Some Common PPC Mistakes to be aware of:
1. Different Keywords Grouped in a Single Ad Group
Having vastly different keywords grouped together in one ad group will mean that a large percentage of your ads are not relevant.
Keep the keywords in each ad group very specific.
Consider using Dynamic Keyword Insertion (DKI).
You can also use the target keyword in the ad’s copy
Use a keyword in the display URL
2. Not including a Call to Action
Have a specific call to action, like “Buy Now” if you are looking to drive sales
3. Not Comparing Ads in the Same Ad Group
Have at least 3 variations of an advert for a single keyword running and compare how they perform.
After each advert has had 30-40 clicks, delete the most poorly performing advert.
Compare adverts with and without site links, promotions, prices in the copy. Experiment with different calls to action.
Use http://www.splittester.com/ to help you to decide when you should ditch an Ad
4. Not Using Ad Extensions
Experiment with extensions, they increase your SERP ‘real estate’ and increase CTR. Try location, product, social and site-links. App extensions are available too.
5. Sending ‘Clickers’ to the Homepage
Make sure your landing page is as relevant as possible.
Don’t have an advert for ‘red jeans’ and send people to your shop’s homepage
6. Not Analysing Competitors Ads
Look at your competitors’ adverts, and see how you can stand out.
Use http://www.ispionage.com to start
7. Not Mentioning USP and SSPs
Experiment with ad copy that contains your Unique Selling Point (USP) and your Strong Selling Point(s) (SSPs).
8. Not Ditching Poorly Performing Keywords
Run a keyword report at Ad group or Campaign level and establish levels at which you’ll need to remove keywords if they don’t perform.
Download keywords by ad group and campaign level, and filter by CPA and CPC. Remove poorly performing keywords.
9. Not Being Strategic with Daily Budget
Look at volume and cost.
If you don’t have the budget of Amazon then you need to use ad scheduling
Monitor your conversions and consider turning the ads off when conversion rate is low
Check out the WordStream how-to
10. Ad Design Not Relevant Enough
Keyword lists should be separated or ‘bucketed’ by the stage of the buying cycle and user intent.
Think about the stage the ‘searcher’ may be in:
Ready to Buy
and tailor an advert suitable for each stage.
11. Targeting Display and Search Together
Display will take most of the budget.
Search will have no-chance of developing and will show low CTR and low conversions.
12. Not using Negative Keywords
As well as a normal keyword list, make sure you do some research for negative keywords – i.e. those keywords you DON’T want your advert to appear for.
Keep adding negative keywords to ad groups and campaigns.
Typical negative keywords include “reviews” “information”. When you are looking for sales, you don’t want people higher up in the Buyer Cycle.
13. Not using a Naming Convention for Campaigns and Groups
This makes reporting a nightmare.
Name according to brand/non-brand, theme, product, location and match type.
14. Not Scheduling
Prepare for dates and times that you want the ad to be paused or altered, using labels and automated rules
15. Not Utilising Geo-Targeting Fully
Assign Geo-targets from the outset.
That is all
16. Keywords are Broad Match
No, no, no – not unless you really know what you are doing and have a very good list of negative keywords.
17. Out of Date Site Links
If you use ad-extensions, like site-links, make sure that the links are still relevant and still live
18. Misspeelings in Ad Copy
19. Not linking up Adwords and Analytics
Get it done!
20. Not Bidding on Branded Keywords
Branded keywords are very cheap, and will help your quality score and CTR, they also convert very well.
21. Not Analysing Search Funnel Data
Make sure you look beyond and before the last click, to ensure you attribute credit correctly to different ads.
22. Not Tracking Conversions Correctly
You need to add Google code to your Thank you pages.
Link Adwords and Analytics
Track phone calls with a 3rd party provider such as Calltracks
23. Assuming no 1 position is ‘best’
It will get the most traffic, but it may cost a lot more per conversion. You will lose impulsive clickers if you move down the positions.
24. Not Making Mobile Friendly Ads & Campaigns
Ensure you use Click to Call extensions, that lead to a responsive or mobile tailored web pages, and use relevant calls to action – “call now” etc.
25. Not looking out for Fraud Networks
Look for any networks and sites etc. that have a bounce rate anywhere near 90%
Google lets you put these into Negative Excluded Sites.
26. Fitting in, instead of Standing Out
Look at the competition and come up with something unique
27. Telephone Numbers in Non-Mobile Ads
They don’t work, tests show people won’t move from a desktop to call an Ad telephone number.
28. Not including Seasonal Copy
Ho, Ho, Ho, buy now or Santa dies
29. Confusing Click Through Rate with Conversion Rate
Look at both, but conversion rate is the ultimate guide.
If you include the word “Free” in your ad copy, you may get a higher CTR, but conversions might be low.
30. Not Bidding on Competitors Brand Names
A competitor’s customer, could easily be your customer instead