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The 8 Biggest PPC Management Mistakes and How to Steer Clear of Them

The 8 Biggest PPC Management Mistakes and How to Steer Clear of Them

PPC advertising can deliver tremendous results when done right. But make some wrong moves, and it can quickly spiral out of control.

In this post, we’ll explore the most common PPC management pitfalls and how you can avoid them.

Follow these tips to keep your campaigns running smoothly and efficiently.

Mistake #1: Not Monitoring Performance Regularly

The fast pace of PPC means you need to stay on top of things. Failing to regularly check campaign data leaves performance issues unchecked.

How to Avoid It:

  • Monitor metrics like CTR, conversions, bounce rate, and costs daily.
  • Set up automatic campaign reports to your inbox.
  • Create monitoring dashboards for high-level snapshots.
  • Set performance alerts to notify you when metrics dip below targets.

Staying on top of the numbers lets you catch and correct issues early. Don’t take a hands-off approach.

Mistake #2: Not A/B Testing Ad Variations

Testing different ad copy and creatives is crucial for optimising CTR and conversions. Failing to test leaves potential on the table.

How to Avoid It:

  • Test 2-3 ad variations per ad group, changing copy, headlines, displays, etc.
  • Run variations simultaneously, distributing traffic evenly.
  • Let tests run for 1-2 weeks as you monitor performance.
  • Evaluate results and pause poorer performers.
  • Roll out the winner across campaigns.

Regular testing improves your control over campaign performance. Don’t just set and forget.

Mistake #3: Using Irrelevant Keywords

Targeting loosely related or irrelevant keywords wastes budget on the wrong searches. Stick to tightly aligned keywords.

How to Avoid It:

  • Group keywords by closeness of meaning and intent.
  • Prune out loose matches with low search volume.
  • Check Search Term Reports to identify bad keywords.
  • Add negative keywords to exclude irrelevant searches.
  • Monitor impression share to identify missing keywords.

Keyword selection directly controls who sees your ads. Take the time to get it right.

Mistake #4: Relying Solely on Google’s Keyword Data

Google’s suggested keywords can be useful but aren’t always accurate. Do your own additional research.

How to Avoid It:

  • Research target customers to identify missing keywords.
  • Leverage Google Trends and keyword tools for ideas.
  • Check competitor ads for their keywords.
  • Analyse organic search data for keyword gaps.
  • Refine keyword lists over time based on search term reports.

Blend Google’s keyword data with your own research for the best results.

Mistake #5: Not Adapting Ads to Match Keywords

Your ad copy needs to align with the keywords driving traffic to it. Misalignment causes low CTR.

How to Avoid It:

  • Tailor ad copy to closely reflect the meaning of keywords.
  • Write different ad versions optimized for different keywords.
  • Check Search Query Reports to identify mismatches.
  • Add Dynamic Keyword Insertion to automatically insert keywords.

Keyword-relevant ads perform better because they set accurate expectations.

Mistake #6: Using the Same Bid Strategy for All Keywords

Not all keywords have the same value. Bidding the same on all treats them equivalently.

How to Avoid It:

  • Assess performance data to value keywords appropriately.
  • Bid higher on keywords driving conversions.
  • Bid lower on non-converting keywords as you phase them out.
  • Set individual bids for your most important keywords.
  • Use automated bid strategies like Target CPA bidding.

Custom bid amounts let you maximize important keywords and reduce wasted spend.

Mistake #7: Having Too Broad of a Target Audience

Trying to appeal to everyone often appeals to no one. Narrow down your targeting to reach those most likely to convert.

How to Avoid It:

  • Identify your ideal buyer personas. Map their demographics and interests.
  • Layer on multiple parameters like job role, age, gender, income level.
  • Exclude audiences unlikely to convert.
  • Test tightly targeted segments against each other.
  • Expand broader if needed based on performance.

Hyper-targeted campaigns improve relevance and conversions. Don’t cast your net too wide.

Mistake #8: Not Testing Different Ad Platforms

Relying solely on Google Ads leaves untapped potential. Experiment with Bing, Facebook, Instagram, Quora, Reddit, etc.

How to Avoid It:

  • Research where your audiences spend time online.
  • Test secondary platforms in small doses.
  • Evaluate performance against Google Ads baseline.
  • Shift budget to better performing platforms.
  • Don’t put all eggs in one basket. Diversify platforms.

Testing multiple platforms reveals overlooked opportunities. Don’t limit yourself to just Google.

Steer Clear of PPC Pitfalls

Avoiding common PPC mistakes takes attention, effort, and experience. But it’s how you steer campaigns to success.

Monitor campaign health closely. Continuously test and optimize. Do thorough keyword research. Align ads to keywords. Customize bids. Target precisely. And diversify ad platforms.

With smart ongoing management, you can keep your PPC campaigns running at peak performance. Mastering PPC empowers your brand to make the most of its ad budget.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the key PPC campaign metrics I should be tracking?

Click-through rate, conversion rate, cost per conversion, impression share, quality score, and ROAS. Monitor daily.

How often should I refresh my ad creative?

Aim to test 2-3 new ad variations per month. Let tests run 1-2 weeks before selecting a winner.

What’s a good starting bid for new keywords?

Start new keywords at a low bid, around 20% of your max CPC. Adjust up slowly as you evaluate performance.

How narrow should my audience targeting be?

The more you can narrow by demographics, interests, and behaviors the better. But don’t go so narrow volume suffers.

When should I pause poorly performing keywords?

Keep a close eye on conversion rates. Pause keywords going more than 2 weeks with no conversions.

Mastering ongoing PPC management is crucial for success. Stay vigilant in avoiding these common pitfalls and keep your campaigns optimized for your target customers.

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