What’s Wrong with My Search Advertising on Google?

Practical advice and actionable insights into the question, "What's wrong with my search advertising on Google?"


Many People Ask “What’s Wrong with My Search Advertising on Google?”

“What’s wrong with my search advertising on Google?” is a common question.  Here is some practical advice and actionable insights you can use to get to the bottom of this dilemma.

Read more: Search Engine Marketing (SEM).

Define the Problem

Before you can evaluate what’s wrong with your search ads on Google, it’s important to make sure you define good and bad results.  What’s a good result for you?  What’s a bad result?

In other words, what outcomes are you looking for and what are they worth to you?

We don’t often think in terms of just clicks to the website or phone calls.  We think in terms of actionable leads generated, or actual sales produced.

“The most common problem for search advertisers is failure to track meaningful outcomes beyond clicks or calls.”


Need help with this?

Now Track What Matters

Once you know which outcomes are important to you, and give you a fair basis to evaluate what’s wrong with your search advertising on Google, you can make sure you’re tracking that data.  Google AdWords has great reporting capabilities, but they’re not always intuitive.

Need help with this?

Match Your Campaign Type to Your Goals

It’s surprising to us how often new clients have PPC campaigns that were set up by Google.  These tend to be the worst-performing search because they don’t take the time to really know your business, determine best outcomes, track, and report those.

Letting Google set up your SEM campaigns is like giving the fox the keys to the hen house.  They’ll take your budget without real regard for efficiency or results (unless you’re VERY involved).  If you did this, this is definitely what’s wrong with your search ads on Google.

Read more: What is a Google Performance Max Campaign?

During 2022, Google aggressively started encouraging advertisers to use a new campaign type called Performance Max.  Yet few advertisers are actually using it nearly a year later.

If you’re not using Performance Max as part of (or in place of) the legacy campaign types, you’re probably missing performance and potential customers.

We’re Here to Help

Figuring out what’s wrong with your search advertising on Google isn’t always easy.  And it may feel a lot less complicated if you have a little help from an expert.  That’s why we conduct free audits on behalf of potential new customers.  Just schedule time with our team here; the initial consultation is totally free and there is no obligation to work with us.

If you’re intent on DIYing this fix, sign up for our free e-mail newsletter about Local Marketing so you get notified when more articles like this are posted.

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Steven Ludwig
After 3 decades as a professional marketer, serial entrepreneur and business consultant Steven Ludwig shares his best practices for small business marketing for owners, managers, and marketers with limited time, money, and expertise. Steven started his professional marketing career in broadcasting in the early ‘90s in Chicago after attending Valparaiso University. After a brief stint at an advertising agency specializing in entertainment and sports marketing where he worked with radio and television stations, movie theatre companies, record labels, musicians, and professional sports teams, he moved to Nashville to form The Marketing Group with his long-time business partner, Jim Wood. Having worked with some of the largest brands in the world, in 2010 he returned to local marketing primarily out of an interest and excitement for working with small business owners to build stronger companies. That desire comes out of early days in radio, where he worked closely with everything from car dealerships to restaurants, insurance and real estate agents, banks, home services companies, and specialty retailers of all kinds. Over the past decade, he has been on the bleeding edge of digital marketing technology, constantly seeking to understand complex strategies employed by giant corporations and then translate those capabilities into tactics small businesses can execute at a local level. Today, in addition to other business ventures with his wife and other long-time business partners, he still lives outside Nashville in Franklin, Tennessee and currently serves as Executive Chairman of EmpowerLocal, a digital marketing company building a nationwide network of digital, hyperlocal news and lifestyle publishers to provide efficient advertising opportunities for local, regional, and national brands.


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