7 Common PPC Mistakes

Paid search advertising has numerous benefits, it provides an increase in traffic, leads and ROI and best of all it does this more quickly than organic search. However, many search marketers are simply throwing money down the drain with their PPC campaigns, making obvious mistakes that could be avoided. Here are just some of the most common:

  • Not tracking conversions. Possibly the most frustrating of all, failure to install the correct tracking software means you can’t track precisely which keywords and ads are leading to conversions. Without this information it will be extremely difficult to make progression and improvements to your campaign.
  • Not focusing attention on ad text. Although some still view this area as a lower priority stage, good quality ad text can make a significant difference to your overall campaign, and most importantly, in the way your users perceive you.
  • Not testing ads. Having made improvements to your ad text, and installed the relevant tracking software, your time and efforts could be rendered useless if you don’t test ads. Google AdWords gives you the opportunity to discover which approaches are most successful, so make sure you use them! Once you have found the combinations which work best, be sure to set your ad delivery to “optimise for conversions”.
  • Not using negative keywords. Being present in the search engines for irrelevant searches can cost you significant amounts of money. Not only will your click through rates be lower, but the cost of low quality clicks on your sites will be substantially higher, and using negative keywords can prevent this from happening.
  • No variation in landing pages. Too many people rely on their home page as their landing page, but in many cases, directing your audience to a more relevant, deeper page will be more effective. Any information or offers mentioned in your ad text should be visible within your landing page.
  • Bad geographic targeting. Not enough digital marketers apply enough consideration to the region of their campaign. If you only run a local business, make sure you only target the local and surrounding area. Targeting the entire country will only waste you serious amounts of cash.
  • Expect instant ROI. Yes paid search advertising offers much quicker results than SEO, and sometimes this impact can be almost instant, but not always! Too many people venturing into the world of paid search set up campaigns for just a month and then take them down not satisfied with the results. Not only could you be missing out on success that might be just around the corner, but you have effectively just wasted a month’s worth of marketing budget.

Dean Saliba

Dean Saliba is a freelance writer, professional blogger, media enthusiast, dirty football player and huge professional wrestling fan who covers a wide range of subjects and niches including, making money online, traffic generating, pro wrestling, blog reviews, football, how-to guides, music, internet marketing and more.


  • The biggest problem on this list that I’ve run into is not using negative keywords. I’ve seen companies wasting so much money bidding on broad level keywords that can apply to all kind of irrelevant phrases. It also happens to be the easiest problem to address with just a bit of keyword research. Fixing that problem usually helps improve quality score too.

    • Maybe that means they are not very knowledgeable? I don’t know a lot about PPC but when I made my one and only venture into it I bidded for broad keywords and lost a lot of money.

  • I start my own adwords campaigns? Do I really have to outsource this to marketing firms? I am confused.. only experienced peoples should advice me.

    • my advice is to read as much about PPC campaigns as you can before you try it out, you risk losing a lot of money if you don’t do your homework first. If you really want to try it and still find it confusing then there are companies around who will do the work for you for a small fee.

  • I will be giving this a try soon. I’m currently reading up all I can on this topic. I’m a bit excited to be honest lol. I sort of know how it works in general but the money (to be lost or gained) is in the details it seems so I won’t start testing till I know everything there is to know.

    • This is a very smart idea, especially as there is a chance of you risking losing a lot of money. I would always say that this is one area you can not research enough before you dip your toe in. 🙂

  • Great post you have made me feel like an idiot for making all those mistakes in my Google Adwords PPC account lol. I need to get in and fix our account big time its not doing well enough and we can afford to pay big money with the service we offer

    • I think we all feel like that sometimes, I know I still feel like that. 😛

      Glad to know the article has inspired you to have a look at your PPC campaign. Do let us know if they help. 🙂

  • Thanks for the PPC info Dean. I think it is a great idea to link to an inner page rather then the main page for certain campaigns. Some great information for people new to PPC and experienced PPC marketers.

    – Jason

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