6 Common Mistakes in PPC Management

Bill Caton November 25th, 2016
ppc management mistakes

The frank Agency is all about proper PPC account structure and management – so we’d like to call out some of the common mistakes advertisers make with their accounts. Avoiding these common mistakes will help ensure you get the most out of your PPC account.

1. Targeting keywords that are not related to your product or service.

This is a mistake that I’ve found to be particularly common in local business advertisers that are accustomed to traditional advertising methods. In traditional advertising mediums, the focus is often on mass advertising to a specific geographical area and hoping that your ad is viewed by a handful of people who actually have a need for your service.

For example, a Kansas City landscaping company might run ads on the 5 o’clock news within the KC metro area in hopes of getting some new business from city residents. This is a perfectly sound strategy for traditional media – but doesn’t translate well to digital marketing. I’ve seen PPC accounts where the advertiser attempted to target the name of their community as a keyword. In the example above, that would be like advertising for just the keyword “Kansas City.”

Keywords this broad should be cut. Leave this part of your strategy to geo-targeting by setting your account to only show ads in specific geographical areas that are relevant to you. Then only target keywords that are directly related to your brand or product.

2. Targeting too broadly.

Once you’ve limited your campaign to keywords that are directly related to your brand or product, the next step is to test different keyword match types. Some advertisers employ a lazy strategy of just running on broad-match keywords, then setting it and forgetting it. This is a great way to waste a lot of advertising spend.

While broad match keywords definitely have a role in most accounts, any responsible PPC buyer will also be targeting the other keyword match types. Mixing your targeted match types gives you greater control over the types of search queries you’re matching for. This ultimately leads to getting the right users to your account without wasting ad spend on users that had no interest in you or your products in the first place.

Not familiar with keyword match types? Check out our blog post “The Basics of PPC Targeting” for more information on keyword targeting.

3. Lack of tracking.

One of the staples of the business world is return on investment. You should want to know what you get out of your advertising. The way to know that is by having the proper tracking systems in place to tell you. Conversion tracking pixels, call tracking lines, analytics tracking, internal conversion tracking. It’s important to identify what your advertising is producing for you, how well it’s turning into business, and what return you’re getting from that business. Learn more about the measurability and the tracking systems The frank Agency employs for its paid search clients in the post “Using Conversion Tracking to Improve ROI.”

4. Not bidding on brand keywords.

There has been a lot of debate around bidding on your brand name. The arguments business owners often make against advertising on their own name is that 1) they already rank well organically, or 2) if the user is already searching for your name, then they already want to do business with you. The problem with these arguments is that your competitors are likely to advertise on your brand. Even if you rank well organically, the ads on a Google search results page are displayed above the organic listings. This means that if someone searches for your brand and a competitor is advertising on your brand name, their ad will show above your listing – meaning their ad is likely the first thing they’ll see and likely click.

The good news is that Google adjusts the cost per click on keywords based on how relevant an advertiser is to the search query. You will almost always be the most relevant advertiser on your own brand name, meaning clicks on those keywords come at a lower rate for you than they do for competitors. For more information on how Google determines advertiser relevance, check out our blog post “The Basics of PPC Targeting”.

5. Not using keywords in ad copy.

In Google’s extensive support database, the search engine recommends using your keyword in your ad copy as a best practice. This is because words in the ad that match the search query are bolded, which is eye-catching, and communicate to the user that your ad is specifically relevant to what they’re looking for. Here’s a link to some other tips Google recommends for creating quality text ads.

6. Lack of goal focus.

In the same way that you cannot walk until you choose a direction, your PPC account cannot improve until you have a clearly defined goal for your efforts. Your defined goal should impact every decision that is made in managing and optimizing your PPC campaigns. If your goal is to get as many users to your website as possible to increase awareness of your brand and available products, different data points are important to your efforts than if your focus is on generating as much business as you can. Likewise, focusing on getting as many business leads as you can from your account is different than focusing on optimizing the return you’re receiving on your ad spend – some products may be more valuable than others, for example. A defined goal from the start is the first step to a successful campaign.

Need a Paid Search Specialist?

It’s easy to make mistakes when managing your own PPC accounts – which is why many companies outsource their paid search management to digital agencies. On the fence about partnering with a paid search agency? Discover four good reasons why you should consider hiring a digital agency to manage your paid search marketing. Ready to take the next step in building a partnership today? Contact us today to learn more about our paid search services.

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