We all know how effective PPC advertising is in getting quick and quality traffic for a website and how running a poorly planned PPC campaign can blow out the complete marketing budget in a single day. While learning PPC takes time, the purpose of this article is to cover the common mistakes that one can easily avoid to keep his campaign profitable.
1. Not separating the search and display network campaigns
We often see advertisers who run their PPC ads on search network and display network under same campaign. What advertisers need to understand is that both networks work differently. In search network, the ad is shown to a searcher who is actually searching for the information/products you have to offer. Whereas in display network, the ad is shown to site visitors who are not actually searching for information you have to offer but might show any interest to it after looking at the ad.
Since both networks work completely in a different way, it is normal that the keywords or ads which perform better in search network may not perform well in display network.
The best solution is to create separate campaigns for each network and modify your strategy for each network based on their individual results.
2. Keeping all keywords in one campaign
Divide your keywords in terms of relevance from highly relevant to least relevant. Let’s say, you are doing PPC for luxurious resort chain and the keywords “luxurious resort in <city-name> “ are more relevant than keywords “resort in <city-name> “. Creating separate campaigns for each keyword category will give you following advantages –
1. You can allocate a high daily budget for campaign having more relevant keywords.
2. Geo-targeting is available at only campaign level. For highly relevant keywords campaign you can keep the geo-targeting international and for campaign with less relevant keywords you can geo-target them for specific areas to reduce costs.
3. You do not need to worry about poor performing keywords (less relevant) impacting the quality score of high performing keywords or performance history.
Note – Never move a high performing PPC ad group from an old campaign to a new campaign ( in case you want to allocate high daily budget to it) as you may lose the performance history of that ad group and have to pay high CPC in the new campaign. It is always better to keep your high performing ad groups in your old campaigns as it is and then move the poor performing ad groups to new campaign if required.
3. Using default PPC ad rotation settings
Google uses “optimize” PPC ad rotation settings by default, in which Google will show the ad with high CTR even if those ads are not converting at your end. You can change this setting to “Rotate” mode so that all ads get delivered more evenly. In this way you will have more control on what ads to show and can test your campaign in a better way.
4. Using default device platform targeting settings
Google shows the PPC ads on all platforms including computers, iphones and other mobile devices in default settings. So, either, make sure that your landing page, ads and overall conversion process is compatible with mobile browsers or change the default platform settings to target only compatible platforms. You can also launch separate campaign for each platform to find out which ad works better on which platform.
5. Using the same ad copy for all locations
Do not use the same PPC ad copy or landing page for all locations in case you are running a campaign covering several locations. A high performing ad in one area doesn’t means that it will perform similarly in other areas too. Take care of language, regional and cultural differences while write ad copies for other locations.
6. Focusing on budget instead of ROI
Time and again, we see marketers who focus only on what they spend instead of focusing on how they can improve their ROI. Take help of your PPC campaign analysis and performance reports and find out the way to maximize your ROI. For e.g. – If you know that you can earn one dollar on every single dollar spent then do not limit yourself to a fixed budget. Similarly, if you think that there is not enough quality traffic for your keywords, then do not burn your money by advertising on not relevant keywords just for the sake of advertising.
7. Not testing at all levels
Do not limit the testing of your PPC campaigns only to CTR rate of your ads or the quality score of keyword. Test your campaign at all levels. It is possible not to get any conversions even after having a prefect ad copy, relevant ad groups and landing pages (due to pricing issues, outdated payment options etc) .Test your campaigns at all levels (micro and macro). Micro levels include testing at small levels like changing image, headlines etc. Whereas macro level testing include testing of major elements like website navigation, overall pricing structure etc.
Would you like to add some more mistakes one can easily avoid while managing PPC campaigns? Then, share them with us in comments below.
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