Top 4 Beginner PPC Mistakes… And How To Avoid Them

The world of Pay-Per-Click ads can seem confusing to those outside of the industry, and sometimes even more daunting to those within it. PPC offers an array of possibilities to those who properly execute a campaign, but can also be a complete waste of time without the right strategy. 

Within the realm of PPC, beginners often make a set of mistakes. These result in unsuccessful campaigns and a lack of return on the investment. Fortunately, it doesn’t take much to remedy these mishaps once you understand them. 

Let’s review some of the most common mistakes I see people making with their PPC campaigns and how you can avoid them to get the best bang for your buck. 

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  • Not being concise with your keyword use

There are four different “match types” when it comes to keywords: broad match, broad match modified, phrase match, and exact match. One of the biggest rookie mistakes is to misuse broad match terms when setting up a campaign. 

For example, if you used the term “green tile” it would include all synonyms and variations of “green” and “tile” in searches. If your company sells green tile, this may seem like a good idea, but it also means your ads will be eligible to appear for a huge number of irrelevant terms.

This could be just “green,” “tile,” or anything from “green grass” to “how to make my bananas less green” to “how to tile backsplash.” Due to a higher volume of searches that would trigger your ads, your ad spend will quickly run out. It will also lower your conversion rate. 

Using exact match keywords (keywords that only make ads appear for exact words or phrases in the order you write them) allows you to funnel ads for specific searches and groups of people. This often results in a lower cost-per-click and higher conversions. 

  • Not matching keywords to your ad copy 

The internet moves fast. Your customer’s attention has to be captured quickly. Make your messaging clear and consistent to generate results. A classic PPC mistake is to make one set of ads and then use them across multiple ad groups.

In theory, this sounds like a good idea if the ad groups in question are broadly the same theme. However, if your ad says “home builder” and someone searches “home remodeler,” your ad may not register to them as relevant. Then, they won’t engage. 

You should tailor the ads to the keyword triggering them as closely as possible. In this previous example, you would have a separate ad group for both “home builder” and “home remodeler,” each with its own set of keywords and ad copy. 

  • Not targeting your audience with your campaign 

Even if your ad groups and campaign are broken up beautifully, it doesn’t ensure your ad will reach the right people. Google has two basic options when it comes to audiences—observation and targeting. You should overlay key audiences onto your campaign on an observation setting to gather data on the performance. 

Then, as the ad runs, you can implement positive or negative bid adjustments when necessary to ensure you invest in the right audience for the products you offer. A good way to pinpoint your key audience is to look at all of your previous site visitors, people similar to past site visitors, previous converters, and people similar to the previous converters. 

You can also build audiences of people who have visited specific pages of your website and target them with tailored messaging. There are many options when it comes to targeting your audience. This is one of the most important factors when running a campaign.

  • Not bidding on your own keywords 

You’ve likely heard the term “brand equity” and know why it’s significant to protect your branding. PPC plays a key factor here. Many business owners believe if their company is searched it’ll always be the top result, but this isn’t always true. 

If your competitors bid more on the search terms than you did, their company will be at the top of the page. You don’t want your competitors to be the top search result when potential customers search for your services. 

It’s essential to bid on your keywords and search terms, and to make sure to bid higher than your competitors. Also, keep in mind that two is always better than one. Having a paid and organic ad appear gives you more relevancy on the page and will help you appear for more specific searches your potential customers may be making. 

Ultimately, PPC gives you a unique advantage when it comes to marketing your goods and services. It can be a great tool to build your brand and reach new audiences, but you have to be strategic. 

Don’t fall into the same traps that many people do when getting started. Set up your campaign right from the get-go, and you’ll see more results!

FURTHER READING: How to Run Your First Successful PPC Campaign

Tom Gaddis

Tom Gaddis

Attended the School of Hard Knocks. A former restaurant manager in Oklahoma, Tom always wanted to be self-employed and free from the butt-smooching of the corporate world. He wanted success bad enough that he picked up his family, including two small children and moved to beautiful Maui, Hawaii. Starting from zero, Tom embarked on building a local marketing consulting business. And promptly fell on his face! It seems Hawaiians were lovely people, until you tried to sell them something! But he persevered and learned from his mistakes. Today he's arguably one of the most successful in his niche and expecting to grow over 100% this year alone.

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