5 Common PPC Mistakes

Pay-per-click advertising (PPC) is one of the most effective marketing channels available. It has the potential to return a huge amount of revenue, and there are many customization options so that you can make sure your money is always spent well.

Watch the video below, and then keep reading, to learn about some common PPC mistakes and other frequently asked PPC questions.

PPC only works well when it’s managed properly. In fact, when it’s not managed well, PPC can become a drain on your business by making you show up for irrelevant searches, lowering your quality score, and more.

Whether you’re looking for PPC in Harrisburg or PPC in Jacksonville, WebFX is here for you.

Call 888-601-5359 to speak with a strategist about PPC campaign management from WebFX, or keep scrolling to learn five of the most common errors in PPC campaigns.

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1. Incorrectly using match types

There are three different settings you can use for keywords in Google Ads. We’ll use the keyword “men’s running shoes” as an example to illustrate how each setting works.

  • Broad match: Displays your ad for a wide range of keywords that loosely match your intended keyword, like “women’s running shoes.”
  • Phrase match: Displays your ad for phrases that include “men’s running shoes” and words that surround it, like “men’s running shoes size 9.”
  • Exact match: Displays your ad only when someone searches exactly for “men’s running shoes.”

Basically, you want to use broad match to approach a wider audience, and you want to use exact match to make sure you’re only bringing qualified traffic to your site. Phrase match is a nice balance of both qualities, and it can be just as useful as the other choices, depending on your goals.

However, it’s important to know which setting is right for you. If you’re just looking for traffic increases, broad match can be a great help. But if you’re specifically looking for conversions, exact match is your best bet.

If you don’t identify those goals early on, then you can spend a lot of money by incorrectly targeting the wrong demographic. And when that happens, you won’t get the ROI you want.

2. Not using geographic targeting

Geographic targeting (also called “geo-targeting”) lets you refine your ads to a specific geographic area. This is especially helpful for small businesses that only want to attract customers within a certain radius of their brick-and-mortar location. It’s also handy for worldwide corporations that want to funnel their budget into one particular country.

When you ignore geo-targeting, you can lose a lot of money and hurt your quality score by showing up for searchers on the other side of the world. You can also inadvertently drive up the cost of certain keywords, which is how some keywords get so expensive. All in all, you have the potential to hurt yourself and other businesses.

You can start geo-targeting your ads by using the standard options in Google Ads. Refine your ad display to a certain region to make sure you don’t overpay for your clicks or artificially inflate prices for companies in other areas. Plus, when you’re in a smaller area, you can get more qualified leads when people click your ad, which will help your quality score and save you money.

3. Forgetting negative keywords

Negative keywords are certain terms that you don’t want to trigger your ads. This is helpful for broad and phrase match keywords where certain words could change the entire meaning of a keyword.

For example, if you’re selling men’s running shoes, you can add the negative keyword “women’s running shoes” to make sure those searches don’t trigger your ad. That way, you don’t show up for an ad that you don’t want, and the user doesn’t get irrelevant results. It’s a win-win!

In general, negative keywords will eliminate irrelevant searches and improve your quality score, so you can save money in the long run. They’ll also help you gain a favorable reputation online, since you only attract visitors who are likely to become customers.

4. Not using long-tail keywords

Long-tail keywords are search terms that include long phrases, and sometimes reflect user intent to convert. They’re generally more targeted, more affordable, and safer for businesses to use since shorter keywords are more competitive and dominated by industry leaders.

Using long-tail keywords helps narrow your appeal to a specific customer base, which may sound counter-intuitive if you want to attract as many people as possible to your site. But the people that you do attract with these narrow keywords will be more likely to convert and support your business.

In general, that means you might not receive a lot of traffic, but you’ll get a lot of quality traffic based on a user’s intent to buy. And after all, those are the people who you want coming to your site anyway!

5. Ignoring quality score

Quality score is the numerical representation of your company to Google. The higher your quality score, the less Google will charge you when people click your ads. That makes quality score critically important to a business’s growth, since it has the potential to save you money and position you above your competition.

You can find your quality score on Google Ads, and you can improve it with a few simple strategies.

  • Target your audience: Use long-tail keywords to make sure you only get qualified clicks to your website.
  • Offer quality information: Create pages that inform and help users who click on your ads.
  • Make it easy for visitors to convert: Add calls to action at the end of your pages to encourage visitors to become customers.

By keeping these three ideas in mind, you can improve your quality score grow your business. And if you ignore them, you won’t get the results that you want.

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