Are you burning money with these PPC mistakes?


Pay-per-click ad campaigns are a two-edged sword. Get your campaign right, and you’ll have a constant stream of new customers buying from your eCommerce store. Mess it up, and you could wipe out all your profits on ads that fail to convert.

The way PPC works is simple. You create a Google AdWords account and set an amount you’re willing to pay for each new visitor to your site. You also tell Google, through keywords, which searches you’d like your ad to show up for. The more you’re willing to pay for each visitor, the better your chances of showing up on Google.

Orchestrating a successful PPC campaign takes focus, creativity and a willingness to pay attention to where your money is being spent.

There’s much that can go wrong, and novices in particular can make elementary mistakes.

Read on to find out the common mistakes businesses make that cause PPC campaigns to fail.

1. Wasting money on “broad match” keywords

Setting your keywords to “broad match” is an easy mistake to make.

Selecting “broad match” improves your chances of showing up in search, because you’ll show up in searches related to your keyword, in addition to the specific keyword you selected. However, it also means you’ll get a lot of irrelevant traffic to your site. As every person who clicks on your ad means money out of your pocket, you only want to attract visitors who are likely to buy.

It takes more effort to run a focused campaign, but focusing on a specific phrase or keyword helps you avoid wasting money on irrelevant clicks.

2. Failing to track performance

The key to any successful PPC campaign is keeping a tight grip on metrics. Every day, you want to check in on your spending, which keywords are bringing in the most traffic, and which campaigns create the most conversations.

That way, you can separate the wheat from the chaff, focusing only on the most profitable keywords.

3. Sticking with a ‘failsafe’ formula

While you should always do more of what works, don’t assume that what works today will also work in a month’s time. In any case, you should be constantly tweaking your campaigns with the aim of boosting performance.

Don’t just stick with one ad, or one keyword. Try out different keywords. Experiment with a range of ad copy and headlines.

4. Having a limitless budget

To run any successful PPC campaign, you must know the ROI for every visitor you attract. How much is a new customer worth to your business? Only when you know the answer to this question can you set a budget for your PPC campaign. And only when you know your budget should you launch your campaign.

5. Forgetting to be human

It’s human beings who will be reading and clicking on your ad, so write it like a human being. Be specific about your offer, and avoid business jargon. Target your ads at a particular demographic or customer avatar.

If you need to, create a picture of your typical customer in your mind, and write your ad directly to them. Powerful adverts are created out of knowing the needs, wants, desires and pain points of your customers.

6. Ignoring the landing page

Your ad gets people to your website, but it’s your landing page that turns them from visitors into paying customers. If PPC is giving you a steady flow of traffic, but it’s failing to convert, it could be your landing page that’s at fault.

Does the landing page deliver on what’s promised in the ad? Do you write directly to the customer as a human being? Does your copy focus on benefits rather than features? Have you included testimonials? What about a call to action?

7. Avoiding PPC like the plague

Don’t be afraid of trying your hand at a PPC campaign – it has the potential to transform your business. Now you know the common mistakes, you’re ready to give it your best shot. See it as an experiment. Set a budget, monitor the stats, and see how it goes. Good luck!

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Written by David Masters

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