New! Local SEM Competitive Intelligence
Discover Your Competitor’s PPC Keywords & Ad Copy
Enter your #1 competitor's URL

6 Common PPC Strategy Mistakes that Kill Campaigns

Technology is supposed to make life easier, but when it comes to advertising, dominating a pay per click (PPC) campaign can be maddening. There are best practices, and there are also common mistakes. One of the biggest is trying a DIY approach when you don’t have anybody on board with PPC experience. However, there are also other, subtler faux pas that can kill a campaign before it even gets fully off the ground.

From click fraud detection errors to a complete lack of testing in general, it’s time to start learning from the mistakes of others. If you think it’s too time consuming, consider that you can make (or save) thousands of dollars each month. If you’re a marketer who’s thinking about embracing the PPC approach, that can be very lucrative but not if you don’t have the right pros in your corner. Consider these six top mistakes before you dive in blindly.

1. We’re number one (?)

It’s the ultimate goal for many naïve advertisers that getting that number one ad spot is the ultimate achievement, regardless of how much you’re paying per click and even with broad keywords. The actual “best” ranking is to be number three, which can be found at the left, top side when in Google. Don’t underestimate your customers; they’ll do their homework when browsing online. The number one spot might be the popular kid, but it’s where new researchers and lost surfers can be found.

2. Don’t forget the landing page

Your ad needs to be very complementary to your landing page while avoiding duplicate copy. The ad is what drew them in, and they’ll click back rapidly (leading to high bounceback rates) if they can’t instantly find what they want on the landing page. Plus, your site will read as spam and may even get penalized.

3. You’re boring people

Always check out your competition and align PPC strategies with them, but make yourself unique at the same time. There’s a reason your customers are shopping on certain sites, and you need to fulfill that sense of community. Staying unique, relevant, yet giving the people what they want is a tough balance to strike.

4. The content-search result conundrum

Simply put, you need to separate content match from your search results, which is time well spent. In the end, you’ll enjoy better reporting, be able to set a different cost per click, and have better control over your budget for a cleaner campaign. All you need to do to get started is make two campaigns, one for search and one for content match.

5. Why pay for bad keywords?

Most search engines will let you notify them of which ads shouldn’t be shown. When you’re paying cash for broad matches, you’re going to reel in visitors who aren’t actually relevant. You’re paying for those surfers who will never give you a cent. Make use of your negative keyword folder.

6. Confusing CTR with conversions

Finally, remember that click through rates (CTR) on any website and conversion rates are two very different things. A CTR can lead to a conversion, but it’s never guaranteed. By only checking out your CTR, you’re padding your own numbers. It might feel good, but it’s false security.


Guest Author Larry Alton
Guest Author Larry Alton
Larry Alton is an independent business consultant specializing in social media trends, business, and entrepreneurship. Follow him on Twitter and LinkedIn.