SEO/PPC

Common PPC Mistakes That Can Sink A Campaign (And How To Fix Them)

Does your company want to target your ideal customers, while also building brand awareness in the process? If so, then PPC advertising could be a significant part of your marketing strategy. A well-executed PPC campaign can be an excellent way to increase conversions and revenue.

While AdWords can be a valuable part of your sales and marketing strategy, if your business does not ensure that your campaigns are optimized correctly then you will find that PPC can cost more money than it brings in.

Let’s take a look at the top 5 mistakes that many PPC managers make on their AdWord accounts. These tips will help you identify areas and opportunities where you can improve your PPC performance to increase engagement and drive more sales for your business!

1. Not Using Proper Account Structure

A PPC campaign with a strong structure will help your business decrease price, increase engagement, and boost conversions. In fact, one of the most common mistakes I see in PPC campaigns is that they are poorly structured Campaigns, Ad Groups, and keyword groups.

You should similarly structure your PPC campaigns that you organize your website. This means you should look at your Campaigns as your silo/category pages, and each ad group within should be divided into different products, and services, etc.

Adword-Account-structure

As you can see, a PPC campaign needs to take on a logical and organized structure to perform at high levels. There are many ways you can organize your PPC account, including:

  • The products and services you offer
  • Geographical location
  • Performance and bidding
  • Brand names vs. generic names
  • Seasonality of your service or product
  • Keyword match types (you can also segment this way on an ad group level too.)

2. Not Using Long-Tail Keywords

Long-tail keywords are key phrases that are very specific to the needs of your customers. These types of phrases are longer and more accurate than their more commonly searched variations. Put simply, long-tail keywords are a PPC manager’s best friend, but I often see campaigns that rely only on short-tail keywords.

Only using short-tail keywords could spell significant issues for a PPC account!

Using long-tail keywords is one of the best ways that your business can ensure that your PPC campaigns are performing at their best. Instead of relying on short-tail keywords that attract a broader range of readers, your business should use long-tail keywords. This is the same approach you should take when considering branded keywords in your PPC strategy.

A Few quick notes you should remember about long-tail keywords are:

  • Receive fewer Impressions.
  • Customers are closer to purchase decision.
  • Lower competition.
  • Perform better with less effort and cost.
  • Increase relevancy of ads (when paired with landing page).
  • Improved Quality Score.

3. Not Sending Ads To A Landing Page

If your company wants to use PPC as the revenue generating machine, then you need to convert prospects into paying customers. The job of your landing page is to make conversions, and many PPC managers direct their PPC ads to their website’s homepage.

One of the best ways to find the perfect landing page to use for your PPC campaigns is to look at results from your website SEO strategy. This information will suggest keywords and landing page designs to help you increase conversions!

If you want to increase conversions and drive more sales with PPC, then you need to direct your audience to relevant landing pages that are consistent with your ad copy and keywords.

Adword Ad Copy

Since your readers clicked on your ad, you know they are interested in your product, service, or offer. This means your landing page should be optimized to fit the message of your ads. Not only will this improve your Quality Score, by aligning your ads and landing pages, but you will also be able to improve your customer’s experience and increase conversions.

4. Not Leveraging Negative Keywords Properly

Negative keywords are one of the most powerful tools at your disposal when it comes to refining and optimizing your PPC campaign. While keywords are meant to tell Google what your product or service is, negative keywords exist to tell Google what your product or service is not.

negative keywords

Whenever you add a negative keyword to your campaign and ad group, you are telling Google not to show your ad if a search query includes that word. This is a powerful way to trim the scope of your small business marketing PPC campaigns and help you conserve a lot of money in the long run.

For example, let’s imagine that you are selling bead bracelets.

bead-bracelet

Your bracelets are unique because they are handmade bracelets, crafted from high-quality beads and other items. You know that you want to reach a particular demographic, so you would want to use specific keywords to tell Google what your product is.

At the same time, you should know what your product is not. In the case of our bead bracelets, we are aware we don’t want people looking for beautiful jewelry, how-to guides, or silver bracelets to click on our ads. This is because individuals who want how-to guides are seeking to make their bracelets and people looking for fine jewelry are not looking for our product.

Here is a quick list of negative keywords to consider, but your list would be much longer based on your target audience, industry, and product/service.

bracelet-neg-kw1

5. Not Using A Full Range of Extensions

From Google’s standpoint, the more information you provide your audience, the better. This means the more information you provide your customers and Google in your PPC ads, the better you can expect your ads to perform.

To help Google understand what products and services you are selling, you should use ad extensions in all of your campaigns.

  • Sitelinks Extensions:
  • These are additional links your customers might find valuable that direct to unique landing pages.

  • Callout Extensions:
  • Use these to build trust with readers by including entries like “Fast Professional Service” or “Peace of Mind Guarantee.”

  • Structured Snippets:
  • Include these to provide more information about features offered. These are based on specific categories, so be sure to choose a relevant category as you build out your ad extensions.

  • Review Extensions:
  • Adding this powerful type of extensions can significantly increase engagement. Tip: use reviews from your site so when your audience clicks on the extension, they will be directed to your website.

    Along with providing Google and your audience more information in your PPC ads, you can also use ad extensions to take up more real estate on SERPs. This is a defensive play when it comes to a strong PPC strategy, because the more pixels you take up on the screen, the further down your competition is pushed.

    ad-extensions

    We can see from the above screenshot that these hotels are using a range of ad extensions. These add valuable information and detail that are not covered in the ad so the PPC managers can craft specific messaging. Plus, the additional information also makes their ads more visible and draws the eye or qualified customers to gain their click.

    Putting The Pieces Together

    AdWords is notorious for being a difficult platform to use. Not only are there a lot of special items PPC managers need to optimize, but they also need to consider aspects outside of Paid Search to ensure their business makes money from PPC.

    If you are ever stuck in some areas you can improve your PPC campaigns for your small business then you can refer to the above points. Your AdWords accounts will perform better and make more money for your attention to detail and efforts!

    Guest Author: Chris is a SEO content writing strategist at CJ Giarratana in Orlando, FL. With over 13 years of experience, he works with national brands to make his clients more money by focusing on freelance copywriting, PPC, and market analysis.

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