Don’t Stifle Your Progress by Making These 4 PPC Ad Mistakes

Pay Per Click, or PPC, ads are a form of paid advertising, and it’s a profitable investment with an average return rate of 200%. PPC ads also generate 50% more conversions over organic traffic. 

These statistics make sense considering PPC ads are far more targeted than organic traffic. For instance, you can put PPC ads in front of specific demographics and narrow your audience down further by what websites they’ve visited in the last 30 days. If your landing page is well-designed, you’ll get conversions.

Although PPC ads provide a good return, they’re not infallible. In fact, if you’re not careful, the following four mistakes can thwart your PPC ad success.

1. Launching a DIY PPC ad campaign

You can learn marketing techniques online for free, but that won’t make you a good marketer. Knowing how to reach a specific audience isn’t the same as knowing how to determine what audience to reach in the first place. 

A DIY PPC ad campaign won’t get the same level of success you’d see from a professional marketing agency for several reasons. First, creating strategies, managing, and optimizing a Google Ads campaign is literally a full-time job. You can’t work on your PPC ads on the side and expect massive results. 

Second, you need to be trained in marketing theory to identify your target market. Target markets aren’t always obvious. For instance, many products designed for men are actually purchased by women. Your ads need to appeal to the person opening their wallet.

Last, your landing pages will determine how well your ads convert. Ads are just the first step. Your landing pages need to be designed to generate conversions.

If you want to fast-track results and avoid failure, you need a Google Ads agency to run your PPC ad campaign.

2. Not split testing

Not split testing your PPC ads is one of the worst mistakes you can possibly make. If you skip split testing, you’ll know your ads are getting conversions, but is your conversion rate optimal? Could you do better? There’s no way to know unless you’re running at least two different versions of your ad.

Split testing isn’t hard, but you need to know how to run a split test properly. You can’t just run two different ads and see which does better. Split testing is designed to help you identify specific ad elements that contribute to an ad’s success. 

Running two entirely different ads will tell you which ad performs better overall, but it won’t tell you how to tweak your ad elements to improve each ad. For example, running two ads with slightly different titles that are otherwise identical will tell you the better way to phrase your title. Perhaps the ad title written in first person gets more clicks than the title written in third person.

If you’re ready to optimize conversions, read this guide from Optinmonster to learn the basics of split testing, also referred to as “A/B testing.” 

3. Not using negative keywords

A negative keyword list is a list of words you want your PPC ad platform to ignore. When users search for a phrase containing one of your negative keywords, your ads will not show up for that user. This is by far the best way to filter out irrelevant searches.

Creating a negative keyword list will save you money and is critical for reaching your target market. Especially when your industry shares keywords with unrelated industries. For example, if you’re a historian advertising expeditions on Mount Everest, you would add the words ‘academy’ and ‘high school’ to your negative keyword list. You don’t want your ads to show up in searches performed by users looking for educational institutions.

4. Not bidding on your own brand

Marketing expert Neil Patel recommends bidding on your branded search terms before your competitors have a chance to gain traction. By bidding on your own branded keywords, you can dominate the search results much easier. Say you’re number one on Google, but you didn’t bid on your brand, so the ad above your number one spot is a competitor. 

Start bidding on your branded keywords to make sure you get placement in the ads and the SERPs.

Keep learning from your mistakes

No PPC ad campaign is free from mistakes. The key is to learn the lessons and then integrate those lessons going forward.

Image credit: Vojtech Okenka; Pexels