PPC advertising is an online marketing technique for search engines. Companies using this technique pay each time an Internet user clicks on their ad to visit their website. Its biggest advantage is that visitors are brought to their website immediately. However, there are many traps to avoid. Here are 9 of the most common mistakes preventing companies from getting maximum benefit out of their PPC campaigns.

 

Mistake #1: Not targeting by geographical zone

Whether you’re a local or international company, geotargeting your audience is extremely important. Avoid unnecessary expenses and only target regions that offer a maximum return on your investment. For small companies, a maximum return can only happen in a 30-kilometer radius on average. Furthermore, companies selling high-end services can benefit from a return on their investment by targeting high-end regions. Finally, big companies benefit by adapting their campaigns by country. A wide range of factors should be considered and can play a direct role in the campaign performance: such as available revenue, needs, spending habits, currency value, etc.

Mistake #2: Forgetting to remove undesirable websites

The excluding option allows you to remove partner sites with low yields originating from Display Search Network. Avoid losing thousands of dollars by removing websites or pages that are not a direct link with your target audience. To do so, select Networks tab then select Show All Details link beside Automatic Placements and remove all underperforming or undesirable websites.

Mistake #3 : Ignoring keywords corresponding options

Often times, PPC newcomers do not know the existence of the four corresponding keywords types. These options allow control over which searches will trigger the ad display and maximize client’s campaigns and budgets.

Here is an example with “Red Kite” as keywords:

  • Exact keywords: This type of search allows you to precisely target a particular group of potential clients. All searches with the exact expression « Red Kite » will trigger the ad display.
  • Exact expression: Searches containing one of the exact keywords, an expression or a variation will trigger the ad display. For example: “Red Kite” or “Miami Red Kite”
  • Large request: This type of search allows you to display your ad to a very large audience. Searches containing typos and synonyms, associated searches and other pertinent variations will trigger the ad display. For example: “Kite” or “Ki-te”.
  • Large request modifying: Searches containing modified expression (or close variations but no synonyms) will trigger an ad display regardless of the order in which expressions are captured. For example +Ki+te.

There are many ways to create keywords. Keep in mind that a large keywords search is often less expensive than an exact keywords search and that it can be relatively well controlled with the exclusion of negative keywords. You can therefore do a larger search with lower offers while diminishing the search volume and doing another search with higher offers while using exact keywords. The trick is to simply keep those that work best in the campaign and put on pause those that perform less.

Mistake #4: Not using negative keywords 

Negative keywords are your filters. The addition of negative keywords is simple, it will make your life easier and will diminish search volume. You can find a long list through Google keywords tool in the tab “Keywords” and selecting “See all search expressions”.

Mistake #5: Not separating the two types of campaigns

Here we can only blame Google. Google strongly suggests to new Google Ads campaign creators to choose a Search Campaign. Google is of the opinion that a Display Campaign would be too complicated to manage for a newcomer. It is incredibly wise for companies to have segmented campaigns in relation to a Search Campaign. The reason is simple: in all likelihood, the performance will be definitely better in the search network with Selective Display. The separation of these campaigns offers maximum control on budget allocation, which allows you to harvest a higher return on investment in the first steps of the campaign. After maxing out your investment budget, it is logical to start developing the display network. A quick solution is to copy your campaign in Google Ads Editor, to rename your campaigns based on the network and to adjust the selected networks in the parameters tab.

Mistake #6: Selecting keywords with weak targeting

Lots of companies make the mistake of choosing too vague and too large keywords. Word relevance is paramount in PPC advertising if one wants to have a good return on investment. For example, a company selling cheese has “appetizer” as a keyword. Even though cheese could be considered an appetizer, the word appetizer is too large and too many elements can be included in that category: canapés, shrimp bites, macaroons, deviled eggs, etc. It is way more efficient to choose keywords that communicate not only the product or service (cheddar cheese, goat cheese) but also the intention (in this case “online fine cheese”). These better targeted keywords will bring back a higher yield.

  • Large request: This type of search allows you to display your ad to a very large audience. Searches containing typos and synonyms, associated searches and other pertinent variations will trigger the ad display. For example: “Kite” or “Ki-te”.
  • Large request modifying: Searches containing modified expression (or close variations but no synonyms) will trigger an ad display regardless of the order in which expressions are captured. For example +Ki+te.

There are many ways to create keywords. Keep in mind that a large keywords search is often less expensive than an exact keywords search and that it can be relatively well controlled with the exclusion of negative keywords. You can therefore do a larger search with lower offers while diminishing the search volume and doing another search with higher offers while using exact keywords. The trick is to simply keep those that work best in the campaign and put on pause those that perform less.

Mistake #4: Not using negative keywords 

Negative keywords are your filters. The addition of negative keywords is simple, it will make your life easier and will diminish search volume. You can find a long list through Google keywords tool in the tab “Keywords” and selecting “See all search expressions”.

Mistake #5: Not separating the two types of campaigns

Here we can only blame Google. Google strongly suggests to new Google Ads campaign creators to choose a Search Campaign. Google is of the opinion that a Display Campaign would be too complicated to manage for a newcomer. It is incredibly wise for companies to have segmented campaigns in relation to a Search Campaign. The reason is simple: in all likelihood, the performance will be definitely better in the search network with Selective Display. The separation of these campaigns offers maximum control on budget allocation, which allows you to harvest a higher return on investment in the first steps of the campaign. After maxing out your investment budget, it is logical to start developing the display network. A quick solution is to copy your campaign in Google Ads Editor, to rename your campaigns based on the network and to adjust the selected networks in the parameters tab.

Mistake #6: Selecting keywords with weak targeting

Lots of companies make the mistake of choosing too vague and too large keywords. Word relevance is paramount in PPC advertising if one wants to have a good return on investment. For example, a company selling cheese has “appetizer” as a keyword. Even though cheese could be considered an appetizer, the word appetizer is too large and too many elements can be included in that category: canapés, shrimp bites, macaroons, deviled eggs, etc. It is way more efficient to choose keywords that communicate not only the product or service (cheddar cheese, goat cheese) but also the intention (in this case “online fine cheese”). These better targeted keywords will bring back a higher yield.

Mistake #7: Not testing your ads

Testing ads is part of a PPC campaign development process. This step is indispensable to determine which words, sentences, and final offers to call out to your target audience. It allows you to improve and optimize campaign performances. For starter, try to test 3 ads per ad group. Test first 3 different ad models. Once you have 300 clicks sampling per ad, you should be able to start determining keywords performance and underperformance. Make sure to not only evaluate click rates. A high click rate can indeed affect a campaign even though it doesn’t generate conversions. For the second phase of testing, experiment by refining your keywords to generate more conversions. You should notice that by using strong adjectives such as “powerful” or “free”, your ad generates more positive results. Once again, keep your first winning ad as a model.

Mistake #8: Sending Internet users to the home page

The PPC golden rule is to control the user experience as much as possible. Use research, tests and analysis to discover exactly what makes them tick. Provide an attractive visual experience in response to their needs. If you send a user to the home page, you will see your budget quickly fly away when they click on your “Mission Statement” or “Site Plan” before leaving the page. Instead, use a landing page as close as possible to their search intentions. This should include heads, content, copy, images, and call to action buttons.

Mistake #9: Not following up on conversion

What abruptly ends a PPC campaign is the absence of conversion follow up. Conversion data is important because it allows users to quickly understand the campaign, ad groups and keyword’s financial return. This data affects all aspects of ad campaign optimizing from performance tests to landing pages up to bidding adjustments.

 

 

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