5 PPC Mistakes That Are Ruining Your Campaign

5 PPC Mistakes That Are Ruining Your Campaign

A well thought-out PPC campaign takes time to develop and while its success is heavily dependent on the expertise of the PPC manager developing the campaign, you can have a positive impact on your results (and get more bang for your buck) by simply avoiding these 5 key mistakes:

doh ppc mistake1. Running a PPC Campaign When Your Website Doesn’t Convert

Before we cover keyword mistakes, campaign settings and testing, the first mistake that many PPC campaigns are guilty of is having poorly converting websites. This begs the question, why spend thousands of dollars driving traffic to your website if it doesn’t result in any profit gains?

Each campaign should at the very least have a dedicated PPC landing page that looks amazing and converts better than your website – or even better, have a phenomenally optimised website that acts like a conversion generating machine. To find out more about creating that conversion friendly page, have a read of Amy’s awesome infographic 10 Ways To Create A Landing Page That Sells!

2. Targeting Broad Keywords

This includes keywords like ‘shoes’, ‘car’, ‘jackets’ etc. For example, a company that sells Converse shoes online. If they were to target the keyword ‘shoes’ rather than ‘buy converse shoes’, the budget would be spent a whole lot faster and the company would get a whole bucket load of irrelevant traffic. Why? Because people searching for things like ‘wedding shoes’, ‘hiking shoes’ or ‘kids shoes’ will trigger the ad you’ve created and the user will click on it thinking that you’re providing what they’re looking for. This means you’ll get a lot of clicks and barely any conversions – not quite the optimal outcome for a PPC campaign.

3. Having a Single Campaign for Both Search and Display

The search network refers to the ads that appear when you type a keyword into Google. The display network on the other hand refers to the image ads, rich media ads, and video ads that appear on websites that have Google AdSense enabled such as on online newspapers, YouTube and blogs. These two networks are very different not just in terms of ad delivery but in terms of user intent, click-through rate, quality of traffic and conversions – which is why you need to separate the two.

                                                                     SEARCH V.S. DISPLAY ADS

display network ad

search network ad



The problem with keeping them within the single campaigns is that often someone may see your ad on another website (i.e. using the display network)  but they are not actively searching for your product or service – they’re interested in the content on the website they’re viewing. Compare this to users on the search network. These users entered a keyword which triggered your ad to show up in their search results so you know they are involved in some stage of the sales cycle. Sure, they may only want more information or are just browsing around OR on the flip side, they may be actively looking for the product you’re offering.

Because the intent of the users are completely different, it’s imperative that you separate the two types of campaigns if you want to make the most of your budget and get an ROI.

4. Ignoring Negative Keywords

Negative keywords are often overlooked in many PPC campaigns. If you’re unfamiliar with what they are, negative keywords are the terms that will prevent your ad showing up when a user types a query into Google. For example, if you own an optometry business and would like to promote your newest range of prescription glasses, you don’t want to attract people searching for ‘wine glasses’ or ‘drinking glasses’ – thus rendering these your ‘negative keywords’. By not using negative keywords, you run the risk of generating unqualified traffic to your site and similar to targeting broad keywords, ignoring the ‘negative’ variations may see you spending your budget very quickly.

For more details, see Gabriela’s earlier post on how to use negative keywords in PPC.

5. Not Testing & Measuring Ad Effectiveness

Testing is the cornerstone of any effective PPC campaign because it leads to clarity and clarity is POWER. The most obvious thing you can test first is the ad copy. Ensure that you’re testing different headlines, changing up description lines and alternating the display URLs to see what generates the most qualified traffic and what leads to the highest conversions. It’s important that you see which keywords are performing best and which ones are generating conversions, what ad copy is most effective and how certain campaigns impact on the lifetime value of the customer. Without doing this, you won’t be equipped with the power to optimise future campaigns and as a result, you won’t be making the most of your ad budget. Remember to also give yourself enough time (between 2-3 months) to gather reliable results.

darth vader

Can you think of any other common mistakes people make with their PPC campaigns? If so, comment below!

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We’ve been in the digital marketing field for over 18 years and worked with hundreds of Australian (and international) businesses to grow their web presence. Specialising in SEO, search ads (PPC), social media, content marketing, email marketing and conversion rate optimisation.

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