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The Most Common PPC Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

Are you running your pay-per-click (PPC) campaign but aren’t seeing great results? Many business owners make very common, but avoidable PPC mistakes that are costing them money and quality leads!

PPC advertising can be a highly effective way to run a successful lead generation campaign but it isn’t as easy as it may seem.

In this article, we will go over six common PPC mistakes and how you can avoid them!

6 Common PPC Mistakes That Prevent Success

#1 – Not Understanding Your Customer

Not establishing your ideal customer profile before starting your PPC campaign is like aimlessly throwing darts into the dark and hoping something will stick.

A carefully thought-out strategy is critical to your campaign’s success.

Many advertisers will only use simple demographic information, but you need also to understand your ideal customer persona’s pain points, purchasing behavior, and preferences. 

This will help increase your conversion rates and save you money – the last thing you want to do is spend money on clicks from the wrong people, right?

Some questions you can ask yourself as you build a profile are:

    • Where are your customers located? This can help you target specific cities or zip codes. This is especially helpful if you have a brick-and-mortar location and your ideal customer doesn’t like driving more than 20 minutes for the service you offer. Then you won’t want to target all zip codes in the county.
    • What pushes customers to make a purchasing decision? Do your customers do a lot of research? Or is this an emergency-type situation? For example, locksmith customers need the services ASAP so you will want language that conveys that. It will also affect when and how long your ads are running. 
    • What search terms are your customers using? If you are a commercial roofing company, your customers may be using “roofer near me”. However, this keyword may also attract residential roofing customers. These are the buyer behaviors that you need to take into consideration when building out your campaign because using the wrong keywords can cost you more money.

#2 – Too Small Of A Budget

Image of someone calculating their ad budget.

Do you like saving money?

Of course, you do. However, a lot of people make the mistake of having too small of an ad budget.

If you are not spending enough money, then you cannot collect enough reliable data in a reasonable time frame. 

Good data helps drive better decision-making and optimization. You can understand what keywords are truly working, which ad copy is performing better, and if the landing page is converting enough clicks into inquiring prospects.

You also have to consider the CPC for your industry. If the CPC is $15-20, then a $500 monthly budget will result in low impressions and visibility. It could take you months to start collecting enough actionable data if you do not fund enough.

Also, You should also focus more on customer lifetime value and the cost per conversion. If your customer lifetime value is over $2,000 then having a cost per conversion of $60 should not be concerning.

#3 – Improper Conversion Tracking

A big PPC mistake that many people make is not setting up conversion tracking correctly. 

Conversion tracking shows you if a prospect has completed a defined action after interacting with your ads. For a lot of small businesses, the most common types of conversions that people want to track are calls, form fills, and purchases.

If you aren’t setting your tracking correctly, then your data will be inaccurate.

This means your data can either be overinflated or underperforming! It’s also important that you define what a conversion is. It’s very common that some people accidentally track a page view as a conversion, but that doesn’t tell you much! A page view will not necessarily mean that someone is ready to purchase or contact you.

#4 – Not Having Good Ad Copy And Landing Pages

Imagine this: your business is in dire need of leads and the pressure is on to get your PPC campaign started. If you are frantically coming up with your copy, you need to hit pause!

Rushing through your ad copy and landing page setup is a very common mistake that people make.

Crafting compelling ad copy and building out a high-converting campaign is critical to getting the most out of every click on your ads. 

First off, poorly written ad copy results in low click-through rates (CTR). This can negatively affect your quality score which results in your ads getting fewer impressions and you having to bid more aggressively to be the top ad. After all, Google and Microsoft Ads do not want to serve low-quality ads!

Use every piece of real estate. Ensure your ads are near the character maximum and use all the relevant ad assets. Your copy should also hit customer pain points.

Watch my video on writing responsive search ads!

If your landing pages are performing poorly, that’s a ton of money wasted on valuable clicks! Remember, you are paying for every click on your ad. It will be in your best interest to build a landing page that makes prospects excited about your services.

Implement best practices in order to achieve a highly converting landing page such as:

  • Include strong call-to-actions such as “Schedule a free estimate!” or “Request a consultation!”
  • Avoid using stock images when possible – people want to know you are a real business!
  • Provide a way for prospects to reach out, this can either be a click-to-call button or a form.
  • Reiterate your unique selling points – why should prospects choose you?
  • Include testimonials when possible and more information that makes your business more credible.

Watch my video on landing page best practices and must-haves!

#5 – Being impatient with results

Who doesn’t want results quickly? But don’t make the mistake of pulling the plug on your PPC campaign because you don’t see results in the first 30 days.

A high-performing PPC campaign does not happen overnight. You need to give your campaign enough time to gather data so you can make adjustments and improve performance.

You should give your campaign 45 days to gather the initial data. Next, you will take a look to see what is working and what isn’t. Analyzing the data is a critical (but often forgotten) part of running a successful campaign.

Is the CTR high but the conversion rates are low? Then you may need to adjust your landing page. Are your ads getting enough impressions? If not, then you need to take another look at your keyword choices.

Generally, you will want to give your PPC campaign at least three to four months before determining if it’s working or not. This includes the initial data gathering.

#6 – “Setting and forgetting” your campaign

Your campaign should not run on autopilot! Many DIYers and small business owners running campaigns make this PPC mistake too often.

Don’t let those great results at the start fool you. Letting your campaign sit unattended is a recipe for poor performance.

Search term trends can change over time and other seasonal factors (depending on your industry) can affect your campaign. Your competitors can also start PPC campaigns which you need to keep tabs on.

As mentioned earlier in this blog, testing and optimizing are so critical to your success. Some things you should do for maintenance are updating your negative keyword list when applicable, reviewing competitor PPC ads, reviewing key metrics (CTR, conversion rates, cost per conversion), and reviewing the lead quality.

Don’t Fear Common PPC Mistakes

PPC can be a fantastic lead generation option for many businesses and by knowing the most common PPC mistakes, you can ensure that your campaign won’t get written off unfairly. 

Crafting a careful strategy and proper execution can save you a ton of time and money for your PPC campaign and your business!