PPC advertising is still one of the best ways to reach a targeted audience online today and it doesn’t have to be complicated either.
A report by Clever Clicks showed that PPC traffic converts 50% higher than organic traffic and 73% of marketers have increased their PPC spend in 2018 due to its effectiveness.
Like any form of online advertising though, you’re going to need to learn from your mistakes and iron a few things out before your campaigns can reach that “sweet spot”.
Everyone is guilty of making a few mistakes along the way but if you’re able to recognize where you went wrong, mistakes can actually be beneficial.
Once you know where you’ve gone wrong, you can change your approach, fine-tune your campaigns and start generating higher-quality conversions.
Whether you’re new to PPC or you’ve been running campaigns for several months, it helps to be aware of some of the most common mistakes to ensure you’re doing everything you can to boost your ROI.
8 Common PPC Mistakes to Avoid
Below are some of the mistakes that could be affecting the results of your PPC campaigns.
- Using Broad Match Keywords
Every PPC marketer knows that there are four different keyword match types that you can choose from, namely Broach Match, Broad Match Modified, Phrase Match and Exact Match.
While there is a time and a place for using broad match keywords, it’s generally a good idea to stay away from this match type. The reason for this is because it gives Google too much room to potentially match your ads with irrelevant traffic, which, of course, results in a higher bounce rate and fewer conversions.
Exact match and phrase match are better options as they allow you to target keywords and phrases that are more relevant to your business and that you may not have thought about before.
- Choosing to Combine Display & Search
When you create a new PPC campaign, you will be given the option to target Google’s search as well as the display networks. Combining search and display is never a good strategy as it makes your campaigns slightly more difficult to manage.
Search and display also perform very differently and should be used for different purposes. Search advertising is ideal when you’re looking to target users who are looking for a specific product or service. Display advertising is more ideal for reaching a wider audience and creating awareness about your business, product or service.
Search advertising will usually generate a much higher click-through rate while the click-through rate for display advertising is lower. By combining search and display, you will be skewing your data and won’t necessarily be able to optimize your campaigns correctly.
- Remarketing Without Proper Segmentation
When you fail to properly segment your campaigns before you pursue your remarketing campaigns, there’s a very high chance that you won’t see the results you’re hoping for.
The more specific and relevant your ads are, the higher the chance that a user will convert. For example, if you run an online fashion store and you know a user spent 40 seconds on your Dresses category, it won’t make sense to serve them a general ad.
Don’t make the mistake of focusing on scale when marketing online. Today’s users want a personalized online experience so make segmentation a crucial part of your PPC campaign process if you want to boost your ROI.
- Creating One Ad Per Ad Group
Yes, creating one ad per ad group may be quicker but it’s not the best tactic for achieving great results.
As a digital marketer, you should always be testing new ads and ideas, otherwise, you won’t really know whether one ad could bring you better results than another. Aim to create at least 3 different ads per ad group. Change something simple such as the headlines or descriptions to see what performs better and optimize accordingly.
Remember to allow the ads to run for at least 3 – 4 weeks before you compare results and make sure that the ads are set to “Do Not Optimize: Rotate Ads Evenly”. This will ensure that each ad is being served in the same way and that the results will be fair.
- Adding too Many Keywords to One Ad Group
Each ad group that you create should be targeting a small set of very specific keywords to increase click-through and conversion rates, and to raise the quality score of the keywords.
The best approach is to split your ad groups into themes and to create ads accordingly using relevant keywords. You can also choose to create ad groups based on keywords but this can make campaign management a little more complex.
- Ignoring the Value of Late Conversions
When you’re running PPC campaigns, it’s important to remember that not every conversion is going to be immediate.
For example, a customer may have signed up for your newsletter to receive a coupon but only redeems the coupon 2 months later. If you know that your customer journey can take longer than most, rather use a bigger conversion window when testing your data.
- Forgetting to Use Ad Extensions
Ad extensions are incredibly valuable yet not many brands are actually using them.
Ad extensions have the potential to boost the position of your ad and increase your click-through rate. Google does take the expected impact of ad extensions into consideration when calculating your ad rank so if it’s relevant, use ad extensions with your ads.
If you’re new to ad extensions, start with a callout extension or site link as these are quick and easy to create.
- Only Optimizing for Hard Conversions
When you don’t necessarily have the budget or the traffic to generate the conversions you’re hoping for, it’s important not to optimize your campaigns for hard conversions that happen at the bottom of the funnel.
Rather optimize your campaigns according to actions that are taken at the top or middle of your sales funnel so that you can use the data to create a strategy that will help push users farther down the sales funnel.
At the end of the day, you need to optimize your PPC strategy according to your brand’s specific needs, which is why goals are such an important part of the campaign process. Once you know exactly what you’re looking to achieve, it becomes easier to adjust your bidding, budget and ads, and avoid common mistakes.