Top 10 mistakes when using Google Ads and HubSpot together in 2024

We were a Google Partner long before we were a HubSpot Partner, and now’s the time to start bringing the experience of 150+ client projects into our blog content.

Below are the top mistakes HubSpot users are making when it comes to Google Ads. 
Some may be obvious, but I hope you find something useful for you to apply here - there is so much more potential for using HubSpot & Google together.

Let’s get started with ‘mistake number 1’...

1) Your agency doesn’t look at the HubSpot data

This is #1 on the list for a reason…
I’ve audited so many HubSpot accounts over the past 8 years, and I can safely say… Ads agency are NOT using HubSpot data to inform their decisions. 
Sure, if the ads agency is a HubSpot Partner it’s almost certainly different - but probably due to specialisms, maybe due to historic relationships,or possibly due to ‘simply not knowing’, the Ads agency operates independently to ‘HubSpot’.

In other words, the agencies are (almost certainly) focused on optimization of campaigns to ‘conversions’ as shown in the Google Ads account.
They generate ‘a lead’ and from their perspective, the journey ends.

Whereas for B2B in particular, there are several stages for the leads/contacts to progress through - e.g. MQL becomes SQL, then Opportunity (where a Deal is added to the Board) and onwards to Customer.

Putting it simply: you cannot Optimize to ‘revenue’ unless you are working with the HubSpot data as well. You need to know when a contact progresses in their lifecycle stage i.e. moves towards turning into a customer, or repeats a purchase.

Note: this article is primarily for B2B (relates to B2C) but certainly doesn’t apply to ‘ecommerce’ stores, where you CAN use Google Ads & GA4 to ‘optimize to revenue’.

2) ‘Marketing’ not assessing the leads themselves

Unless ‘marketing’ gets granular feedback around the nature/quality of leads, then they cannot change course as/when required. This could be pausing poor performing campaigns, or allocating funds to more promising channels.

As such, you’re missing a trick if marketing doesn’t visit LinkedIn (for B2B leads) to assess their profile/suitability.
When undertaking client work myself (which I still do), I tend to visit the profile and then add the profile link to HubSpot record - which is particularly useful if the sales rep isn’t using LinkedIn Sales Navigator.

Which leads us into…

3) Sales team are not ‘rating’ leads

Every ads client we work with has a new contact property created, named Lead Rating.
It’s from A to E, as a single select dropdown i.e.
A = WOW, great lead - more please
through to
E = RUBBISH - no more of these please

Now, let me get ahead of an objection…
“Why don’t we just use lead score instead!” - the reason being, I want a human to look at the lead and rate it. It’s the most robust approach; takes a matter of seconds to do; gives ‘marketing’ THE MOST valuable signal they can get.

You’ll have to trust me on this, Lead Rating is a robust, singular interface between sales and marketing. It’s clean and it’s simple.

Take a look at this table below:

Lead Rating_PYB blog image

Compare row 1) in the table with row 4)

Both Rows 1 and 4 have 18% conversion rate (which is excellent) but 1) has fifteeen contacts and 4) has five contacts. But what about the quality?

Before they get to be a ‘Deal on the Board’ (when they become an Opportunity at lifecycle stage, unless already a customer) - Lead rating gives you the feedback you need.

If a marketing team can see the clustering of A through to E for each campaign, then they are able to focus their attention accordingly.

Speaking of deals…

4) Not Optimizing to Opportunity

Not having Deals added to ‘the board’ at all, this has to be the worst.
Deals on the Board are the best indication of quality.
‘Deals’ inform ‘marketing’ as to which campaigns are a) producing deals, and b) ultimately revenue.

The trouble is…we’re still seeing many companies who use HubSpot for marketing and are not tracking Deal value. One reason may be using e.g. Dynamics, Zoho or Salesforce for the Sales team - and there isn’t a sync back to HubSpot when an ‘opportunity’ is created. 

Deal Value_PYB blog image

5) Not having correct $/£ amount showing back in HubSpot’s ad dashboard

Even when people are using ‘Deals’ (natively in HubSpot, or an integration from another platform) there are occasionally ‘issues’ that show up in the data displayed Ads platform.

This month we’re working with a US client with over 600 employees, using Zoho for sales and HubSpot for Marketing - and their Ads attribution is broken. Why? Well, it’s nothing to do with HubSpot or Zoho…it’s to do with the agency running the ads not configuring the landing pages to pass the attributes into HubSpot when a lead is generated.

Other times we’ve seen a business use an MRR (monthly recurring revenue) figure at a deal level, which generates a far lower ROI figure when shows up in the HubSpot Ads dashboard than if they’d used ARR (annual recurring revenue). Unless the marketing team factors this into their calculations, they could be reporting on a lack of success…when actually, it just needed to have a multiple of 12 associated with it.

6) Not using the ‘Drill Down data’ when doing analysis

On a contact record (assuming set up correctly) you will see which keywords have generated a contact through Adwords. It sits on their contact record - and gives insights to the sales team re: the ‘topic area’ interest, when they reach out.

But your Google Ads team should also add in 3 columns to the Contact Overview:

Original Source
Original Source Drill-Down 1 
Original Source Drill-Down 2 

(you can hide the Original Source column, but it may be handy for screenshots)

Original Source_PYB blog image

7) Not advertising on ‘Brand’ - as you can use landing pages to test conversions

Below are the stats from last year for one retained client:

Brand_PYB blog image

We spent less than £2500 and generated over £200,000 in revenue:

Brand_2_PYB blog image

The question is… would the business have generated this revenue anyway?

The answer, is ‘maybe’ - or maybe they would have clicked on the competitor’s ads who is bidding on ‘your name’. 

Let’s perform a super quick test to see whether you think a Brand Campaign could be a good idea…

Go to Google and Search for your Company name (not the website, just the name).
Have a look at the listings that come up. 
Let me guess… your home page is probably the first listing.

BUT… do you want people going to your home page when they search for your name? Or would you rather they went to a landing page, which is well optimized for conversions? 
There isn’t a ‘correct answer’ on this, btw. It’s all about experimenting with intent.

8) Not being granular enough

There are so many ways this can play out. But essentially you need to look deeper into the detail.
Maybe a campaign is performing well, but certain ad groups or keywords aren’t.
This is where you need to do the work.

As an example, think again about ‘brand’...
Here’s a BIG thing about running Brand campaigns (i.e. the company name) on Google…
The stats can MASSIVELY skew the data in HubSpot.
We find ‘Brand’ is the most successful of all campaigns, so the conversions/ROI are much higher than other campaigns.

If you read the top level data and don’t factor this in, then you’re generalising about the overall Ad performance. You really need to ‘go granular’.

9) Not using different page types, for different keyword ‘levels’ - TOTF, MOTF, BOTF

This is covered off elsewhere on our blog - but briefly…
People are at different stages of the buyer journey, and if you ‘fire traffic’ to one page type e.g. to fill in a contact form, then often people aren’t ready.

You need to work out are people looking to engage in a more ‘top of the funnel’ way, and then deliver a landing page that caters to this e.g. whitepaper/ebooks.

And anyone who says ‘everything should be ungated’ is probably focused on brand building not lead gen. Both have their place, but if you ‘want leads’ then form filling is a tried and tested art & science.

10) Not using Google ads conversion synchronization

If you haven’t already begun this journey, the time to start is NOW.
Your HubSpot account contains the most valuable ‘first party data’, collected by you and processed by your business to a point of people becoming customers. 
Big businesses are already ‘all over this’, but (in our experience) SMEs are lagging behind.

Enhanced conversion for leads_PYB blog image

“You can upload or import conversion data into Google Ads using first-party customer data from your website lead forms.” HubSpot instructions here.

This has to be one of the coolest developments, and still the least utilised.
Are you ready to get ahead of the game?

An energetic campaign support partner


Whilst PYB were initially brought on to onboard HubSpot, we (the Marketing team) continued to work with them after onboarding was complete, to ensure we best utilised HubSpot as a campaign-integrated CRM. Predominantly working with Martin, we've used HubSpot to manage paid campaign activity for LinkedIn and Google, as well as supporting our sales teams with PDF's and automated emails for MQL's/ SQL's. Plus Your Business have been a dedicated support throughout, offering a very agile and responsive service to ensure we get the best "bang for our buck" with sponsored activity such as InMail and PPC. I'd definitely recommend them to any business looking for campaign/ CRM support.

Penny Howell-Jones
Head Of Marketing, SMS Plc