6 Common PPC Mistakes That Can Kill Your Campaigns

Large companies usually have experienced in-house marketing teams or agencies that run their PPC campaigns, but most smaller companies don’t have this luxury. Instead, a junior staff member or even the owner is often the one running these campaigns, without much experience or knowledge.

If that’s you, don’t worry. We’ve got you covered. Check out these 6 common PPC mistakes so that you don’t make the same ones.

1) No or Poor Tracking

If you are running PPC ads and you don’t know what’s working and what’s not working, you are dead in the water. The only way to have a truly successful PPC campaign is to kill ads that aren’t working, iterate, and place more budget on ads that are working. If you do not have proper tracking, you can’t make informed decisions, which means you can’t quantify your results, iterate, and improve performance.

Tracking is two-fold.


You need to make sure your onsite tracking is on par. The first step is installing basic Google Analytics tracking. This is the bare minimum. However, there is so much more than Google Analytics.

With other advanced analytics platforms, or deep custom installs of Google Analytics, you can track the specific behaviors that are important to your business and with some platforms, even track behavior down to an individual customer level over several visits.

It’s important to note that not all metrics are important. With these deep installs, it is easy to experience analysis paralysis and get lost in numbers that are not significant to your bottom line. Don’t get caught up in vanity metrics. Metrics only matter if they matter… so figure out which metrics are important to your specific business goals and focus on those.

Tagged Links

The other side of proper tracking is tagging links. This is what tells Google Analytics where your site traffic is coming from. Many advertising platforms will do this for you, but make sure your incoming site URLs are tagged with UTM parameters citing the source, ad, and campaign so that you can analyze your advertising and figure out what is working and what’s not working on a granular level.

Also make sure that you are tracking conversions through conversion pixels on your confirmation or success page. This feeds back conversion data like revenue back to an individual ad or campaign so that you can quantify your ROI. This is not only for ecommerce, but relates to goal tracking for any goal that you want visitors to accomplish on your site.

2) No Landing Page

Every marketing campaign needs to have an in-context landing page. Think about it. Your landing page is your opportunity to continue the conversation with your customers. It doesn’t make much sense to carefully craft ads and spend money to get them in front of your customers, only to drop them on your homepage and just hope that they fumble through the rest of your site, does it?

Of course not! You should carefully craft the rest of the conversation and experience to tell a cohesive story. Landing pages give you the ability to customize the experience for your customers based on the ad that triggers their site visit. It should have the same language and feel. It should lead the user along the conversion path. It may seem like a lot of work, but trust us, it’s worth it. Landing pages are an effective way to increase conversion for any ad or marketing campaign.

3) No Urgency

This is a common mistake that often goes overlooked. Ads with urgency work better. This is just a fact. Urgency is an important component to drive action in your target customers (especially in the digital realm because your customers can take action right then and there).

To clarify, that does not mean that you should create fake urgency. You don’t want to unnecessarily stress out your customers by slapping some arbitrary time frame on an offer. That’s just mean.

The urgency should be legitimate and genuine in order to compel someone to take action. Unfortunately this genuine urgency is not always easy to create…try to get creative in your promotions, offers, and messaging.

4) Poor Copy and Bad Images

Content is king. We’ve heard this before, but it’s true. Content, like urgency, is really important to compel someone to take action. Your copy not only needs to be well written, but also to be inspiring and motivating. And the image to match has to be at least good (if you ask us, it’s better to have no image at all than a bad image).

You are simply shooting yourself in the foot if you have a bad copy with incorrect grammar or a bad photo. It makes you seem unreliable, and makes you lose trust with your potential customers.

5) Too Broad Targeting

Once you create an ad, it’s tempting to want to get it in front of as many people as possible. But we’d caution against this. Rather than trying to hit massive audiences with a single message, it is better to get granular. Focus on a specific target segment and tailor your message as best as possible to fit that segment. And then repeat with each customer segment. If you use broad targeting you are going to waste a lot of money getting your ads in front of the wrong people and your conversion rate will plummet.

6) No Organization

Advertising platform accounts need to be organized. If you have a disorganized account with non standardized nomenclature and an inconsistent folder system, there is no way you are going to be able to accurately track your ads. You may find yourself with hundreds or thousands of ads that you can’t get insight into to see what is working and what’s not working, and you certainly won’t know where all of your budget is going and how effective it is. So make sure to think through your ad organization ahead of time and stick to your system.

Interested in connecting with an agency that can optimize your PPC campaigns? With so many PPC agencies out there, it may seem overwhelming to find the right partner. No need to make it overcomplicated. We’d love to connect and share how our team of marketing pros can make your life a whole lot easier. Get started by clicking “Get in Touch with Us” and filling out the form below.


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