PPC Campaign Management Mistakes That Could Cost You Big Time

Are you looking to improve your PPC marketing campaign? Is your budget proving to be too little to support your campaign?

There’s a chance you’re making costly PPC campaign management mistakes.

A 2018 study found that only 45% of small businesses invest in PPC advertising. While it’s common in digital marketing, managing a PPC campaign isn’t easy. A successful PPC campaign takes a clever, trend-conscious, sympathetic, and creative campaign manager.

To become one, it takes willpower, research, and trial-and-error. If you want to learn how to better manage your PPC campaign, check out these PPC campaign management mistakes that could be costing you big time.

PPC Campaign Management Mistakes That Could Cost You Big Time

You Don’t Have a PPC Strategy Set in Place

In general, it’s important to have a strategy before you jump into anything. Understanding what you’re getting into, and then strategizing, is a key factor for success. You can’t have a PPC strategy in place and later ask yourself, “How does PPC work?” or “What does PPC stand for?”

You should have a good understanding of a few other things before you can create a good PPC strategy. One of these is your business. How would you define your business, and what does it do in actuality?

You need to have a clear understanding of the goals of your website. What are they, and how would your PPC strategy help you achieve them? Does your PPC marketing strategy align with your company’s goals at all? 

One more thing to have is a back-up strategy for when your initial strategy goes south. Of course, the ideal marketing strategy should be flexible enough to work with. Sometimes, it won’t work at all, and you’ll need to scrap it altogether and get a new one. 

It’s good to improve or update your strategy from time to time. Remember that the internet is a dynamic place. It will change according to the people who use it, and thus, so should your PPC strategy.

For example, a trending PPC strategy now is to test out new channels. You might be doing well with Google AdWords or Facebook Ads, but those aren’t the only places to advertise on. Instagram, LinkedIn, Reddit, Quora, and Pinterest are very available channels too.

You Bid for Too Many Keywords

It’s a common misconception to bid for more keywords. The general approach here is bidding for quantity, not quality. It should actually be the other way around.

Remember, when it comes to the keywords in your PPC campaign, less is more. Some keywords take up a huge part of your budget, especially when you’re bidding for the most expensive one. For example, in Google AdWords, “insurance” tops the list for the most expensive keyword at $54.91. 

How do you find out when you have too many keywords in an ad group? The ideal number is 20-25 keywords for each group. If you must go higher, don’t go past 30.

You should note however that each campaign is different. That range is only the guideline for the ideal number of keywords per ad group. Some strong PPC campaigns even have as few as five keywords per ad group.

The solution is to focus on high-intent keywords. Despite Google Ads’ default match type, use fewer broad match keywords. Before you remove any of them, wait for each one to get at least 250 clicks, and then make an educated decision.

Another big mistake to avoid is bidding on tons of other keywords, but not on your brand name. It’s a mistake not to bid on your brand name. That is because if you aren’t doing it, your competitors are.

You Underbid for Keywords

These days, the cost-per-click for keywords is rising. Thanks to that nifty little trend, PPC is more complicated than ever. It pushes out smaller businesses and forces bidders to be creative with keywords

This drives PPC managers to start bidding low, and then increases it over time. This bottom-up strategy isn’t a very good one if you’re looking for a cost-effective plan. The viability check takes too long before you can decide if a keyword is worth it or not.

You end up losing money while you wait days or weeks for the keyword to get a significant number of clicks. Remember, paid clicks make up 66% of buyer-intent keywords. As we said earlier, focus on high-intent keywords and bid on them with a top-down strategy.

For small businesses, this plan of action may seem costly. However, consider how much more money you’ll be spending during the wait. The sooner you find out how valuable the keyword is to you, the better for your budget.

Your Target Audience and/or Remarketing Are Too Broad

When it comes to marketing, defining your audience is one of the most important first steps. Are you tailoring to specific audiences or large-scale PPC marketing? For small businesses especially, here’s a pro tip: Market to a niche group with target-specific PPC.

It’s tempting to market to general, larger audiences, but that kind of PPC marketing strategy is not very effective. The same goes with remarketing a general ad, as well as using broad keywords.

First, let’s look at strategic PPC audience targeting. One way to look at your audiences is to look at past customers. Look at their profile and shared information to see what kind of audiences you’re attracting.

Do you get more middle-aged, female, American customers? Take advantage of that by creating ads that would hook them more. Later, you can expand your target audience by focusing on the next largest audience list.

When it comes to remarketing, you could apply the same approach. After you remarket to previous conversions, remarket to similar audiences with dynamic strategies. You can target all website visitors, but that’s too broad.

You want to focus on visitors who spent more time on the website. For example, a visitor spent a minute on your wedding blog and even clicked on a link to wedding photography. It’s obvious your wedding photography services interests this visitor.

Your Ad Copy Isn’t Original

There’s a reason why people notice uniqueness and admire originality. After all, how could they take notice of you if you’re as plain and cookie cutter as the rest? How one-of-a-kind, creative, and relatable is your ad copy?

Your PPC campaign can look like another business’s PPC campaign, but more successful. The key isn’t only to bid for high-intent keywords, or to have intensive funnel tests. A big factor in PPC marketing is to make your ad copy as unique and unforgettable as possible.

In this information era, how do you do that? The first step is to look at your competitors. Observe how they fashion their ads, and then take a look at your ad copy.

Are the ad copies indistinguishable? How different is your call-to-action, value propositions, or tone? If you were in the audience’s shoes, would you be more inclined to click on your ad copy?

Remember that creativity and inspired ads are effective marketing hacks.

You Look at the Wrong Metrics

One of the priciest PPC campaign management mistakes is to focus on the wrong metrics. Looking at the wrong numbers makes the campaign very different, and often inefficient. You’d be losing money as you bid for wrong keywords or track wrong placements.

Google created a solution for this crucial PPC management mistake, Google ValueTrack parameters. Google ValueTrack parameters help you hone-in on the important metrics. These put highlights on the people who make you money, their motivations, and more.

These parameters help you find the necessary data to make smarter optimization decisions. It records the match type for when your ad gets clicked. It even has “if” functions for specific data you want to see. 

For example, you want to see how many visitors arrive at your landing from your PPC ad on the Search Network. You could add {ifsearch:} as a ValueTrack parameter. You will see these metrics from Google ValueTrack on Google Analytics.

Your PPC Campaign Management Doesn’t Test Conversion Funnels

The best PPC management style is to always have quality assurance. After all, it’s a basic principle in anything business-related. Yet, most of the time, people hurry tests or skip them altogether for the sake of speed.

If you only ran your conversion funnel once, you’ve made a mistake. Take it slow and make sure everything works the way it’s supposed to. Before you run your campaign, conduct the following:

– A heuristic site analysis

– User testing

– Cross-device and cross-browser testing

– A Google Analytics health check.

These tests help you spot friction, clarify the site, and ensure everything is working.

You Write Empty Ads

We said earlier that a creative and efficient ad copy is what you should aim for. Yet, an efficient ad copy isn’t complete without emotion. Think about it, would you feel inclined to click on an emotionless, unsympathetic ad?

Did you know that you pay only 50% of the usual CPC if you have a quality score of 10 with Google AdWords? This is because Google values quality and helpful ads. It is Google’s way of motivating businesses to create ads that aren’t irrelevant or spammy.

A trick to write emotional ads is to first look at your target audience. Knowing who they are will help you understand how to create an emotional connection. Is the target audience a working mother, or a busy millennial?

Next, what persona do you want to take on for your target audience? Do you want a hero/villain dynamic? Do you want to take the role of a learned guide or a feel-good friend?

The last step is to write an emotionally charged ad from the standpoint of the persona you’re taking. Focus on emotional appeals like affirmation, disgust, anger, and fear. For advanced emotional persuasion, use sadness, anxiety, and awe to motivate.

If it won’t get you hard conversations, this method can get you at least PPC soft conversions. One of the benefits of online advertising is constant improvements to ad formats. Use trial and error to find how you build rapport with your target audience.

You Don’t Know the Difference Between Search, Display, and Social Traffic

Another costly PPC mistake is to neglect to know the difference between the terms search, display, and social. You should know that each type of PPC traffic has different characteristics. Knowing those differences helps you better segment your PPC campaigns and ad groups.

The characteristics of search traffic are high intent, and a high level of motivation. Often, this kind of traffic is looking for a solution, and will more likely respond to a hard sell. It needs only the product or service it’s looking for and wants a smooth experience.

Compared to search traffic, display traffic has low intent and level of motivation. Customers from here may not yet be aware they want your product or service. They’re most likely to respond to a soft sell.

Display traffic needs comprehensive information on the product or service you’re offering. They’re also the kind of traffic that needs persuasion. A study suggests that across all industries, 3.17% is the average click-through rate in AdWords for search, and 0.46% for display.

Social traffic can be both high or low intent, and level of motivation. Most likely, they’ll be leaning towards low intent and level of motivation. They would often respond to a low effort sell. However, they need comprehensive information, especially if the sell is high effort or high priced.

You Aren’t Looking at the Bigger Picture

Often, PPC marketers are on a different team from the SEM or social media marketers. PPC marketers often find themselves running on many platforms with different campaigns. This puts a separate consciousness on the impressions and effects of their campaigns.

With setups like this, it can be easy to underestimate the actual work your ad campaigns are doing. It could be easy to trash your strategy and start making a new one. However, all you might need to do is take a step back and look at the bigger picture.

You may never know how your Facebook campaign is impacting the brand campaign on Google. There could be a few clicks on the Facebook link, yet the exposure from Facebook could be the reason for the clicks on the Google search ad.

PPC is a powerful marketing tool, and all you need is the right PPC management style to succeed and make money. If you enjoyed this, check out our blog for more helpful posts on digital marketing. Do you want to help your business grow with a quality digital marketing strategy? Contact us now for a free digital marketing review. 

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Owner and Chief Marketing Officer, Jason Hall, and his team specialize in creating brand awareness / traffic and lead generation / marketing funnel and conversion optimization, while utilizing the appropriate marketing channels available within your industry. With diverse clients throughout the world, Jason's team is well connected within many industries to assist with your marketing strategies. With no long term contracts and various levels of service, Jason's team will increase the quality of your online traffic, leads, and sales.

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Located in the heart of the Emerald Coast - Destin, FL, founder and Chief Marketing Officer, Jason Hall, and his team specialize in creating brand awareness / traffic and lead generation / marketing funnel and conversion optimization / and PR campaigns, while utilizing the appropriate marketing channels available within your industry.

With diverse clients throughout the world, Jason's team is well connected within many industries to assist with your marketing strategies. With no long term contracts and various levels of service, Jason's team will increase the quality of your online traffic, leads, and sales.

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