10 Common Google Ads Mistakes Trade Businesses Should Avoid

Effective advertising involves reaching the right audience with the right message at the right time. However, running Google Ads campaigns successfully requires careful planning and execution. Committing Google Ads mistakes in your campaigns can lead to negative outcomes such as wasting money on irrelevant clicks and underperforming ads that don’t reach the right audience. Worse, you miss out on converting your target audience into potential customers. Knowing which Google Ads mistakes happens to other businesses will help you avoid applying it onto yours, saving you problems later on while giving you the most value from your budget.

Google Ads Mistake #1: Lack of Keyword Research

One of the most common Google Ads mistakes trade businesses make is neglecting thorough keyword research. Keywords are the foundation of your ad campaigns, and targeting the right ones is essential for reaching your target audience. Without proper keyword research, you can’t display your ads to the right people, leading to low click-through rates (CTR) and wasted ad spend. For example, you’re running a plumbing business and targeted generic keywords like “plumbing services.”

Although you’ve attracted a broad audience that includes people looking for DIY tips or unrelated services, you noticed that none have actually booked your service. But if you would have used specific terms like “emergency plumber near me” or “leaky pipe repair,” you might have a few projects on your calendar.

Additionally, having multiple businesses target generic terms like “plumbing services,” it increases the competition in ad placement bidding. This drives up the cost per click and strains your advertising budget without the guarantee of significant returns. Focusing on specific keywords helps you target niche audiences with less competition. This reduces your marketing expenses while improving the quality of your leads.

You can avoid this Google Ads mistake by identifying relevant keywords with high search volume and low competition. High search volume means that many people are searching for the products or services you offer, indicating a potentially large customer base. Google Keyword Planner and SEMrush are user-friendly tools for identifying keyword trends and competition levels. Google Keyword Planner helps you explore keyword ideas, see the search frequency for the keyword, and get estimates on their performance for your business. Watch this video to learn about the strategies in using Google Keyword Planner for keyword research:

Similarly, SEMrush offers in-depth keyword analysis, competitive research, and suggestions for improving your keyword strategy.

Google Ads Mistake #2: Ignoring Ad Extensions

Ad extensions are additional pieces of information that you can add to your ad campaigns to provide more context about the content, your services, or products. You can also include your phone numbers, site links, and location details.

Source: Karooya

Ignoring ad extensions is a common Google Ads mistake that will limit the performance of your ads and reduce its visibility on the search results page. Just imagine your loss when a customer sees your ad and doesn’t see a callout extension about your free estimates offer on your electrical services. Since they’ve assumed you charge for estimates, they end up booking a service from one of your competitors. Google found that 40% of global shoppers browse online to find the best deal on products.

This highlights the importance of properly displaying your promotions in attracting customers to your business. Avoid this Google Ads mistake by taking advantage of all available ad extensions relevant to your business. Experiment with different extensions, like sitelink extensions, location extensions, or structured snippets.

Google Ads Mistake #3: Sticking to a Single Ad Format

Source: Zapier

Sticking to only one ad format in your Google Ads campaigns limits its effectiveness. Different people respond better to different ads, so diversifying your ad formats helps you appeal to a wider audience. Using a single format also makes your ads blend in with the rest of the content on the platform. If all your ads look the same, users may ignore them or overlook them altogether.

This decreases your ad’s visibility and reduces the chances of users clicking on them. More importantly, having only one ad format in your campaigns leads to ad fatigue among your audience. When people see the same type of ad repeatedly, they become less responsive to it over time.

Google Ads Mistake #4: Overlooking Negative Keywords

Negative keywords are words or phrases that filter who can see your ad campaigns and prevent your ads from showing up on irrelevant searches.Watch this video to learn about the ways to find negative keywords for your business:


Let’s say you own a high-end plumbing company specializing in luxury bathroom renovations. If you don’t add “DIY” as a negative keyword, your ads may show up for searches like “how to fix a leaky faucet DIY.” These searches have a high search volume but the people looking it up are likely just interested in a quick fix. You’ve lost money for attracting the wrong audience without even earning anything from your efforts.

Failing to use negative keywords is a Google Ads mistake that risks your business to damaging brand reputation. Imagine a customer expecting a low-cost service and feeling disappointed or even angry when they find out that your services cost higher. Feeling like you’ve misled them, they might leave negative reviews on your business, leading to a loss of your credibility. This will make it harder for you to book clients because they’ve associated you as an unprofessional.

Google Ads Mistake #5: Falling Behind in Landing Page Optimization

Your Google Ads are only as effective as the landing pages they lead to. When your landing page is cluttered, difficult to navigate, or doesn’t clearly showcase what you offer, visitors are likely to get frustrated and leave. This means you’ve spent money on an ad that didn’t result in a closed sale. It can even bring down your Google Ads quality score, referring to the metric Google uses in determining your ads’ quality and relevance.

A low-quality score will prompt Google to charge you more for displaying your ads. Worse, it will stop showing your ad campaigns altogether. Avoid this Google Ads mistake by making sure that your landing page contains the same keywords and messaging as your ad.

It should also be user-friendly and easy to navigate. This means using clear headings, short paragraphs, and bullet points to break up the content. Include clear calls-to-action (CTA), such as a phone number or contact form, pushing them closer to being a paying customer.

Google Ads Mistake #6: Skipping Ad Copy Testing

Skipping ad copy testing, or A/B testing, is leaving money on the table. Ad copy testing involves creating multiple versions of your ads then comparing their performances to see which one resonates best with your target audience. Otherwise, you’re essentially guessing. This kind of Google Ads mistake can quickly get expensive when you’re bidding on competitive keywords. Below is an example of promotion ad copy testing for your reference.

Source: Search Engine Land

Testing different versions of your ad text doesn’t have to be complicated. Simple changes, like tweaking your headline or trying out a new CTA, can make a significant difference in your ad performance. Test only one variable at a time and that your test runs long enough to generate statistically significant results. The rule of thumb is to let your experiments run for at least 2 weeks to allow Google Ads to adapt to the changes, especially if it involves automation.

Google Ads Mistake #7: Disregarding Mobile Optimization

Disregarding mobile optimization in your ads results in your customers getting frustrated over the poor user experience, driving them away from your business. Don’t let yourself trip up with this Google Ads mistake. Your mobile optimization should involve making sure your ads are easy to read, click on, and navigate on smaller screens. This includes having a responsive design that adjusts to different screen sizes and ensuring fast loading times for mobile users. Here’s a tutorial about Google Ads mobile optimization:

Google Ads Mistake #8: Neglecting Geographic Targeting

Neglecting geographic targeting is one of the most devastating Google Ads mistakes for businesses that serve specific geographic areas.

Source: Megalytic

You should have been focusing your advertising efforts on reaching potential customers in specific locations where your services are available and in demand. Instead, you risk spreading your budget thin across a broader audience that may not convert into actual leads or sales. But its consequences extend beyond just inefficient ad spend.

You may also miss out on opportunities to tailor your messaging and offers based on the needs and preferences of local customers. Geographic targeting lets you customize your ads based on regional trends, cultural events, or specific demands in different locations. It helps you create more relevant ad campaigns to your audience.

Google Ads Mistake #9: Underestimating Competitor Analysis

Underestimating the importance of competitor analysis can leave you unaware of potential opportunities or threats in the market. Here’s an example of a competitor analysis for your reference.

Source: SEMrush

You may not be aware of the keywords, ad copy, or bidding strategies that your competitors are using to drive more customers for their business. You even risk falling behind in the competition. If your competitors are running more targeted ads, they’re likely to attract more clicks and conversions, leaving your business at a disadvantage. Over time, this can lead to a significant loss of market share and revenue for your business. And since you don’t keep tabs on them, you’ll miss out on opportunities to capitalize on their weaknesses or gaps in the market.

Google Ads Mistake #10: Inadequate Conversion Tracking

Tracking conversions is essential for measuring the success of your Google Ads campaigns and optimizing them for better performance. Neglecting conversion tracking means missing out on valuable data that can help you understand which ads are driving leads and sales. Tracking conversions from different ad campaigns reveals which campaigns are generating the most leads or sales, allowing you to allocate your budget more effectively.

Digital Trek offers Google Ads management services, including conversion tracking, for clients in trade businesses. Contact us and get a free quote! Inadequate monitoring results in you struggling to identify the specific touchpoints in your customers’ journey that are most effective in driving conversions. But you can avoid this Google Ads mistake by setting up the conversion tracking in your Google Ads account.

Once set up, it should measure actions, like customers making phone calls, purchases, or filling out form submissions. Use Google Analytics also allows you to track user behavior on your website and attribute conversions to specific ad campaigns.

Don’t Let Common Google Ads Mistakes Hold You Back!

In summary, the Google Ads mistakes that hurts your business are:

  • Lack of keyword research – It leaves you frustrated because your campaigns keeps underperforming despite the amount of time, money, and effort you’ve invested.
  • Ignoring ad extensions – You miss out on opportunities to convert curious website visitors into paying customers.
  • Relying on a single ad format – It leads to ad fatigue, which makes it harder for you to create a relationship with your customers on a more personal level.
  • Overlooking negative keywords – The amount of irrelevant clicks and impressions from your campaigns skews your data, making it difficult to pinpoint which aspects of your marketing strategy needs improvement.
  • Not having an optimized landing page – It results you having poor quality scores and low conversion rates.
  • Skipping ad copy testing – You have little understanding of what matters to your audience and you become irrelevant to them. This creates a disconnection that can result with your customers unfollowing your brand in favor of others.
  • Disregarding mobile optimization – It makes you look unprofessional to the eyes of customers, discouraging them from exploring your services.
  • Forgetting geographic targeting – It limits the reach of your ads, making it difficult to expand your customer base.
  • Dismissing competitor analysis – It risks you falling behind your competitors because customers become more familiar with their brand than yours.
  • Inadequate conversion tracking – It leads to wasted resource because you have no reliable data to use as a baseline for your marketing decisions. You end up investing on the wrong strategies thag doesn’t bring in the results you want or need.

Although these looks nothing on the surface, in reality, making these Google Ads mistakes risks your brand’s image and credibility. Errors like targeting the wrong audience, using irrelevant keywords, or having poorly designed ad copy can lead to wasted resources and missed opportunities. When you take the time to avoid these missteps, you signal to potential customers that you’re dedicated to providing them with the a high-quality service.

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