Costly PPC Mistakes


Whether you are managing your PPC campaign yourself in-house or using an external PPC agency, you are likely to have invested a lot of time and money into setting up and managing your campaigns. Despite PPC campaigns becoming increasingly more popular amongst online businesses, there are many common and crucial PPC mistakes that we at In Front have seen many times. These mistakes have hindered clients’ campaigns due to lack of knowledge of the impact incorrect changes can have. It only takes a few incorrect setting changes for your ad spend to increase and your ROI to plummet.

Keep reading to find out the most common PPC mistakes and how to avoid them!

Not Having A Clear Business Goal

Before you even begin setting up a PPC campaign, you need to sit down with your team and align a clear business goal. What do you want from the campaign? What do you want users to do once they have clicked on your ads? Budget can be wasted very easily if you haven’t defined the purpose of your campaign; increased traffic, increased leads, more phone calls, brand awareness? The whole team must be on board and aware of the potential increase in enquiries so they can act appropriately.

Targeting All Ads to the Homepage

Your PPC campaigns should be made up of ad groups that are relevant to a page on your website or a product/service that you want to get In Front of potential customers. Your ads within these ad groups should be specific to the product/service you are trying to sell, so why should clicking on your ad take the user to the homepage? The idea is that it takes the user as few clicks as possible to convert and take the desired action. Especially if you are an ecommerce business, if you have an ad for a specific product and clicking on that ad takes the user to any page other than the specific product page you will likely see a high bounce rate and low conversion rate as the user will have to then have to navigate to that product on your site.

Not only is targeting ads to the homepage ineffective in most cases, it can also cause very low keyword quality scores. Quality Score is an estimate of how relevant your ads, keywords and landing pages are to a person seeing your ad. Higher Quality Scores typically lead to lower costs and better ad positions. You would likely see a much higher keyword quality score if the final URL’s of your ads were more specific to the search term and the search term is within the copy of the page.

Not Utilising Ad Extensions

As you are limited as to what you can put in your search ads due to character limits, the more information you can get in front of potential customers the better. By using the full range of ad extensions available in AdWords, this allows you to take up more advertising space and get across your USP’s. Google has previously stated that site link extensions have been proven to increase the CTR of ads by 10-20%. This is a huge difference and it would be ineffective to not utilise these for your campaigns. Read our guide on the top 5 ad extensions for increased PPC performance.

Ineffective Conversion Tracking

Without conversion tracking correctly set up, you will be unable to accurately monitor your campaigns performance and optimise it as per your data analysis. By linking your Google AdWords and Google Analytics accounts, you will be able to track the number of clicks and impressions your ads receive as well as what the user does once they click through to your site. Without conversion tracking set up on your site you will not be able to confirm the business need for paid search advertising or justify the ad spend.

Incorrect Targeting

No targeting or incorrect targeting can be catastrophic to PPC campaigns and is likely the reason that your ad spend is going up and your conversion rate is plummeting! As a business, you will have a demographic and it is important you are targeting the right people. When you create a Google AdWords PPC campaign, the default targeting options are that your ads will be shown worldwide 24/7; this will drain your budget very quickly and result in very few valuable clicks.

If you are an online business that only delivers to customers in the UK, ensure that within the location settings of your campaign it is only targeting the United Kingdom. If you know users in London have an especially high interest in your products, you can add an additional location target option for London specifically and increase the bid to heighten your chance of getting In Front of interested users. Whilst we recommend that for a trial period you leave the ad schedule to be running 24/7 (unless your business does not work weekends and no one will be available to answer calls/enquires), you should ensure that you monitor the data to find out when users are searching and converting more and make the necessary changes in order to conserve budget and target interested users when they are looking for a business or service like yours.

Not Mobile Optimised

With Google announcing that mobile searches have now overtaken desktop searches, the business need for your website to be mobile responsive has never been more prominent. Within AdWords and Analytics you are able to identify what percentage of users are visiting your site via desktop, mobile and tablets. If your website is not mobile responsive and doesn’t display correctly on mobile devices, this is likely to cause a very high bounce rate and low keyword quality scores. Mobile friendliness is an important factor for both SEO and PPC so it is essential that your landing pages are designed for usability and convertibility.

Need help managing your PPC campaign effectively? Read more about our PPC services and get in touch to discuss our services.

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