5 PPC Mistakes That Affect Your Campaign’s Performance

Arcane Blog Post

5 PPC Mistakes That Affect Your Campaign’s Performance

5 PPC Mistakes That Affect Your Campaign’s Performance


Digital marketing is hard work! After eight years of working in the industry, I have pretty much experienced everything there is to encounter when launching and optimizing PPC campaigns. Every campaign and industry is different. Unfortunately, there’s no magic formula for launching and optimizing campaigns (sorry everyone!), however; there are a few things that always stay relatively consistent: a budget, keywords, targeting, and ads. If you have all of those things, you may think it will be smooth sailing from there. Wrong! That’s where your PPC specialists come in.

Here are 5 PPC mistakes that can make or break your campaign’s performance:

1. Treating Search & Display Campaigns the Same

Search and Display campaigns, although both run in Google Ads, are extremely different. So why are these tactics treated equally?

I don’t think anyone really knows, but my best guess is a lack of experience. Search and Display campaigns help achieve different objectives and ultimately need to be optimized as such.

Search is a very high intent, low funnel tactic that helps generate high-quality leads. Display, on the other hand, is a low intent, high funnel tactic that is used to generate brand awareness and help fill the marketing funnel for other efforts that are also running in tandem.  Managing these tactics as one and using the same audience segments can negatively affect your ROI.

This is due to the fact that campaign objectives for these two tactics are very different. Display campaigns typically do not generate ROI directly – it’s much harder to get someone to click on an ad served to them and convert right away when it wasn’t what they had planned to do online at that time. You need to gain their interest, earn that click, and enter them into the funnel.

Conversely, Search campaigns do more easily drive direct ROI. As mentioned previously, Search campaigns have high levels of intent, which means at that moment, audiences are more actively seeking out your products or services. As such, they’re more apt to buy, provide their contact details to become a lead or participate in any other conversion objectives. It takes time and experience to learn and optimize your campaigns to get to a point where a positive ROI can be achieved in tandem

2. Not Knowing Your Target Audiences

Why do marketers jump into creating ads before knowing their target audience? Maybe the idea of getting conversions or leads is more appealing than taking the time to understand your audience. That approach will ultimately lead you to only short-term gains. You may get leads now, but investing the time into creating personas and identifying your target audiences is critical to reaping the benefits of digital marketing and creating longevity within your campaigns.

Short term gains = short run of conversions and leads

3. Not Considering Your Landing Page

The most common mistake that digital marketers make is not considering a user’s journey after they click on your ad. I used to think that my job ended once I got the user to the page — then it was up to everyone else to make the conversion happen. However, I was wrong.

Being a great digital marketer (dare I say, a full-stack digital marketer?) means considering the full journey. An ad click doesn’t necessarily translate into a conversion or lead. It’s only one part of the journey that users embark on. Where you direct them from the ad is the second part of their journey and determines whether you earn the conversion or not. It would be a shame to pay $0.10 or upwards of $100+ (depending on the industry) for a click on your ad, only to have the user leave right away because the website experience is horrible.

Your ad messaging should match the messaging on the landing page – Users are only going to trust your brand if all of the messaging matches! Keep everything consistent.The landing page needs to be clear and concise, that easily moves the user through the desired action. Make sure you bring in your UX expert.

4. Not Adding Exclusions

As a digital marketer, we can often get caught up in the targeting cycle. When analyzing and deciding who is the right audience to target, it’s easy to forget the people that we do not want to target. But how do we do that? Exclusions!

Effective exclusion lists helps to increase the likelihood that your ads get clicked and ultimately reduces your advertising costs – less ads being shown to the wrong people.

A few exclusions that you should consider when launching a new campaign are:

  • Locations
  • Audiences
  • Age
  • Gender
  • Keyword
  • Placements


5. Don’t Set It And Forget It

When the excitement of launching your campaign wears off, you’ll find that is not the end of your job. Another big mistake is setting up a campaign, launching it, and forgetting it. Campaigns take monitoring, learning, and optimizing based on performance. What types of optimizations should you make on a regular basis?

  • Adding negative keywords
  • Refreshing ad copy
  • Shifting budgets into top performing tactics/campaigns
  • Making bid adjustments
  • Monitoring bidding strategies and making adjustments where necessary
  • And many more!

Still searching for a magic formula? As I said, it doesn’t exist (yet). But rest assured, if you set up your campaigns from the ground-up and follow these 5 tips, you are more likely to give your campaigns a fighting chance. ?


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