I Spent $4M on Google Ads – Here Were My 6 Biggest Mistakes
After 10 years, millions of dollars, thousands of conversions and sales, and endless blog posts that show how I nailed it and crushed my competitors (most of the time), it’s time to go in a different direction and reveal the biggest mistakes I made with Google Ads.

Looking back at my work, I’m pretty happy with the overall results. I worked for several startups in different vectors, but always managed to build a successful PPC strategy that got the company excellent results, usually higher than expected. But of course, things weren’t always perfect, and I made my share of budget-burning mistakes along the way. There are a few things I regret doing, and if I could go back in time I would definitely fix them.



Let’s face it, every digital marketer makes mistakes along the way. One of the key elements of what we do is keep testing things and see what works well for us, and improve or eliminate what’s not. What we need to do is learn from our own and our colleagues’ mistakes, so we don’t repeat them.

Keep reading to learn the biggest mistakes you too might be making with Google ads, and how to avoid them.

Let’s get started.

1. I tried using way too many keywords at once

The very first thing you always do when starting a search campaign is proper keyword research. I won't go on and on about why and how to conduct keyword research, because that’s a subject for a post of its own. What I will share with you is the biggest mistake I made with it.

I used too many types of keywords for marketing a single product.

I made this mistake at one of the startups I was working for in the past. Our Facebook campaigns were off the charts, getting us results which were much better than expected, and at a price that was way below the industry benchmarks, but as the head of user acquisition at the company I wanted more, and I couldn’t get it with more display campaigns.

So at the same time I was putting a lot of effort into our search campaigns. I knew from the beginning that eventually Google would get us the results we were expecting, but I also knew it would take time to get there, and looking back at it, I held our search campaigns back by trying to use too many keywords at once.



The (wrong) strategy was trying to figure out which search terms were right for us, and in order to discover it I used everything I could come up with.

So why was it...
Facebook Ads Checklist: 5 Quick Questions to Ask Before You Hit “Go"
Congratulations, you got your ad spend approved! SEM is ready to go, display ads are starting to get served up, and your new native advertising partner has such a subtle touch that the users will never even know (yeah, right...). Now it’s time to finish up your Facebook ads and hit “go.”

Not so fast, there. Your Facebook ads shouldn’t just be passable to get started. They should be set and ready to start attracting clicks and generating leads right away. To make sure that your ads are good and ready, take a few minutes and go through our quick Facebook Ads Checklist before you start spending that money.

Here are the five questions you need to answer before you launch that new Facebook ads campaign.

1. What is the goal?

Mission creep is a heck of a thing. By the time you've gone all the way through the dozens of steps necessary to launch a Facebook ads campaign, you need to make sure the final product lines up with your initial goal.

There are plenty of options for Facebook ad types, so it’s easy to get distracted by cool features or new tools while you’re setting up a campaign. But you need to have clear goals laid out before you begin so that you can refer back to them throughout set up, and especially before hitting “go.”

Your goals will help you select your ad campaign objectives, what ad types you want to run, and how to create KPIs to make sure you hit those goals.



To learn more about setting goals for your Facebook ads, check out these resources:

7 Ways to Use Facebook for Marketing
How to Create Killer Facebook Ad Campaigns with Your Existing Assets
75 Super-Useful Facebook Statistics for 2018
2. Have I properly targeted my audience?

Great creative can elevate the success of your Facebook ads, but if you are not targeting the right audience, you might as well be tossing that money on the grill. Before you set your ad campaign into motion, you should first identify who you are targeting as it relates to the campaign goals and objectives.



You need to know if you are:

Targeting new fans, current fans, or both.
Running A/B tests on a few audiences to see which ad resonates most.     
Incorporating specific parameters that need to be identified like age, gender, and location.
To learn more about targeting on Facebook, check out these resources:

5 Ridiculously Powerful Facebook Ad Targeting Strategies
How to...
Facebook Ads Checklist: 5 Quick Questions to Ask Before You Hit “Go"
Congratulations, you got your ad spend approved! SEM is ready to go, display ads are starting to get served up, and your new native advertising partner has such a subtle touch that the users will never even know (yeah, right...). Now it’s time to finish up your Facebook ads and hit “go.”

Not so fast, there. Your Facebook ads shouldn’t just be passable to get started. They should be set and ready to start attracting clicks and generating leads right away. To make sure that your ads are good and ready, take a few minutes and go through our quick Facebook Ads Checklist before you start spending that money.

Here are the five questions you need to answer before you launch that new Facebook ads campaign.

1. What is the goal?

Mission creep is a heck of a thing. By the time you've gone all the way through the dozens of steps necessary to launch a Facebook ads campaign, you need to make sure the final product lines up with your initial goal.

There are plenty of options for Facebook ad types, so it’s easy to get distracted by cool features or new tools while you’re setting up a campaign. But you need to have clear goals laid out before you begin so that you can refer back to them throughout set up, and especially before hitting “go.”

Your goals will help you select your ad campaign objectives, what ad types you want to run, and how to create KPIs to make sure you hit those goals.



To learn more about setting goals for your Facebook ads, check out these resources:

7 Ways to Use Facebook for Marketing
How to Create Killer Facebook Ad Campaigns with Your Existing Assets
75 Super-Useful Facebook Statistics for 2018
2. Have I properly targeted my audience?

Great creative can elevate the success of your Facebook ads, but if you are not targeting the right audience, you might as well be tossing that money on the grill. Before you set your ad campaign into motion, you should first identify who you are targeting as it relates to the campaign goals and objectives.



You need to know if you are:

Targeting new fans, current fans, or both.
Running A/B tests on a few audiences to see which ad resonates most.     
Incorporating specific parameters that need to be identified like age, gender, and location.
To learn more about targeting on Facebook, check out these resources:

5 Ridiculously Powerful Facebook Ad Targeting Strategies
How to...
Page Speed: 3 Opportunities to Improve Rankings
We’ve learned to live with desktop page speed as a Google ranking factor, and now we’ve accepted that mobile page speed is a ranking factor, too. After the search giant announced that they were going to roll out the Speed Update, they changed their approach to measuring page speed via the  Google PageSpeed Insights tool, as well.



My team wanted to know if there was any correlation between a page’s speed and a page’s positions in mobile search results, so we ran experiments to find out. We conducted one before and one immediately after the Speed Update. The results? Surprising.

Based on what we learned, these are top three ways you can use page speed as an opportunity to improve your ranking.

1. Google’s made page speed its priority; make it yours.

The Google Speed Update makes it pretty clear that page speed is indeed a priority today.

We should have seen it coming though. Google introduced mobile-first indexing in 2018 and invested in a fleet of speed-related tools and projects: PageSpeed Insights, Accelerated Mobile Pages, Progressive Web Apps, Lighthouse, Impact Calculator, and Mobile Speed Scorecard.

Whether or not you could have predicted the Speed Update, you need to make Google’s priorities your priorities if you want to increase your rankings. In order to take advantage of this opportunity, you need to understand how page speed is measured, what influences your page speed, and how it impacts your rankings.



Thanks to PageSpeed Insights, it is easy to take measurements of your current page speed, both for desktop and mobile. Since Google announced the update, the very concept of page speed measurement has changed. Now URLs are graded according to two categories:

Optimization is just the new name given to the existing technical improvement checklist.

Page Speed is a new criterion with two metrics:

First Contentful Paint (FCP) – a measurement of when a user sees the first visual response of a page.
DOM Content Loaded (DCL) – a measurement of when an HTML document has been loaded and parsed.
More on the importance of these metrics later.

2. Embrace the switch from lab data to field data.

The Page Speed metric represents Google’s shift from lab data to field data. In order to assign a Speed score to a site, Google not only evaluates the actual speed of your site (lab data) but also considers data from the CrUX...
Bing Ads Announces New LinkedIn Profile Targeting
After Microsoft bought LinkedIn for $26 billion in 2016, many were wondering what plans the tech giant had for the world’s largest professional network. Since the acquisition, Microsoft has invested even more into the network to enhance user experience, reach new audiences, and improve a lot of the things advertisers hated about LinkedIn Ads. So far Microsoft’s investments in the network have been great for LinkedIn – the company’s revenue is up 37% compared to last year.

But experts have been wondering how the LinkedIn acquisition could help power the rest of Microsoft’s suite of tech products, which includes Windows, Office, Skype, Xbox, and, of course, our favorite – Bing. This morning at SMX East in New York, Microsoft’s own David Pann took the morning keynote to answer that question, much to the delight of SEMs everywhere.

In his keynote, Pann announced that Bing Ads would soon be enabling advertisers to directly target their search campaigns to a user’s company, industry, and job function by leveraging data from their LinkedIn profile! Using this new targeting, advertisers will be able to adjust their bids for different professional profiles who might be searching or shopping online.

New LinkedIn Profile Targeting: How It Works

At launch, Bing Ad’s integration with LinkedIn will allow advertisers to target their campaigns to professionals along three different dimensions: company, industry, and job function.

Company Targeting

Advertisers will have the option to target the current employees of over 80,000 different companies ranging in size from multinational conglomerates to local startups.



Industry Targeting

If sorting through 80,000 individual companies is too intimidating, advertisers can alternatively target all the employees working in one of 145 different industries, such as retail, legal, and healthcare.



Job Function Targeting

Regardless of their industry or company, individuals will play different roles and have different interests. Advertisers will have control over whether their ads are reaching, for instance, human resource professionals, marketing team members, or IT support staff. At launch, the integration will feature 26 different job function targets.



Bing’s integration with LinkedIn gives it a unique competitive advantage over Google’s limited demographic targeting options. This will...
Page Speed: 3 Opportunities to Improve Rankings
We’ve learned to live with desktop page speed as a Google ranking factor, and now we’ve accepted that mobile page speed is a ranking factor, too. After the search giant announced that they were going to roll out the Speed Update, they changed their approach to measuring page speed via the  Google PageSpeed Insights tool, as well.



My team wanted to know if there was any correlation between a page’s speed and a page’s positions in mobile search results, so we ran experiments to find out. We conducted one before and one immediately after the Speed Update. The results? Surprising.

Based on what we learned, these are top three ways you can use page speed as an opportunity to improve your ranking.

1. Google’s made page speed its priority; make it yours.

The Google Speed Update makes it pretty clear that page speed is indeed a priority today.

We should have seen it coming though. Google introduced mobile-first indexing in 2018 and invested in a fleet of speed-related tools and projects: PageSpeed Insights, Accelerated Mobile Pages, Progressive Web Apps, Lighthouse, Impact Calculator, and Mobile Speed Scorecard.

Whether or not you could have predicted the Speed Update, you need to make Google’s priorities your priorities if you want to increase your rankings. In order to take advantage of this opportunity, you need to understand how page speed is measured, what influences your page speed, and how it impacts your rankings.



Thanks to PageSpeed Insights, it is easy to take measurements of your current page speed, both for desktop and mobile. Since Google announced the update, the very concept of page speed measurement has changed. Now URLs are graded according to two categories:

Optimization is just the new name given to the existing technical improvement checklist.

Page Speed is a new criterion with two metrics:

First Contentful Paint (FCP) – a measurement of when a user sees the first visual response of a page.
DOM Content Loaded (DCL) – a measurement of when an HTML document has been loaded and parsed.
More on the importance of these metrics later.

2. Embrace the switch from lab data to field data.

The Page Speed metric represents Google’s shift from lab data to field data. In order to assign a Speed score to a site, Google not only evaluates the actual speed of your site (lab data) but also considers data from the CrUX...
Bing Ads Announces New LinkedIn Profile Targeting
After Microsoft bought LinkedIn for $26 billion in 2016, many were wondering what plans the tech giant had for the world’s largest professional network. Since the acquisition, Microsoft has invested even more into the network to enhance user experience, reach new audiences, and improve a lot of the things advertisers hated about LinkedIn Ads. So far Microsoft’s investments in the network have been great for LinkedIn – the company’s revenue is up 37% compared to last year.

But experts have been wondering how the LinkedIn acquisition could help power the rest of Microsoft’s suite of tech products, which includes Windows, Office, Skype, Xbox, and, of course, our favorite – Bing. This morning at SMX East in New York, Microsoft’s own David Pann took the morning keynote to answer that question, much to the delight of SEMs everywhere.

In his keynote, Pann announced that Bing Ads would soon be enabling advertisers to directly target their search campaigns to a user’s company, industry, and job function by leveraging data from their LinkedIn profile! Using this new targeting, advertisers will be able to adjust their bids for different professional profiles who might be searching or shopping online.

New LinkedIn Profile Targeting: How It Works

At launch, Bing Ad’s integration with LinkedIn will allow advertisers to target their campaigns to professionals along three different dimensions: company, industry, and job function.

Company Targeting

Advertisers will have the option to target the current employees of over 80,000 different companies ranging in size from multinational conglomerates to local startups.



Industry Targeting

If sorting through 80,000 individual companies is too intimidating, advertisers can alternatively target all the employees working in one of 145 different industries, such as retail, legal, and healthcare.



Job Function Targeting

Regardless of their industry or company, individuals will play different roles and have different interests. Advertisers will have control over whether their ads are reaching, for instance, human resource professionals, marketing team members, or IT support staff. At launch, the integration will feature 26 different job function targets.



Bing’s integration with LinkedIn gives it a unique competitive advantage over Google’s limited demographic targeting options. This will...
The Ultimate Guide to Amazon Keyword Research
Earlier this month, we said that you can think about optimizing for the Amazon buy box in the same way you think about optimizing content for the organic search results. Both situations involve algorithms designed to deliver shoppers (or searchers) the best experiences possible.

The crossover between ecommerce and organic search doesn’t stop there. When it comes to Amazon keyword strategy, you can once again think along the lines of SEO.



This isn’t surprising once you take a step back and recognize that—wait a minute—Amazon is a search engine. True, with a relatively low number of ranking signals, its algorithm is simpler than those of Google and Bing. Nonetheless, Amazon indexes information and uses an array of factors to determine who lands where in the product search results. Sounds like a search engine to me, pal.

In this guide, we’ll explain why keywords are important for your success as an Amazon seller. Then we’ll share four tips you can use to conduct better Amazon keyword research.

Let’s. Get. It.

What’s the deal with Amazon’s search algorithm?

First of all—rude. It has a name, you guys: A9.

Secondly, I think I got a little too excited in the intro. Yes, it’s super helpful to think of Amazon as a search engine. At the same time, though, it’s crucial to remember that Amazon is an online marketplace. It’s a place to sell stuff.

Amazon really, really wants to sell stuff.

I share this obvious information because it’s the driving factor behind A9. Amazon organizes the product search results in order to sell as much stuff as possible.

Given that, it comes as no surprise that the most relevant, high-converting products are the ones that win the top spots. A high-converting product, as you know, is one that actually convinces prospects to buy after they’ve clicked through to the product details page.



A spooky example of an Amazon product details page.

For the purposes of this blog post, we’re mostly concerned with the first adjective: relevant.

Relevant to the search query, that is. There are reasons Amazon doesn’t show you nineteenth-century porcelain dolls when you search for dog food: one, dolls are vessels for demonic spirits; two, dolls have nothing to do with dog food. Nobody wants to use a search engine that populates the results with irrelevant products.

Amazon knows this, and A9 operates accordingly.

How are...
The Ultimate Guide to Amazon Keyword Research
Earlier this month, we said that you can think about optimizing for the Amazon buy box in the same way you think about optimizing content for the organic search results. Both situations involve algorithms designed to deliver shoppers (or searchers) the best experiences possible.

The crossover between ecommerce and organic search doesn’t stop there. When it comes to Amazon keyword strategy, you can once again think along the lines of SEO.



This isn’t surprising once you take a step back and recognize that—wait a minute—Amazon is a search engine. True, with a relatively low number of ranking signals, its algorithm is simpler than those of Google and Bing. Nonetheless, Amazon indexes information and uses an array of factors to determine who lands where in the product search results. Sounds like a search engine to me, pal.

In this guide, we’ll explain why keywords are important for your success as an Amazon seller. Then we’ll share four tips you can use to conduct better Amazon keyword research.

Let’s. Get. It.

What’s the deal with Amazon’s search algorithm?

First of all—rude. It has a name, you guys: A9.

Secondly, I think I got a little too excited in the intro. Yes, it’s super helpful to think of Amazon as a search engine. At the same time, though, it’s crucial to remember that Amazon is an online marketplace. It’s a place to sell stuff.

Amazon really, really wants to sell stuff.

I share this obvious information because it’s the driving factor behind A9. Amazon organizes the product search results in order to sell as much stuff as possible.

Given that, it comes as no surprise that the most relevant, high-converting products are the ones that win the top spots. A high-converting product, as you know, is one that actually convinces prospects to buy after they’ve clicked through to the product details page.



A spooky example of an Amazon product details page.

For the purposes of this blog post, we’re mostly concerned with the first adjective: relevant.

Relevant to the search query, that is. There are reasons Amazon doesn’t show you nineteenth-century porcelain dolls when you search for dog food: one, dolls are vessels for demonic spirits; two, dolls have nothing to do with dog food. Nobody wants to use a search engine that populates the results with irrelevant products.

Amazon knows this, and A9 operates accordingly.

How are...

Twitter Views
YouTube Views
Facebook Shares
Unique Visits

202,451
376,013
12,558
345,348

Indexed URLs
Checked URLs
Websites Audited
Web Page Created

28,534
123,407
12,923
15,151

URLs to Index
Keywords Tracked
Words Analyzed
Updated

112,515
12.311
68,512
08 Dec 2018