Octavia DrexlerMarch 28, 2022

Google Ads is amazing. It’s the world’s leading ad network and it has an exceptionally high ROI. It is estimated that for every $1 spent on Google Ads, advertisers make $2. This makes it an ideal ad network for all types and sizes of businesses. Before you jump into creating ads, however, you should first be aware of the most common (and painful) Google Ads mistakes beginners make.

If you want to enjoy a high ROI from the world’s top ad network, you need to make sure you are doing everything right, from the very beginning. There is no room for mistakes. And it all begins with creating and setting up your Google Ads correctly so that it is well-structured and manageable. This guide covers everything about setting up a Google Ads account and avoiding all the mistakes. If you are a newbie and getting started with Google Ads, this is the guide you shouldn’t miss. 

How to Create a Google Ads Account

If you are new to Google Ads, the first thing you need to do is create your Google Ads account. And when you are doing so, you need to make sure you aren't making the common Google Ads mistakes that will ruin your Google Ads account.

Follow these steps to create your Google Ads account from scratch as a newbie:

Click here and sign in via your Google account to get started. Click Start now:

set up google ads as a beginner

Enter your Gmail email address and password to sign in:

set up google ads as a beginner part 2

If you don’t have a Gmail or Google account already, create one. It is free. Once you sign in via your Google account, you'll be redirected to your Google Ads and you'll be asked to create a new campaign:

set up google ads campaign as a beginner

This is a step-by-step tutorial by Google Ads that is very handy for beginners. You'll need to pick an objective and set up your first campaign by simply answering questions.

You can skip this process and switch to a different view by clicking Switch to Expert Mode (which is actually recommended because it gives you control over your data)

google ads expert mode

You’ll see a more detailed overview of your different types of available campaigns:

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It is, however, recommended to switch to your Google Ads account without creating a campaign by clicking Create an account without a campaign:

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You'll be asked to add your business details:

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You are done and ready to explore your Google Ads account:

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This is how you can set up your Google Ads account for the first time.

google ads mistakes to avoid

Noobie Google Ads Mistakes to Avoid When Starting Out

As a noobie, we all make mistakes. And it is OK to make a mistake but it isn’t OK to repeat mistakes. And it isn't OK either if you don’t learn from other people’s mistakes.

In order to make it easier for you to set up your Google Ads account successfully and avoid all the common mistakes, we have prepared a list of the Google Ads mistakes that you must avoid.

Here we go:

1. Not Enabling Two Factor Authentication

Two-factor authentication or 2-step verification adds an extra layer of protection to your Google Ads account. Since your Google Ads account is linked to your payment method, business details, and sensitive business information, you need to make sure you don’t make the mistake of not enabling two-factor authentication.

Google Ads account gets hacked a lot – more than you can think of. And before you get to know it, you will have paid for someone else’s ads. Here are a few Reddit posts on Google Ads account being hacked:

Yes, this is common and you might never know who is using your Google Ads account. Don’t make this Google Ads mistake and enable 2-step verification as soon as you set up your account.

Google 2-step verification helps you safeguard your Google account. Even if someone steals your password (which is pretty common especially if you are using a single password at multiple sites), your account will still be secured as Google will ask for verification via text, call, or mobile app.

Click here to set up Google 2-step verification for your account.

2. Not Adding Recovery Phone Number and Email Address

Another common Google Ads mistake is not adding your recovery phone number and email address. If you have already done so for your Google accounts, you are good to go.

But if you haven’t, make sure you add a phone and email to recover your account if you are unable to sign in (for any reason). You can add recovery contact info here. Go to Personal info > Email > Add recovery email:

adding recovery phone and email in google ads

This is a must if you are creating your new Google Ads account and don’t want to make Google Ads mistakes that numerous businesses make by losing access to their account.

Remember, once you can’t retrieve your account, there isn’t anything that Google can do. And this gets problematic when your Ads account gets hacked because you'll be locked out of your Google Ads account and won’t be able to sign in or prove that you own this account.

3. Creating Campaign with Default Settings

Google Ads does a great job of helping noobies set up their account and create their first campaign with its easy-to-use onboarding sequence (as discussed above). But there is a problem with creating a campaign through the onboarding process.

You'll end up creating your campaign with the default settings and zero customization. A lot of businesses do it and this is one Google Ads mistake that you should avoid making for two key reasons:

  1. You won’t be able to see any impressive outcomes because ads require a lot of tweaking and experimentation. Setting up a campaign with no customization is least likely to deliver
  2. You'll exhaust your ad budget pretty quickly.

Don’t stick with the basic or default settings. Instead, create campaigns, ad groups, and ads once you have fully explored Google Ads. There is a lot you can do with Google Ads.

For example, you can run ads for your physical store targeting people who are in a specific radius near your store between 9 am to 10 pm Monday to Saturday based on your store opening timings.

When you go with the default settings, your ad will run continuously with no customization. Don’t do this if you want to make the most out of your Google Ads campaigns and ad budget.

4. Not Organizing Your Account

Google Ads isn’t easy to organize especially if you run multiple campaigns for different businesses. One of the critical Google Ads mistakes that even experts make is a lack of account organization and structuring.

You need to create an account structure right away as soon as you set up your Google Ads account. Fixing account structure and organization campaigns, ad groups, and ads at a later stage becomes too complicated. Your account will grow exponentially and you'll see lots of campaigns and ad groups. Your account will look cluttered and messy and you'll feel lost. And this negatively impacts productivity.

Create an account structure and keep it organized from day one. Here is a basic Google Ads account structure to help you keep it organized:

how to organize your google ads account

Here are the rules you must follow:

  • Campaign and ad group names must be descriptive
  • Create a new campaign for every goal you want to achieve
  • No more than 10 ad groups per campaign
  • Each ad group has a maximum of 3 ad groups. Fewer the better
  • Add no more than 20 keywords per ad group
  • Maintain an Excel sheet where you have clearly defined your account structure and organization so that new team members can quickly make sense of your Google Ads account.

Google Ads doesn’t have any such limitations. You need to enforce these limitations to keep your account organized and manageable.

5. Expecting Results Right Away

This is the most common Google Ads mistake. Don’t expect instant or magical results.

The ROI, we discussed in the beginning, is relative (not absolute) and depends on several factors. Ads require some serious testing and experimentation. You need to constantly monitor ads, run A/B tests, analyze data, and tweak everything ranging from ad copy to landing page to your offer.

And not to mention, you have to fight invalid PPC clicks too that eat your ad budget like crazy.

Don’t make the mistake of setting unrealistic expectations with Google Ads. It does work and you'll start getting traffic right away as soon as your ad will go live but optimizing your campaigns and increasing ROI and ROAS needs some serious experimentation.

Be prepared for it.

Conclusion

Setting up a Google Ads account for the first time is an easy process. However, getting started is something that requires hard work (as well as avoiding the most common Google Ads mistakes). In the end, though, there's no actual recipe for how to run successful ads (on Google or any other platform). You need to explore your Google Ads account, understand different types of campaigns, see how it works, and then test different campaigns and campaign parameters to find what works for your specific case.

I work with the Marketing Team and a team of writers to strategize, create, and coordinate quality content for digital marketing & PPC professionals