You might be wondering if our title is just empty clickbait, but let us assure you—if you don’t fix your PPC mistakes (pay-per-click mistakes), you’ll surely let your marketing efforts and budget go to waste. 

The good news (because Big Leap loves pointing out a silver lining) is that once you become aware of your PPC mistakes, they’re easily fixable. That’s why we’re here today to inform you about what you’re doing wrong and what you can do about it.

And don’t worry, the fixes are actually doable and don’t take much time. Work your way through this list of 11 PPC mistakes and you’ll be raking in the benefits of PPC best practices soon enough.

PPC Mistake #1: Pushing for First Position

Scaling up too speedily can be tempting if your campaign is doing well. After all, throwing more money at it will only be beneficial, right? Actually, this is a common (yet false) belief. Increasing ad budget too quickly can kill your campaign’s momentum and impact your return on ad spend. 

PPC Best Practice

Take moderate, maybe even slow, steps to scale. An Advertising ROI Calculator is an indispensable tool for figuring out your projected monthly budget, expected CPC (cost-per-click), and return on ad spend.

PPC Mistake #2: Ignoring Negative Keywords

Ignorance isn’t bliss when it comes to negative keywords. Negative keywords are what you don’t want Google to include in the search results where your ad displays. For example, if you only offer online gaming subscriptions, you don’t want Google to show your ad when someone searches for “free online games”. That would mislead the clicker and waste your budget. 

PPC Best Practice

Add negative keywords to your Google campaign. Excluding these time and money wasters can immediately improve your ROI.  

PPC Mistake #3: Writing Unemotional Ad Copy

By not using emotional language, you’re neglecting the natural human response. People want to get excited about something, whether it’s about how much money they’ll save or how something will solve their problems. No one needs a boring ad.

PPC Best Practice

Clearly state the main value proposition of your ad, but give it some oomph! The best way to do that is with emotional copy that compels a reaction. Examples of power words for headlines are:

  • Guaranteed
  • Enormous
  • Authentic
  • Urgent
  • Just arrived
  • The truth about
  • Obsession
  • Daring
  • Refundable
  • Last minute
  • Simplified
  • Confidential

PPC Mistake #4: Neglecting the Quality of Your Landing Pages

Say someone does click on your ad and they find themself on your landing page—what will they find? A long load time? A page that is irrelevant to the ad? Unengaging content? These are all big mistakes and won’t bring you the benefits of PPC, but will hurt your budget.

PPC Best Practice

Avoid customer confusion, frustration, and abandonment by being mindful of their journey. Give them the experience they expect and want to have while on your site, which is a quick and convenient (and even fun) way for them to learn and buy the products or services you offer. That’s why they clicked!

PPC Mistake #5: Letting Location Targeting Slip

Depending on how local your business is, your ads need to target nearby audiences to get you the most bang for your ad buck.  

PPC Best Practice

There are two tactics you can use, location targeting and user location:

  • Place ads according to the business’s service area to target the most relevant audience.  
  • Mention the user’s location in the ad to increase engagement compared to ads that aren’t personalized. 

PPC Mistake #6: Forgetting Ad Extensions

Google’s ad template is a little limiting, and sticking to their basic recipe makes a bland ad that’s not worth consuming. But with ad extensions, setting specificity feature on each ad means marketers can notably increase:

  • Click-through-rates
  • Quality score
  • Ad rank
  • And other important metrics

PPC Best Practice

They’re free, so if you’re not using ad extensions you’re making a big mistake. Here is Google’s advice for getting the benefits of ad extensions:

  • Enable all ad extensions (at least, the ones that make sense for your business). Google found that each extension can uplift CRT by 10-15% on average.
  • Control CPCs with bids, not by ad extension removal. It’s more cost-effective that way. 
  • Make ad extensions that are highly relevant and of the utmost quality. Google does some of this automatically, but doing your part will help prioritize your ad. 

PPC Mistake #7: Being too Broad

Casting a wide net is a practical (yet problematic) method for catching tuna and trash since it’s ineffective for zeroing in on a prize catch. The same is true when trying to capture conversions. 

PPC Best Practice

Don’t try to target everyone who could use your products/services. Keep your eye on the people who are most likely to purchase. 

PPC Mistake #8: Avoiding Ad Schedules

Your customers and potentials are creatures of routine, so if you’re not catering to their online habits you’re missing out on the best conversion opportunity. Google’s default ad schedules are set to be consistent throughout the day, but this isn’t ideal because your customers aren’t in prime buying time at all times. 

PPC Best Practice

Allocate your money properly by spending the most during the times that are likely to bring in the most revenue. To do this, create an ad schedule that displays ads or changes bids during the times of day when your customers are most active.  

PPC Mistake #9: Risking Your Brand Name and Budget

Oftentimes, keyword research and competition will guide pay-per-click campaigns even to the detriment of a brand’s own reputation. It happens when marketers bid on a competitor’s brand name with the intent of “stealing” potential customers. We don’t recommend this method because your competitors can fight back by doing the same to you. Also, don’t commit click fraud (see below). Essentially, the risk isn’t advantageous in the long run so there’s no benefit to this unethical behavior. 

PPC Best Practice

Stop bidding on your competitors’ names and start focusing on optimizing your own ad campaign, keywords, and reputation. Also, protect yourself from invalid clicks (click fraud) that can affect your business. Globally in 2019, advertisers lost about $5.8 billion to click fraud. It happens each time an unethical competitor or disgruntled customer clicks on your ads with the purpose of making you lose money. If you see a sudden increase in traffic, do some digging to identify the cause and request an invalid traffic investigation if the reasons seem suspicious. 

PPC Mistake #10: Setting and Forgetting Your Campaign

You got your PPC campaign up and running—good for you! Just don’t fall into the trap that so many others do. What trap? Of simply sitting back, letting your campaign do the work, and waiting to reap the rewards. While that sounds like a dream scenario, it’s not how reality works (unfortunately). 

PPC Best Practice

Collect data, analyze performance, and track success. Doing these three tasks is so important if you’re going to run an efficient and effective campaign. Your bidding strategy, ad placement, video length, and more depend on this knowledge.  

PPC Mistake #11: Testing the Wrong Metrics

Without testing your PPC campaigns, you’re driving blind and having no idea if they’re effective at reaching your goals. Even if you are testing, if you’re focused on the wrong metrics, don’t expect a real significant ROI. 

PPC Best Practice

For an ROI that makes sense (and much more than cents), you must go beyond the number of impressions, clicks, and conversions. Set a projection, benchmarks, and goals. Then look at actual revenue generated from each PPC campaign, taking into account the customer’s lifetime value. Reallocate costs accordingly. 

Want a Helping Hand?

While fixing these 11 PPC mistakes isn’t difficult or too time-consuming, you still may find yourself wanting a professional helping hand. Here’s where we make our pitch: Big Leap knows the ins and outs of PPC best practices. With our paid advertising services, your PPC pain points can be healed without you giving them a second thought. 

Get in touch to learn what Big Leap can do for you!