Awwwards Nominee Awwwards Nominee

PPC Mistakes: Common Missteps You Need to Stop Making in 2023

by : rajkishore Category : Marketing Date :

There are two ways of looking at change. One is positive and another – negative. A look at the turn of events around technology, you know it is moving at a very fast pace. There was a time when it did not change for centuries. Then came the industrial revolution. During those times, the technology used to change every half a decade. The next phase of inventions was Edison and Einstein’s. But it was only in the 1970s, and the invention of the computer, every aspect of human life underwent a significant change. The 1980s is the era of computers. The mid-1990s saw the emergency of the internet. From 2000 to 2010, it was the mobiles which made much noise. But it was in mid 2016, the apps increased in popularity. In Fact, the year is popular as the “Year of Apps.”

It was quite natural, that when companies change with technology, the marketing industry will never be the same. And that was the beginning of Digital Marketing. Surprised? Yes, it is true. It was in 1985, that a company called ACT! Made the first step of introducing the first marketing software. And then developments followed. The major changes came when the online segment of businesses (E-Commerce) went on to become successful ventures.

Now, the era is of digital marketing. Now is the time to follow the right Digital Marketing strategies to grow your startup in 2023. So, various factors occupy prominence in the campaign such as SEO, content writing, and many more. But the major emphasis is on Paid advertisement. Another name for Google Ads is pay per click or pay per impression.

Now, will we have a brief idea of the Pay Per Click model?

It is also known by the name Cost Per Click. In fact, it is best known as the internet advertising model meant for directing traffic to websites. The business sense is simple. If a customer clicks the ad, then the website owner pays the money.

In fact, this concept of pay-per-click is in association with the first order of search engines (Google Ads as well as Bing Ads). Advertisers bid for their favorite keyword phrases in Google SERP, and Google Search partner websites. In fact, you see advertisements in the form of banners on websites that have relevant content.

Do you know that popular social networks such as Twitter and Facebook have also shifted to pay-per-click and CPM models for advertisements?

Yes, like other revenue models, PPC advertising also became prone to abuse via click fraud. Yet, Google and other similar models have made use of the automated system to safeguard their respective businesses from their client’s competitors and immoral web developers.

Let us look at the concept from the business point of view

Pay per click gives you information about the effectiveness of your strategy. Clicks on ads. Don’t you think they are the best way to measure the interest and attention of the public? If the main target is to make a specific type of customer get to a certain destination, then pay per click is the best metric for measuring conversions. Regardless, of whether you are promoting a service, product, or business.

One of the most crucial elements in digital marketing is PPC. Google ads campaigns have no doubt many benefits, but you must know that it is not easy to handle these campaigns and manage PPC marketing.

With PPC, you can make loads of money, but you would be surprised to know that there are many blunders that one can make in this journey. 

Here in this guide, we have discussed some of the most common mistakes that you need to avoid while initiating PPC marketing or campaigns. 

It doesn’t matter whether you are managing your own campaigns or for any of your clients; you need to make sure that you avoid all these issues at all costs. 

Before we move to the next section, we would like you to read some of the top problems as to why most PPC campaigns fail:

  • Poor Searchability: A very common reason behind PPC failure is that you are offering something that people are not searching for. If a user doesn’t know about your product/service or its availability, then there is no point in advertising it.
  • Wrong Keyword Selection: In PPC marketing, it is very important to use the right keywords, which can get you max traffic and ROI. Using irrelevant or spammy keywords would usually end up damaging your campaigns.
  • Infrastructural Challenges: The purpose of PPC campaigns is to bring traffic to your site or e-commerce store, but in case your site is not up to the expectations of the customer, then your campaign is bound to fail. The structure of a website contributes a lot to the success or failure of PPC marketing.

Other than these, there are many more reasons why PPC campaigns can fail. To avoid problems related to PPC, it is important that you beware of common mistakes. 

Common PPC mistakes everyone should avoid and beware of in 2023

Out of dozens of mistakes, here in this section, we have highlighted the most common ones of which marketers are usually not aware. 

1. Using gloomy keywords

A common mistake that most marketers make is that they don’t stop Google from using words like free in their ad campaigns. Google, by default, will display ads with keywords and phrases like free, cheap, discounted, etc.

To avoid having these kinds of words and phrases in your ads, it is best that you stop the search engine from doing so. You can take help from the negative keyword list of Google and exclude all the unimportant and valueless keywords from your ad campaigns. 

The search engine would use keywords like free and cheap because the intention behind this is to trigger traffic to click on the ad. But you must know that if someone is clicking on your ads with no intention of spending money, then you would simply be wasting your resources. 

You must always try to use relevant and engaging keywords in the campaign so that you can increase the return on your investment instead of increasing losses. 

2. Take care to select the right keywords

The basic structure of PPC ads centers around keywords. It is mandatory you spend the time to select the best set of keywords. The hard work will bring great results when more customers click on the ad. Yes, the additional benefit will be an increase in website traffic.

Make a list of the keywords which capture the attention of the audience (put yourself in the consumer’s shoes). Yes, the product also matters. Do not hesitate to drop the low attention phrases that can fail to initiate a call to action part on the customer. Focus right on the categories which come very near to the services or products.

Okay, here is an example. In case you have a company related to microwave oven repair, then it is better to settle for the phrase, microwave oven service. Or at least the best synonym or potential phrase. But if you use the word home appliance microwave oven, then the words give a totally different meaning and generate less interest.

A. Keyword match type

Creating a perfect AdWords campaign is not everyone’s cup of tea. You need to complete two tasks. One is designing the ad groups and another to pick keywords for the perfect target. You first make the initial start with perfect keywords to admit the relevance of ads. Yet, depending on the types, there exist five types of keywords.

  • Broad Match Keyword – For example, instead of AC, you can mention Air conditioner.
  • Phrase Match Keyword – You make use of synonyms for this type
  • Exact Match Keyword – The keyword has to be the same as the service or product
  • Broad Match Modifier
  • Negative Match

Never go with the proverb, Birds of the same feather flock together. Rely more on tools. You can notice the changes and conversions at a low cost.

B. Do you also bid for broad match keywords?

Is there a rule that you should not bid for them? But they can also generate search volume. Always remember the key factor. It is not about the many numbers of clicks. It is about getting a hefty ROI for a meager investment.

Yes, you can put lots of keywords. You can put even misspelling, related keywords, and synonyms. Yes, the traffic, you receive can be more. But there will be no conversions. By making use of the best keywords, you can pull in fewer impressions, but more conversions.

C. Clustering keywords in ad groups

There is a famous proverb – Too many cooks spoil the broth. In a similar fashion, the ROI gets reduced when you stuff many keywords in the ad groups. But yes, it depends on the services. A simple stuffing of relevant keywords will not do the trick.

In call extensions, the business phone number gets displayed in the ads. You have nine types of extensions. The site link extension gives links to a particular page of the website. By this method, you can enhance the ads by standing out from the competitors.

D. Broad match modification keyword

The search engine, Google has always made new updates to assist its customers. True to its nature, it has introduced a recent AdWords feature, which can help you create keywords. These words can help you reach targets with more ease than the perfect phrase or an exact match.

In this feature, you can put a plus sign (+) before one or any number of words. But the plus sign has to appear in the user’s keyword phrase in a perfect manner or as a close variation. In fact, they will bring more traffic than broad match.

Example of a modified Broad Match Phrase

Let us take an example. The broad match phrase was X microwave oven. It can trigger ads on various kinds of query variations such as microwave oven service, microwave oven repair, microwave oven sale, purchase of microwave oven, etc.

Yet, if you had put the coveted +microwave oven, the word oven or other close variants, you have to embed in the keyword phrase.

Some of the variants included are, singular/plural forms, stemming, acronyms, misspellings, and abbreviations.

So, the search for “X oven” or ‘Xsive oven” can no doubt trigger your ad and make it come in front.

So, if you have made the modified broad match “X oven”, the word “oven” or close synonym or variant has to appear in the keyword phrase. Some the examples are conventional Y oven, the recent Z oven, and the conventional X oven.

B. Usage of long tail keywords

Well, there is a myth stating keywords are short and at the most, a combination of two words. But the opposite is also true. If you know the method to use long tail keywords in an effective way, then it is easy to manage communication between customers and businesses. The surprising part? It is easy to rank long-tail keywords than simple shorter keywords. You can use them less number of times during searches, but it is more relevant and will definitely bring in conversions.

3. Always aiming for top positions

Always aiming for the first position might sound great, but in PPC marketing, it can be a big mistake. It doesn’t matter whether you are managing your own campaigns or that of your clients; it is important to avoid investing money to get on the top. To reach the top positions, you need more than just money; you need to put in more effort and spend time. 

Sometimes the top keyword positions can cost you around $10 per click, which can get very expensive. This is why experts recommend that you must not go for the first spot; rather, you must focus on getting the maximum return on your investments. 

Being in the lower positions can still get you more clicks at a very low rate which is a wise move instead of investing your resources to get the first position with a low click rate. You can invest the money saved in other SEO tactics like guest posting, link building, etc. 

4. Not knowing customer value

Here another common mistake that most PPC marketers make is that they don’t focus on and understand a customer’s lifetime value. 

It is important that you find out how much value a customer would bring to your campaign. You need to know how much your customers would be willing to spend, and on the basis of these figures, you must plan your PPC campaign.

To be successful in PPC marketing, you have to rely on numbers and certain metrics. Without being sure about your cost or numbers, there is no way to find out how much you would be bidding for the clicks. 

If you go wrong with the figures, then you will end up wasting money and will not be able to benefit from the paid advertisements as your plan. 

Before you start a campaign, it is important to collect all important information, metrics, and customer value to be successful in your campaigns and get the best ROI. 

5. Not taking benefit from google ad scripts 

Another common mistake that most marketers make is that they don’t trust or use Google ads scripts. Instead, they end up wasting a lot of their time and effort on unimportant tasks. To save your time and energy, it is very important to use handy ad scripts offered by Google.

Google ads scripts are a very useful resource that can help you automate certain tasks in PPC campaigns. Time is more valuable than money, so there is no point in wasting it. 

You can get rid of tedious tasks like analyzing google display placements, getting updates, and running APIs manually. Google Ads scripts can manage all these petty jobs automatically without any human interference. 

Some important ad scripts you must integrate are:

  • Bid management scripts
  • Ad management scripts
  • Keyword scripts

Other than these, there are many more that can help you automate your PPC campaigns.

6. Not integrating appropriate ad extension 

We have seen many PPC campaigns fail just because marketers don’t use ad extensions. Ad extensions are important when it comes to smoothly managing PPC campaigns. 

These extensions are considered to be important because they help you add essential information to your ads. The intention behind adding information is to make your ads look more relevant to the target audience. 

You can use the extensions to display different locations, contact details, price details, product information, and other relevant information. By adding this kind of information, you can easily increase your chances of getting more clicks. 

An interesting thing that you need to know is that you can also reduce your cost per click if you use the right ad extensions. It is important to search and choose the right ad extensions to be successful.

Some of the extension formats are

  • Location Extension
  • Call Extension
  • Callout Extension
  • Sitelink Extension
  • Price Extension
  • App Extension
  • Affiliate location Extension
  • Structured snippet Extension
  • Automatic Extension (Google will take care)

The extension, every type, serves as an excellent opportunity to seize the attention of prospective customers.

7. Having a poorly designed website

A very common mistake that most marketers make is that they don’t focus on making their site friendly for users. Spending time and resources on keywords and ads would do you no good if you have a bad website. 

The traffic that clicks on your ads will always end up on your site. If the website experience is not smooth, then there is no way you will be able to get any return on your investments.

The design of your PPC landing page plays a crucial role in the success of your advertising campaign. A well-designed landing page can improve the user experience and increase the likelihood of conversions. When designing your landing page, keep in mind that it should be visually appealing, easy to navigate, and relevant to the ad that the user clicked on. Additionally, the landing page should have a clear call-to-action (CTA) that encourages the user to take the desired action, whether that’s making a purchase or filling out a form.

A custom web design service can help you create a landing page that aligns with your brand and marketing goals, ensuring that your PPC campaigns are optimized for success. There are many benefits of custom website development services that can help you get more conversions.

8. Having a website with a higher loading time

A very common mistake that most marketers make today is that they don’t focus on the load time of their sites. Today users visiting your site have a very low attention span. If your site takes more than three to four seconds to load, then it is surely going to increase the bounce rate of your site.

There is no point in investing money in google ads and spending time in keyword research if, in the end, the user is going to bounce off your site. 

So before you put all your resources into the PPC campaigns, it is important that you optimize the loading time of your site. The loading time of your site must not be more than three to four seconds. 

One way to enhance your PPC landing page design is by optimizing your website speed. A fast loading website can improve the user experience and increase the likelihood of conversions. A website speed optimization service can help you identify and fix issues that may be slowing down your website. If you do not have technical skills then you won’t be able to know how to speed up your website.

Additionally, high-speed landing pages can also improve your PPC campaign’s Quality Score, which can lead to better ad placement and lower costs. If your website loads quickly on every device, it is sure to boost your conversion rate and get you a high ROI. So, invest in website speed optimization services to ensure that your PPC landing pages are optimized for success.

9. Not protecting oneself from click fraud 

A very common blunder that most new marketers make is that they don’t take protective measures against click fraud. Most new marketers don’t know how to manage their PPC campaigns which is why they can end up losing money instead of earning through ads. 

Click fraud is when you get multiple clicks from a single IP. These clicks usually come from disgruntled customers or from your competitors. Research shows that one out of every five clicks is spammy.

Statistics show that marketers lose thousands of dollars annually just because of fake clicks. It is important that you tackle this issue and try to reduce the number of fraudulent clicks. You can use automatic campaign manager resources to avoid getting repetitive clicks. 

10. Not bidding on your brand name 

Another common mistake that most PPC marketers make is that they focus on bidding on low-competition keywords instead of their brand name. A common practice is to find low-competition opportunities in order to get maximum return on investments. 

But you must know that if you are promoting products and services with keywords, then your competitors can easily steal your customers by using the same words/phrases in their campaigns. 

Running an ad campaign on your own brand name would help you a lot. This would be a lot cheaper and would certainly reduce the chances of the competition snatching your customers. 

If you are using your trademarked brand name in your ad campaigns, then you can easily report all ads from your competitors which are using your brand name as a keyword. 

The purpose of PPC marketing is to invest in customer acquisition. So you have to be very smart when it comes to keyword research and bidding.

 11. Avoiding dedicated landing pages

If you are not dedicating relevant landing pages for your customers, you are making a big blunder. Here you must understand that the landing page is one of the most contributing factors to the success of any PPC campaign. If you are setting all ads to your homepage, then it would probably be going to increase your bounce rate. To increase conversion rate and sales, you have to make sure that you are driving the traffic to the most relevant pages of the ad. 

You have to make sure that you increase the conversion rate of customers, as it would help you build a good quality score. 

Generic pages would result in damaging your campaign and decrease ROI. So try to create as many specific and relevant landing pages as you can. There are tons of benefits you would enjoy once you dedicate multiple landing pages. 

 12. Forgetting your campaign altogether

If you set and forget about your PPC campaigns, then there is very little chance that they will be successful. Recent reports show that most PPC campaigns become successful after months-long optimization and tracking. Forgetting about your campaigns is a big mistake that you need to avoid. 

It is important to regularly track the progress of your campaigns so that you can know how much return you are getting and whether your campaign is bringing any value or not. You need to check the campaign for multiple KPIs, which would determine its success. 

If you are not satisfied with the progress of your PPC campaign, then it is best that you try changing keywords, adding landing pages, using extensions, and avoiding using any negative terms.

14. Not trusting location targeting 

Location targeting is very important in PPC marketing, and if you are not using it, you are making a big mistake. To make your campaigns successful, you have to make sure that you define who your target audience is and where they are located.

For instance, if your business is located in New York, then it is best that you target local customers. If you are not using location targeting, then your ads would be shown in countries, states, and cities in which you might not even serve. 

So what’s the point of running a PPC campaign if you cannot entertain the end customer? It would be impossible for you to make organic conversions or drive more sales if you were not using location targeting.

Personalization of customer location is one of the most important elements in PPC marketing.

15. Avoiding ad schedules

A very big blunder that most marketers make is that they don’t use ad schedules. By default, your Google ad campaigns would run all day which, in expert opinion, is not ideal, especially if you want to run a long-term campaign. 

It doesn’t matter what kind of campaign you are running; it is important for you to search for the best time when your target customers will be online. 

The most popular time to run your ad campaign and to increase your PPC rate is between 6 PM and 9 PM at night and from 9 AM to 11 AM in the morning. These are the two slots when there would surely get organic customers. 

Running the campaign all day long can be very expensive, which is why you need to avoid it and use ad scheduling extensions with Google ads. You can decrease the cost of the campaign and still win more conversions.

16. Negative keywords (You should take care to add the negatives to the campaign level)

How do you differentiate the best from the least? Due to changes in metrics. Only when the best produce results and the least fail to drive traffic. So, negative keywords are also important. They make you take off unrelated search term from the campaigns. Now you can focus only on the right keywords that relate to your customers, product, and business. So, the trick is while searching for the perfect negative keywords for the PPC campaigns, find the terms that are synonymous with the keywords.

But do the popular PPC generating keyword websites also support these terms? Surprisingly, Yes. When you include a negative keyword, your ad will not show for any of the searches surrounding that specific term.

Let us take an example concerned with the previous case study. You are promoting PPC ads for the microwave oven service center in Hyderabad. There are some reasons, you do not provide the services all over the city due to a shortage of vendors. Then you need to add the name of these places. The reason, if your ad shows up in those places, it will not result in conversions. You stand to lose money. This is one of the main reasons, why you need the service of an experienced digital marketer.

17. Quality score

If you are a digital marketer, you can know the quality score only after the creation of ads. It is the number one Search Engine, Google’s way of ranking the quality of your PPC ads and keywords. A low-quality score will definitely pull the ads down because the rank will be low.

A. Sustain or improve the quality score

Yes, the score is the exact reflection of your campaign’s effectiveness and influence. There are four factors required for improving the Quality Score. They are:

  • Relevance of keywords with AdGroup
  • Improvement in website load time
  • Quality of landing pages
  • Relevance of Ads with keywords
  • Website Relevance with the campaign

B. Overlooking keyword quality score

Every keyword gets a score from Google in the AdWords campaign. But, it will remain related to the landing page. If the keyword is a perfect match to the content (landing page), it gets a high quality score. The score will range from a score of one to ten. If you get a score of 0 to 5 – then you have to work to improve the quality score if it is a relevant keyword. And 7 to 10 is the best.

A low quality score can cause havoc on the campaigns. It will not perform. On the other side, the Ad Rank goes low. The result – it affects the CTR as well total conversions.

18: No, do not go for split testing

For a higher return on Investment (ROI), you can split the ads. Do not remove them. You have to pause the ads. After a detailed study, introduce the new ads instead of the old ones. The smart step is – Replace the non-performing ads with the most effective ones. A survey has pointed out that many ads can enhance the impressions of your ad groups by 5 to 15 percent. This method helps save money as you can remove the underperforming ads. You can replace it with new ads.

Some factors, which you should take into consideration are:

  • Headline
  • URL
  • Ad Copy
  • Landing Page

19. Landing page conversions

The landing page has to be perfect. Yes, it must be a show-stopper designed to meet the requirements of the users. It is for only one purpose, conversions. Let us imagine, you are running an online business. You have a homepage and it has fetched a good number of conversions. In similar cases, maintain the same page. In the opposite, change the landing page. The mentioned page should be more about the products and services. If you are creating the landing page, it is necessary to create a separate page that is in relation to ads. Then it will be easy to divert to the required page.

20. Tracking the conversions of keywords

You need to know the best keywords which promote sales. With this method, there is a way to optimize the campaigns. You can raise the bids on keywords which enhance conversions. At the same time lower the bids of keywords which causes scant sales. You can use the conversion tracking part in AdWords for the results.

21. Engaging in bidding wars

Yes, you are human. And being human, to make the most of life, you tend to make mistakes in life. To know the purpose of your very existence. When you become excited and angry, it is common human behavior to make mistakes. To err is human. To escape is smartness. Usually, advertisers participating in bidding face the challenge of restraining themselves in the process. So, when the bidding increases, they have to keep their calm or the bid prices will be high. But their ROI stands to reduce by a larger margin.

You need to keep your emotions in check. If you put your self-respect in the ring, then the company stands to lose. There are chances that the PPC cost will be more than the to-be-generated revenue. The best smart way is to make a plan to increase/lower the bids by analysis of the campaign.

Wrapping Up

Whether you are managing PPC marketing campaigns on your own or have hired a manager for this purpose, you have to make sure that you avoid all the common mistakes that we have discussed in this post. By refraining from these blunders and taking help from online PPC analytics tools, you can easily boost ROI on your campaigns.

Raj Kishore About Raj Kishore A digital marketing consultant at VOCSO. I've been working in digital marketing since 2010 and I am an expert at generating leads online via SEO, Paid Marketing, Social Media Marketing, Email Marketing, Site/Landing Page Testing and Optimization, and Display and Remarketing.

Further Reading...

We use cookies to give you the best online experience. By using our website you agree to use of cookies in accordance with VOCSO cookie policy. I Accept Cookies