12 Common Google PPC Mistakes

Almost every business owner who has tried Google PPC has made mistakes. In fact, it’s practically impossible not to make any mistakes when you’re just starting out.

The good news is that most of these mistakes are easily avoidable with a little bit of knowledge and caution. Here are the 12 most common Google PPC mistakes made by business owners – and how to avoid them.

Mistake #1: Not Having a Clear PPC Campaign Goal

When setting up a Google PPC campaign, it is important to have a clear goal in mind. What are you trying to achieve? Are you looking to generate leads or sales?

Once you know what your goal is, you can tailor your campaign accordingly. If your goal isn’t clear, your campaigns won’t be structured correctly out of the gate.

You might pick the wrong bidding strategy and more. Ask yourself the following questions before you create a PPC strategy:

  • What should my paid ads accomplish?
  • What metrics are most important to my business?
  • What outcome do I desire?
  • How important are leads to my business?

Create long-term and short-term goals and measure your results (we’ll talk about this later) to make sure you’re getting the most out of your PPC campaigns.

Mistake #2: Improperly Structured PPC Campaigns

Improperly structured PPC campaigns will not get you optimal results. For instance, if you have multiple locations in your business, you’re going to want to create separate campaigns for each office. Especially if they are serving different demographics.

And, if you have different service offerings, you’ll want different campaigns for each service your business provides. Conversely, if you have two similar campaigns, try consolidating them into larger campaigns for better keyword and ad performance.

A good structure will enable Google to spread your budget across all your ad groups more effectively, and you’ll have more control over where your ads appear. Many of these settings are visible from the campaign level. If you need help, ask for it, because it can get very complicated.

Mistake #3: Forgetting or Mislabeling Your Call to Action

This goes back to goals and campaign structure. Many times, businesses will get so caught up in the technical nature of Google PPC that they stray from optimizing their ads for the intended target goals.

Strong calls to action (CTAs) will encourage people to click. However, Google Ads has limits regarding how many characters you can use in any element of your ad copy. Many businesses panic and end up leaving out the “why” of their campaign.

To solve this, get to the very essence of your CTA, and make sure you can include it in your ad headline. This tells your potential customers what they need to do next, to get the conversion you require.

Mistake #4:  Not Researching Your Competition

Before starting a Google PPC campaign, it is important to research your competition. What keywords are they targeting? What ads are they running?

By doing this research, you can get an idea of what works and what doesn’t, and you can create ads that are more likely to be successful. Also, by keeping an eye on competitors, you can also see new competitors who creep up on you.

Here’s what you should be looking for in researching your competition:

  • Competitors ad spend
  • What keyword competitors are using in their Google PPC ads
  • How profitable competitor campaigns might be
  • Which competitors are bidding on your keywords
  • And more

Get a good plan in place regarding your competitors and make sure you’re monitoring things closely.

Mistake #5:  Not Targeting the Right Audience

When setting up your Google PPC campaign, it is important to target the right audience. You want to make sure that you are targeting people who are interested in what you have to offer. Reach the right people using demographics and strategic targeting

Google Ads lets you customize your audience by inputting demographic details of your ideal customer, but it defaults to observing. So, it doesn’t automatically target the audiences you build, and it only reports on how the audiences you choose respond. Test how all audiences respond to your ads.

Mistake #6: Not Having a Well-Designed Landing Page

Make sure that your landing page is well-designed and easy to navigate. If it’s confusing or difficult for people to use, they may leave before taking any action.

It’s also important that the content on your landing page matches what you’re advertising in your ad copy so there aren’t any surprises when visitors arrive at your page.

You might want to also consider creating different landing pages for each of your ad groups. Back to our earlier point about structuring your campaigns – you should consider having a different landing page for each service or product you’re advertising.

You can test the effectiveness of your landing page through Google Ads insights via your Quality Score, Landing Page Experience, and All Conversions. The copy and structure of your landing page can impact all three of these metrics.

Mistake #7: Not Testing Your Landing Page

After you generate a great landing page or set of landing pages, you must test their effectiveness.

  • Test your landing page so you can see which pages are most effective at generating leads and sales.
  • Test different variations of each page, including the layout, design, copywriting style (casual vs formal), etc.

In addition to testing the landing page layout, design, etc., examine the keywords on those landing pages to make sure they are fully optimized at each stage of your testing. As you continue to improve on your Google Ads performance, full audits are needed to ensure optimal results.

Mistake #8: Not Tracking Conversions

Track conversions so you can see how well your Google PPC campaign is performing. By tracking conversions, you can determine which keywords are generating the most leads and sales and adjust your campaign accordingly.

It’s vital to remember that conversions aren’t static. After you set up the conversions you track, review the attribution model to make sure Google Ads credits conversions accurately for your business purposes. You can use a variety of tools to track conversions, including Google Analytics and UTM parameters.

Mistake #9: Not Testing Your Ad Copy

Always test your ad copy so you can see which ads are most effective at generating leads and sales. There are a lot of things to consider when you write ad copy for Google Ads.

  • Is your copy full of spelling errors?
  • Is Title Case going to work better than Sentence case?
  • Will a combination of both going to work better?

Test different variations of each ad, including the headline, description line one (DLO), description line two (DLL).

Mistake #10: Not Using Negative Keywords

When setting up your Google PPC campaign, it is important to use negative keywords, so you don’t end up paying for irrelevant searches.

For example, if you are selling shoes and someone searches for “shoes with spikes” (which could be used in boxing), add the word “boxing” as a negative keyword to avoid paying for these clicks.

Google supports three different types of negative keywords:

  • Broad
  • Phrase
  • Exact Match

These are the very same types of keywords you use for normal keyword matches. So, you should be familiar. Learn the difference and choose carefully, for all your keyword actions.

If you add the wrong negative keyword type, you can exclude yourself from the searches you are trying to target.

Mistake #11: Not Using Marketing Automation Services

Google PPC campaigns can be a time-consuming process. It’s difficult to keep track of all the different campaigns and ads. This is where marketing automation tools come in handy.

These tools and services help you manage your campaigns more efficiently and automate some of the tasks, such as bid management and ad creation.

You can use PPC automation tools, expert services, or a combination of both. Either way, by automating certain steps, you can save time and eliminate errors from the analysis.

Mistake #12: Not Monitoring Results Regularly

Monitor your Google PPC results regularly so you can make changes as needed. If a campaign isn’t performing well, be prepared to make adjustments. Also, keep track of your budget and make sure you are not spending more than you can afford.

By avoiding these common Google PPC mistakes, you can improve the chances of your campaign being successful. For more tips on how to create a successful Google PPC campaign, contact us today, and stay tuned for Part 2!

Liz Downing is a writer and marketer with over 13 years experience in creating superior copy and marketing materials across a wide variety of industries. Currently, she is eyeball deep in ecommerce, but she likes to keep her mind nimble and her fingers moving on a keyboard.