In my interaction with several business owners over the past few months, I found that most have used Google Ads but stopped because it does not give them a good ROI (Returns On Investment).

Google Ads is an effective customer acquisition channel (most of our new customers know us through Google Ads) but unfortunately for many businesses, this may not be the case. And I realized that it is due to mainly 3 reasons. Hence, I have put together this simple blog post to help you fully leverage the power of Google Ads cost-efficiently!

Mistake 1 – You Are Using The Google Ads Express Mode

When you sign up for a new Google Ads account, you will be guided through the setup to complete your first campaign. You will find it is very easy to use Google Ads to create campaigns and find the report – the reason is that you are seeing the Google Ads express mode.

But in order to get good ROI from Google Ads, you must not use the express mode (use expert/full version mode instead)!

Google Ads express mode interface

This is what the express mode looks like.


Google Ads expert mode

This is what the expert/full version looks like. Notice there are many options on the left panel.

The following are the reasons why you should avoid using the express mode:

  1. No Targeting Option – When you are using the express mode, all your ads will show in both the Google search engine and websites (that show Google Ads). And most of the time, the clicks will come from people clicking on website ads, and not people searching on Google! Based on my experience, most conversions only come from people clicking on search engine ads, not ads on other people’s websites!
  2. No Keyword Match Option – In express mode, you cannot select any keyword match types. For example, if you are a catering company in Singapore, and one of the keywords you advertise is ‘catering Singapore’, your ads will also appear for keywords like ‘cheap catering Singapore’, ‘halal catering Singapore’ (especially if you do not offer the halal option) or ‘catering Singapore review’. Only in the full version of Google Ads, then you can exclude keywords (aka negative keywords) and also define specifically just show my ads when people type ‘catering Singapore’ (without any additional words).
  3. You Can’t Select How Much To Pay Per Click – In the express mode, you can only select a daily or monthly budget. For example, you can only select a daily budget of $10 and Google may decide to spend $5 on a click that is very competitive and that will leave you very little amount to work for other keywords! But in the full version, you can select how much you want to spend max. for any keywords. This gives you full control of how much you want to spend per keyword basis.

There are other reasons why you should avoid using express mode but I believe the above 3 reasons are strong enough already to switch out from the express mode.

Solution: For most new accounts, the only way to switch (from express mode) to full version mode is to contact the Google Ads support chat and ask them to change your account to the full version. If your account has been live for quite some time, then try to go to ‘settings’ and see if there’s any option to switch to ‘expert mode’.


Mistake 2 – You Are Not Using A Targeted Landing Page

In order to achieve positive returns from Google Ads, you must use a targeted landing page instead of advertising your home page, product, or services page. The reason is that most businesses websites (especially the home page) are not designed for conversion. Only with the use of a target landing page, you will see visitors clicking on the call button or filling up the form.

An advantage of using a targeted landing page is that visitors will not be distracted by any other pages (such as the navigation menu) and they only have this one page to read and find out more.

An effective targeted landing page should consist of the following:

  1. Header – The header should show your company logo or the business name so visitors will know that this is a legit company (instead of a random landing page set up by someone to get leads).
  2. Headline – The headline (and sub-headline) is the most important part of this targeted landing page because it is what makes the visitors want to stay or not. So the headline must relate to the pain of your customers/prospects and make them want to read/find out more.
  3. Body – The body should not be too lengthy but enough to show your expertise and how you can help your customers. It should contain reviews from your customers, and bullet points on your products/services.
  4. Form – The targeted landing page should display a form for your visitors to fill up so you can contact them.

It is tempting to want to make a sale using your targeted landing page but it is often difficult for someone to buy from you when they first visit your page. A better approach is to get them to fill up a form, sign up for free trial, download a free sample etc.

The following is what our targeted landing page looks like (just for reference):

targeted landing page


Mistake 3 – You Are Not Tracking Conversion

As the saying goes, “You can’t improve something that you can’t measure”.

Nowadays Google Ads is quite comprehensive when it comes to conversion tracking. You can even track phone calls, on top of tracking form submissions. This means you will know what keywords people are typing into Google then click on your ad, and fill up the form.

Knowing this information is important because you can then pause or increase the bid rate according to the performance of each keyword. You will be surprised that some keywords that you thought will convert, but end up with zero conversions and vice versa.


Making Google Ads Work For You!

In conclusion, I hope you can give Google Ads another chance especially if you only tried a little bit of Google Ads in the past. In digital marketing, search engine traffic is one of the best (if not, the best) traffic sources because it is highly targeted based on users’ keywords search.

Google Ads is also not so expensive if you control the keyword bid rate using the full version rather than the express mode.

I hope you find this post useful and all the best in your Google Ads testing and experimenting!

P.S. If you are one of our web maintenance clients, just drop me an email if you have any questions regarding Google Ads!