12 PPC Mistakes to Avoid Making in Your Google AdWords Campaigns

The job of a PPC account manager involves juggling various strategies, budgets, audiences, schedules, bids, campaigns and much more whilst working towards a specific target. Whilst no PPC campaign is the same, there are a number of common mistakes that can often make the job of an account manager much harder. In this article, we will look at certain things you could be doing differently when building a campaign in Google AdWords in order to ensure it performs optimally and you aren’t wasting your time or budget.

Not Making Proper Use of Keyword Match Types

When building out a campaign, it’s easy to set all of your keywords as Broad Match, however, this is a guaranteed way to waste budget on irrelevant clicks from people who are looking for something else. By setting your keywords as Broad Match, you are essentially allowing Google to show your ad more than is necessary. On the other hand, setting your keywords as a match type that is too restrictive can equally cause your campaign to underperform too. As a general rule of thumb, you should use Exact Match for keywords that are highly relevant to your brand or campaign, and Phrase Match or Broad Match Modifier to cover any searches using terms that you had not thought of.

Not Using Keywords In Your Ad Copy

One of the cardinal rules of PPC campaigns is including your keywords within your actual ad copy, yet you’d be surprised how many people omit this key detail when building out their campaigns. By doing so, you will be making your ad much more relevant to the search and your CTR is much more likely to increase.

Having Too Many Keywords Within Your Ad Groups

Each of your ad groups should be dedicated to a different theme or product in order to remain as relevant as possible. If you include too many keywords within each ad group then you run the risk of losing some of that relevancy. One way to combat this, whilst more time consuming and complex, is to make individual ad groups for each keyword in your campaign which will ensure that your ads are highly targeted and relevant.

Not Regularly Reviewing Your Keyword Lists

Your keyword lists should be regarded as a constant work in progress. If you are not regularly swapping out irrelevant keywords, adding in new ones, not bidding on long tail keywords and only bidding on one-word keywords then you’ll be wasting your budget on traffic that has no value to you.

Paying For Negative Keywords

Unless you specify which keywords you definitely do not want your ad to be shown for, such as people looking for employment within your businesses’ industry, words like “free” or generally anything that is not relevant to what you’re selling, then you’ll end up paying for completely valueless clicks.

Having Too Few Ads In Your Ad Groups

If you are only creating one ad per ad group then you are missing out on the opportunity to test different variations of your ads to see which one is performing better. A good strategy is to create at least 3 variations of an ad which have one or more elements altered, for all of your ad groups, and then setting Ad Rotation to “do not optimise: rotate ads evenly”. This way, Google will know to show each ad equally and you’ll be able to make a sound judgement of which variable ad is performing the most optimally for your campaign.

Not Using Ad Extensions

Ad extensions are an extremely valuable way to add more relevance to your ad, as well as ensuring that your ad physically takes up more space on the search engine results page. In addition, they can affect your ad rank as Google takes into account the anticipated impact of your extensions when calculating where to position your ad in the search results. You should only be using extensions that are relevant to you though, however, extensions such as site link and callout can generally be applied to most types of businesses.

Always Aiming To Be The Number One Spot

This is not always the best strategy, it may increase the traffic to your landing page but it might not be cost effective as you could be getting most of your clicks from people using an incorrect keyword in their search, or who are simply carrying out a bit of pre-purchase research.

Having A Weak Landing Page

Neglecting to optimise your landing page is a guaranteed way to boost your bounce rate and waste all the work you put in to get people to click your ad in the first place. If your landing page lacks relevancy to your ad, your keywords are nowhere to be seen and the customer journey is unclear or not related to your ad, then simply put, you will not see the results you want to see.

Not Using Seasonal Copy

If this is relevant to your business, change up your ad copy to reflect any seasonal or limited time offers that you have running. It’ll make your ads stand out, appear to be more relevant and draw in more clicks.

Not Using Conversion Tracking

This is one of the simplest yet most important steps to optimising your PPC campaigns. If you don’t have conversion tracking set up then you won’t be able to identify which campaign, ad groups or keywords are getting you leads. Without this insight, it is impossible to optimise your campaigns to the full extent.

Not Scheduling Your Ads

It is a mistake to think that running your ads twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week will yield the maximum number of clicks and sales. A more effective strategy is to invest your budget into running ads during specific times of the day or week when it is more likely to perform better.

This is by no means an exhaustive list and will not be applicable to every single PPC campaign. With this being said, the main theme that runs through each of these tips is relevancy. From keyword selection to ad copy, scheduling and targeting, the main thing that should be at the forefront of the PPC account managers’ mind at all times, is whether the campaigns they are running are relevant to a users search. If they are not, testing different versions and optimising based on statistical data is the next most important element of a successful PPC campaign.

If you would like us to perform an appraisal of your current PPC campaigns or if you are interested in using Paid Search to advertise your business but are not sure where to start, get in touch with us today through info@media-maze.co.uk.


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