Black Lab Digital

Seven most common PPC mistakes

After media spend has been
estimated the build and management of the PPC account needs to be taken into consideration. This can be tackled on your own but it’s important to avoid basic setup mistakes. Here are the 7 most common we have come across regularly:

1. Using only broad match keywords

Broad Match is the loosest keyword match type which allows your ads to appear in searches for relevant variations of your keyword.

Using this match type, Google decides when to show your ads based on the keyword you have chosen but will include related search terms which could be irrelevant for your business.

For example bidding on the keyword “Used Cars” on Broad Match could result in your ad appearing for “New Cars” – which is potentially not relevant if you do not sell new cars.

2. Not setting up geographical targeting

Geographical targeting can determine the locations in which users can see your ads and the locations that they have shown interest in.

We have encountered many accounts with geographical targeting that is set to all locations even if the area that the business serves doesn’t cover this breadth of geographical location.

By specifying the geographical locations that your business serves you can ensure budget isn’t being wasted on targeting users outside of those locations.

3. Not turning on auto-tagging

Auto-tagging is a feature which adds information to the link in your ad in order to provide Google Analytics with information such as which keyword triggered a visit to your website. This is an easy setting to miss. There are some cases where you may not want to have auto-tagging turned on. For example, when using manual tracking URLs. However, more often than not this setting is missed altogether and when it is turned off it won’t be possible to identify the traffic you have driven to your website in Google Analytics as being from Google Ads. Turning it on provides the ability to track enquiries or sales back to specific campaigns and keywords.

4. Not linking to relevant landing pages

To ensure users have the best experience and to drive enquiries it is important to direct them to a relevant landing page. For example, if the ads are targeting users looking for children’s wooden toys, ensure they land on a page featuring children’s wooden toys and not the homepage which features the full range of products your store sells.

5. Having no negative keywords

Negative keywords are used for refining the quality of the traffic being driven to your website. Over time we have built a bank of negative keywords which we apply to campaigns. Once the campaigns are active it is important to monitor the search query reports to ensure the keywords you are bidding on are driving the expected traffic. Apply negative keywords to ensure the variants which are not relevant to the business are excluded. Having no negative keywords can result in budget being wasted on terms that are not relevant to the business.

6. Incorrectly setting daily budgets

This may sound like an obvious mistake. However, we have seen daily budgets set to much higher amounts than the client wants to spend. This can be a problem particularly if keywords are being added to an account which may attract more searches. This triggers a sudden increase in spend as the account suddenly spends up to the daily budget.

7. Claims made in the ad copy which don’t feature on the landing page

It is really important when mentioning specific USPs or sales in ad copy to ensure this information is communicated throughout the journey. For example, when the user lands
on the website it is important that the same USP information is represented on the landing page. If you ran a 20% off promotion for new customers but when they reached the landing page there was no mention of the offer, that click could be wasted if the user leaves and looks for other businesses to shop with.

There’s no silver bullet with PPC, it takes time and data to optimise an account. Whilst with experience you can accelerate this process, you will find every account is different and is impacted by a variety of external factors some you have no control over.

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