If you’re planning to launch a PPC campaign, your business stands to gain a lot of ground in your struggle against the competition. Research shows that paid ads have a whopping 200% ROI and generate twice the number of visitors of SEO.
Of course, it’s also worth noting that your business stands to lose just as much as it can gain. When it comes to PPC, every mistake will cost you. Even small mistakes can get expensive fast!
That’s why avoiding common PPC campaign errors is crucial to your success. Whether you’re a marketing beginner or a seasoned PPC pro, let’s take a look at some of the most common things that can go wrong in a campaign.
1. Launching Without Defining Goals
It’s hard to track the performance of a campaign when you don’t know what you’re looking for! If you haven’t taken the time to define your PPC campaign targets, how will you tell if you’re successful?
To get started, consider your business goals. Are you trying to highlight a specific product, or do you want more people reading your blog? Do you need to increase your overall sales, or are you trying to grow your brand awareness?
From there, narrow down your goals based on what your campaign can offer.
If you want to get more traffic on your blog, for example, focusing on your click-through rate is a safe bet. If sales are a priority, you’ll want to get more conversions. If you’re hoping to expand your brand awareness, look at the click or impression volume and consider a remarketing campaign.
2. Not Tracking Your Goals
Don’t discard your goals once your campaign starts! Tracking your goals helps you understand your ads’ performance. This, in turn, gives you an invaluable opportunity to tweak your ads to improve your campaign as it runs.
Though it helps to measure clicks, page views, and impressions, those aren’t the only things worth tracking. Depending on your goals, you’ll also need to track form submissions, phone calls, store visits, and other conversions. Don’t be afraid to ask new customers how they heard about your brand, product, or service.
3. Setting and Forgetting Your Campaign
One of the biggest benefits of PPC advertising over traditional advertising is that you can adjust everything in real time.
Do you want to use a keyword that better fits your audience? Do you need to tweak your bidding strategy or add a bid cap? Do you want to improve your graphics or other visual PPC campaign elements?
Most platforms allow you to make adjustments whenever you like. This means that you can ensure your campaign always remains competitive and effective.
4. Targeting the Wrong Audience
The money you spend on PPC gets wasted if you’re focusing on the wrong audience. Incorrect targeting sends your ads to people who don’t need or care about them.
Before you launch your PPC ads, make sure you’ve spent time digging through your brand’s analytics and doing consumer research. Building buyer personas can be a huge help here.
Once you understand your audience, get to know how the targeting options work on your PPC platform. Different platforms allow you to tweak your campaign according to audience demographics, keywords, search terms, and more, but each platform has its own unique features.
Don’t forget about location targeting as well. If you’re a business that operates in a strict geographical area, you’ll want to make sure your campaign is only running in cities and states that you serve. If not, you’re paying for the attention of customers who won’t convert.
5. Choosing the Wrong Keywords
The keywords and search terms you choose will make or break your campaign. It’s easy for marketers to underestimate the power of a great keyword as well as the headaches the wrong one can cause you.
Instead of trusting “safe” keywords that are too generic or broad, do your research and hone in on more specific long-tail keywords. If someone is searching for a specific term, it’s more likely that they’re looking for that specific product or service. This can signal a high purchase intent, which is something you want to capitalize on.
Free keyword research tools can help you identify the right options. Never forget that it’s always better to have a handful of keywords that earn great results than to pay for a huge range of keywords that don’t perform well.
6. Mishandling Your Bidding
The last thing you want to do is squander the money you spend on ads, but this is a common mistake. Beginners in particular often handle bidding in a way that makes their campaign less effective.
One common mistake is trying to bid on too much at once. As we’ve stated above, it’s crucial to only bid on keywords that are relevant to your business and have a high purchase intent.
If you notice that certain ads are underperforming, try raisingthe bids as much as your daily budget allows. If your ads still underperform afterward, you’ll know the problem isn’t too much competition: your campaign needs tweaking.
When that happens, don’t be afraid to reduce or reappropriate your budget to avoid wasted spend as you adjust your campaign.
7. Forgetting to Schedule Your Campaign
On many ad platforms, the default setting will show your ads to potential customers all day. Though this may work for some businesses, it’s not ideal for everyone.
For example, if you’re hoping to get conversions who call or come to your physical location, you’ll only want to run ads during your business hours.
In addition, a little research can tell you which times of day potential customers are searching for your chosen keywords. Running ads during those times while avoiding periods when customers aren’t searching can boost the cost-effectiveness of your campaign.
8. Not Using Landing Pages
Sending leads to your homepage is an easy way to get them to your site, but this tactic isn’t always a great idea. Instead, you should be sending them to a dedicated landing page based on their search term.
The right landing page can help boost your conversion rate. Even better, you can optimize each landing page to highlight the exact product or service you’re selling, including the relevant sale information from the ad. This continuity can help boost trust, making leads more likely to move forward on their journey.
9. Having a Bad or Slow Website
Another common campaign mistake isn’t related to your campaign at all. Instead, it’s about what happens after someone clicks through your ad and lands on your website.
In your rush to find the perfect keywords and create the right ad copy, you might forget that your landing page is the first real impression your audience has of your brand. Bad design can be off-putting, so be sure to take an objective look at your site. If the navigation is difficult, the colors are glaring, or there’s too much clutter on the page, visitors might click away instead of converting.
Another thing to look for is a slow-loading site. Our short digital attention spans make us likely to click away from websites that take several seconds to load. Don’t waste your ad spend on a website that makes customers wait!
10. Never Testing Your Campaign
Split testing is a marketer’s best friend. It allows you to try multiple options and see what works best based on hard data.
PPC experts use split testing on both ads and landing pages to figure out what resonates with their audience. Tweaking the campaign based on the results can boost your conversion rates.
All you’ll need to do is create different ads with small variations. Measuring how these variations change the performance of an ad can tell you what works and what doesn’t. You can do split testing on everything from the ad copy to the graphics to the color of the button for the call-to-action.
11. Doing It on Your Own
As you can likely tell from the tips above, PPC campaigns can be complicated, and even small mistakes can be costly. It’s not impossible for beginners to tackle every aspect of the job, but it can be hard to manage a campaign well without experience.
That’s why it helps to have an expert on your side. Ad specialists like the team at Falcon Digital Marketing can do everything from securing high-performing keywords to tracking your results. Even better, they can ensure that you aren’t making small technical mistakes that you’ll pay for in the long run.
For beginners, the knowledge and expertise of professional marketers can be invaluable. Don’t make the biggest mistake of them all by trying to run a campaign yourself!
Avoid These Common PPC Campaign Errors
Paid ads can be a powerful marketing tool, but they’re only as effective as your strategy. The right tactics can earn your business a wealth of conversions, but the common PPC campaign errors above can cost your brand much more than you’d like. Avoiding these mistakes is the key to any successful campaign.
If you’re looking for other helpful advice, guides, and tech tips, be sure to take a look at our other posts!