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3 Reasons Why Your Google & Microsoft Ads Aren’t Converting And How To Fix Them

July 20, 2020
written by Danielle Strouther
Product Marketing Expert

If your ads aren't converting on Google Ads or Microsoft Ads, there are ways to fix them. Our guide will show you how.

Every business has read about the success stories that Google Ads and Microsoft Advertising can offer.

This includes stats that if done right, you can earn $2 for every $1 spent inside Google Ads. That Microsoft can lower your CTR 30-50%, increasing your ROAS (Return On Ad Spend) by a phenomenal amount.

These stats are all amazing. But in reality, if you’re staring at a set of campaigns that just aren’t converting, they can seem like a far off dream.

We’re here to help change that. These are the top 3 reasons why your Google and Microsoft ads might not be converting and how you can fix them.

1. You’re not targeting the right audience

Targeting is the centre of successful campaigns. You’re never going to increase clicks or sales if your ads are showing to people who aren’t interested in what you’re saying.

Now, there are so many audience targeting options available on Google and Microsoft that it can be easy to get completely overwhelmed by them. So, we’ll talk you through some of the options, including when you should be using them and when they should be avoided.

But, before we dive into this, you need to think about who you’re targeting in the first place. Having a clear idea about your audience is necessary, so get that crystal clear first. If it helps, you might want to spend some time creating a customer persona.

Right, that’s the disclaimer out the way. Let’s talk about some of your targeting options.

An athlete with a target on the back of his outfit
This guy should be easy to target.


Remarketing is a brilliant way of targeting people who have already interacted with your brand but didn’t buy from you. It’s great because you can create adverts that are super-specific and give your potential customers a second chance to buy.

You don’t have to go through the stages of making customers aware of your brand and building trust. They’re already familiar with you, all you need to do is nudge them over the final line. That’s why it’s always cheaper and easier to try and convert an existing customer than to bring new ones into your funnel.

Remarketing lists are available both on Google and Microsoft. All you need to do is install a pixel on your website (similar to Facebook) and select the type of users that you want to target, such as all site visitors or just cart abandoners.

Google Affinity Audiences

Affinity audiences let you target people based on their known interests and hobbies. So, if a Google user is known to commonly visit websites about fishing, they can be targeted under that assumption.

This type of audience is great for expanding your reach and building brand awareness in front of customers with specific interests.

In-Market Audiences

In-market audiences are similar to affinity audiences but are based on what people are searching right now. It’s not about long term interests here, it’s about people who have recently searched for purchased-based keywords, like “fishing rod for sale”.

They might not be a long-term fishing fan, but they’re in the market right now.

In-market audiences are great to use for campaigns that are closer to the end of the funnel. At the moment, in-market audiences are only available on Microsoft in the US, Canada and Australia.

Customer Match

Similar to remarketing, customer match audiences are customer lists that are made using your own data. For example, you could target people who have signed up to your newsletter, to watch a webinar or have given their email address in an in-store competition

Detailed Demographics

This allows you to target audiences on Google using on long-term facts, such as:

  • Age
  • Gender
  • Location
  • Language
  • Education

It’s a great tool for getting your adverts in front of a specific audience. Microsoft Ads also uses demographic targeting and can even target users by device.

LinkedIn Profile Targeting

Because LinkedIn is a part of the Microsoft group, Microsoft Ads also gives you the option to target people based on their LinkedIn profiles. This can include information such as the company they work for, job title or industry – making it a really useful tool for B2B companies.

On average, the CVR for LinkedIn Profile Targeting campaigns are 42% higher than when the same ads are shown to non-audience targeted users. It’s one of the reasons why Microsoft Advertising is one of the strongest platforms around.

For more on LinkedIn targeting in Microsoft Ads, read our Mythbusters guide on Google Ads and Microsoft Ads.

Looking for a way to help manage your Microsoft Advertising accounts? Adzooma is a 100% free platform to help you optimise your Microsoft, Google and Facebook campaigns from a single screen. Find out more by signing up for free today.

Similar Audiences

Similar audiences can be used on both Google and Microsoft to advertise to users that are similar to your existing customers. This feature is best for companies who are already achieving a good conversion rate with their advertising – but want to expand out to new users.

2. You’re not using the right keywords

If your campaigns aren’t converting, there’s a big chance you’re not targeting the right keywords.

It’s like trying to build a house on mud. You need to make sure that your foundations are solid before building up. One of the most common mistakes with keywords is not factoring in the intent.

Each time someone searches on Google or Microsoft, they’re doing it for a very specific reason. It’s not for fun, it’s because they need to know or find something asap. Knowing the search intent will help you target your ads to these audiences, giving them the exact info they need.

This woman is searching for someone to give her a push on that chair
This woman is searching for someone to give her a push on that chair

Generally, there are 4 types of keyword intent.

1. Informational

These are often questions based on the classic who, what, where, when and why when a user needs to know information. They’re best suited for top of the funnel ads and brand awareness.

Example: “How do you build a bathroom extension”

2. Commercial

These are searches that people make when they are researching a product or a service. They’re best used for the middle of the funnel adverts, where users know they’re in the market for a product but don’t know which one to buy.

Example: “The best bathroom fitters in York”

3. Transactional

These tend to be made by people who are ready to buy and usually have more technical or specific language involved. They present the most opportunity for your company to make conversions but will tend to be the most targeted and expensive keywords to bid on.

Example: “Buy chrome thermostatic shower mixer set”

4. Navigational

These searches are used when users want to know where a physical place or a specific web page is.

Example: “Amazon customer support”

3. Your landing page isn’t optimised for conversions

Conversions happen when all pieces of your marketing come together. If you have a weak link in your customer journey, the whole thing can break.

If you’re getting the clicks but not the conversions, it means that there might be some issues with your landing page.

Your landing page is the page of your website that users go to after they click the ad. To up your conversions, it needs to be relevant to what people clicked and designed in a way that urges them to convert. And improving your landing page experience is part of the way Google Ads calculates your Quality Score and Ad Rank.

Common conversion pain points on your landing page are factors like not giving people enough information, missing testimonials or customer reviews or even site speed. If your website is too slow to load, customers will leave. That’s the harsh reality of how impatient we all are.

Get notified if your landing page speed isn’t up to scratch with Adzooma. Checking your account 24/7, we’ll constantly monitor for opportunities to improve your campaigns. All for free. Sign up today here.

You can find tips on how to set your landing page up to convert here, including useful advice about including email capture forms and how to write killer CTAs.

Looking to outsource your PPC?

If managing your PPC campaigns is taking too much time, there are countless agencies that will be able to help boost your conversions while you focus on building your business. If you need help with your landing pages, you’ll also get access to leading copywriters, designers and developers to help make your pages convert.

The good news is that we know exactly where to find them with Adzooma Marketplace.

This is the place to find all the local and leading agencies that are available to help your business right now. All you have to do is put in what you’re looking for and we’ll give you a list of available agencies ready to contact and help you boost your conversions.

Smarter advertising management.
Completely free.

You made it to the end of our article, go you! As a reward, we’ve got a special
offer for you.

You can get the entire Adzooma platform, for free. That’s access to one-click improvements, intelligent reporting that automatically updates and much more for your Facebook, Google and Microsoft ads.

It’ll be the best advertising management platform you ever use.

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Adzooma Marketplace

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