PPC Mistakes That Could Cost You Money

4 Minutes
Mark Gregory

There are many common pitfalls when you are trying to do PPC (Pay-per-click) yourself. Take a look at these mistakes to help ensure you are not succumbing to them.

Sending visitors to your home page

For example, say you are running a PPC ad for the keyword “Galaxy S4,” a product you sell on your website and you then set up the ad to run whenever this keyword is searched for on your chosen search engine. If you use a URL that takes the reader who clicks on your ad to your site’s home page this means the user has to manually click through your website’s navigation to find this exact model of phone. This can be painful and may mean the user is put off and clicks off the site altogether. 

Therefore, the engaged, targeted visitor is forced to work for the information promised. A better approach to this would be to link them directly to the Galaxy S4 page to avoid any frustration and hopefully result in the visitor to complete their purchase.

The key is to drive your visitors to target landing pages and if you don’t feel you have the correct landing page for a certain product or service then you could create a custom one.

Trying to do too much in one ad group

A common mistake is to try to make one ad group do too many things by including keyword phrases that are too unrelated.

Each ad-group should have only one focus. If you have lots of keyword, then have a look at seeing if they can be broken down into different ad groups.

Having focused ad groups helps you to better tailor the message of the ads that are served for those key terms. making them more relevant to your audience and your business. The key is to try and keep things simple.

Sending visitors to your contact page

Similarly to sending your visitors to your homepage, sending visitors directly to the contact page in the hope that they sign up to the email newsletter opt-ins, or similar, only frustrates the visitor and more than likely will turn them away.

Not only this but it goes against the PPC platform guidelines. If you’re advertising through Google Adwords, for example, be aware that requiring visitors to fill out contact forms in exchange for something free goes against the guidelines.

Failing to split-test your ad text

Remember to get the most benefit from your ads test them first. You can split-test your ads on most PPC engines. This involves creating multiple versions of the ad’s text for each of your PPC ad group. This way, you can see which specific wording leads to the most click throughs and on-site conversions.

It is important to ensure that your ad variations are displayed at random so they generate meaningful data. Instructions on how to ensure that your ad versions are displayed randomly can be found in your PPC engine’s help section.

Relying entirely on ‘broad match’ keyword ads

Broad match keyword ads are displayed whenever all or part of your target keyword phrase is searched for. Whilst this does offer the greatest potential for traffic, you may also be sacrificing relevance for reach.

For example, suppose you’re a wedding band targeting the phrase “wedding band” with a broad match ad. Your ad should appear on the results page for the search query “wedding venue,” but it could also show up the phrases “wedding decorations,” “wedding ideas,” or “wedding photographer.” In these cases, you may be wasting money on irrelevant searches that will make it hard for your potential visitors to find you.

Setting your ads to phrase or exact match might decrease your traffic potential, but help ensure that your ads appear for search queries that are most relevant to your business to capture that key audience.

Bidding too low

What you may not know is that you can still frequently stay within your budget when it comes to cost per click if you show google you’re serious and willing to pay to play the game (increasing your bids). 

Initially, if you pay a bit more for the clicks then over time, as your account begins to improve and your Quality Score shows it, then you may end up paying what you initially wanted to spend on clicks – but with a difference – you will probably have more conversions than when you started out with lower bids. You can find out some tips on bidding here.

Not taking advantage of negative keywords

Many people fail to use negative keywords, which can prevent ads from displaying whenever certain words are searched for. Following the example above, adding the word “photographer as a negative keyword within your PPC ad group would prevent your “wedding photographer” broad match ad from appearing in results for “wedding band”.

Adding negative keywords to your PPC campaigns is a good way to control relevancy without reducing the potential traffic of broad match ads. But it does take time to find the many possible negative keywords that could affect your campaign so you will need to set some time aside.

Keeping control of your own PPC can be very time consuming, but hopefully a few of these tips will make life a little easier in helping to ensure you don’t fall for the easy mistakes to make. Good luck and if you need any assistance then Wish are here to help.