5 Costly PPC Mistakes You Probably Didn’t Know You’re Making

In a previous post, we tackled some of the most common blunders PPC advertisers make. Most of the mistakes mentioned were big, obvious ones and are easier to spot and correct. But not all mistakes are easy to identify. Some are so small and so seemingly insignificant that you don’t even realize you’re making them until it’s too late. To help you ensure the success of your ad campaigns, we’ve rounded up some of the easiest mistakes to miss in PPC and some tips on how you can steer clear of them.

1.Failing to Double-Check Account Settings

PPC account settings help you manage and control the way your ads appear on Google search engine results pages (SERPs). So if you make any changes to your ads, the appropriate settings should also be adjusted. But when you’re rushing to get a campaign running so you can move on to other PPC tasks, it seems more convenient to just skip this step. After all, if you’ve made only minor changes to the ad, everything else will still work properly right?

The thing is… Any change done to an ad or a campaign is crucial and certain actions should be taken to make sure the account settings match the adjustment. Let’s take the ad rotation setting for example. In an existing campaign, this may be set to “Optimize for clicks” or “Optimize for conversions”. But if you decide to test a new ad for that campaign, it’s best to change this setting to “Rotate indefinitely”. Otherwise, Google may show one ad more often than the others and leave you with biased ad testing results.

The Solution: Always double-check your PPC account settings, especially whenever you are creating a new campaign, taking over an existing account or running a new round of ad testing.

2.Failing to Double-Check Dynamic Keyword Insertion

Because dynamic keyword insertion or DKI is so efficient, many PPC advertisers don’t bother to double check the ads it comes up with. Sometimes this works out well, but there are times when it creates ads that don’t make sense or are just plain ridiculous.

The thing is… DKI, no matter how helpful and efficient it might be, is not a perfect feature. It may do a good job of creating an ad copy that contains a unique combination of relevant keywords, but that doesn’t mean the ad delivers the message you wanted. A little human intervention is still necessary to make sure the ads fit your standards.

The Solution: Be sure to double-check your DKI code and make sure all the keywords in your ad group are spelled correctly. Also, take a moment to think about how your ads are going to appear with the default term and key terms you picked out. If you believe it makes sense, proceed. If not, make the appropriate changes.

3.Forgetting About Negative Keywords

When you’re so caught up in finding keywords that match your product or service, it can be easy to forget about updating your negative keyword strategy. This may not seem like a big deal at first, but neglecting this aspect of your PPC campaign can cause negative effects in the long term. You might end up wasting a lot of time and money on unqualified traffic. You might also suffer from not being able to provide the best possible ad copy to your target customers.

The thing is… An updated list of negative keywords is essential for the success of your campaigns. This allows you to make sure your ads don’t show up for searches that aren’t related to the product you’re promoting.

The Solution: Run a regular search terms report in Google AdWords and find terms that aren’t a good match for your product or keywords that aren’t converting. Include them in your negative keyword list so your ad won’t appear for those search terms again. If you find irrelevant traffic coming in through your ads, make sure you block that as well. Conversely, double-check the negatives you’ve included in your campaigns to ensure you’re not unintentionally blocking good traffic from your ads.

4.Not checking destination URLs

Nothing can be more frustrating for online consumers than clicking on an ad and finding themselves staring at a 404 page or an irrelevant webpage. When this happens, not only have you paid for a click that didn’t lead to a conversion, but you’ve also discouraged a potential customer from clicking on your ad again.

The thing is… A small error like this can cause considerable damage to your campaign, especially if several of your ads have faulty or irrelevant destination URLs. Plus, fixing it can take more time off your already packed schedule.

The Solution: Avoid all this trouble by checking your URLs before you upload them. This may take you a few extra minutes while creating your ad, but it can save you a lot of time and money in the long run.

5.Using “formula” when creating ads

There’s no easy way of saying it, but PPC advertising can get a bit robotic. You go online, look for a keyword, check out your competition, and create ads that fit in with the latest trends PPC. If you do that often enough, you’ll memorize the routine and before you know it, you’ll be creating ads using the same formula.

The thing is… There’s nothing wrong with using a strategy that works for you or with following trends. These are actually effective ways of improving the success of your PPC campaigns. The problem is when you use the same strategy over and over again. Your ads might work for some time, but eventually they will lose their charm and become one of those boring ads that consumers no longer notice.

The Solution: Try to incorporate something different and unique in each campaign you handle. This can be a fun, catchy ad copy or a new kind of keyword combination. Whatever it is, make sure it will make your ads stand out while still being relevant to what your target consumers want. I know this can be tough, considering the limited space in online ads and the amount of competition out there. But if you do it right, the rewards you reap will be great.

Making mistakes is a normal part of being human and, in a way, they help us grow and improve. But this doesn’t mean we should just be complacent and wait for mistakes to happen. Be extra careful and implement a thorough quality assessment process for all your PPC tasks. This way, you can avoid slip-ups, save money and ensure the long-term success of your advertising campaigns.

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