the Value in Paid Search

Just read this post. That’s all.

PS: You MUST also use Remarketing

Remarketing keeps you in front of viewers once they have viewed your website and left without taking action.  Remarketing increases your conversions by 3 times.  This is HUGE.

This post was written by Margot de Cunha, a Content Marketing Specialist at Wordstream Inc.  View the whole post at

CALL US on (09) 449 1005 or (027) 489 5009 or email for a FREE consultation on how we will optimise your Adwords and Remarketing results and save you all the problems outlined above.  We will first do a FREE audit on your Adwords account to assess wasted spend and other factors we can improve.  Call or email us NOW.

Chris Kirkham