Pay-Per-Click (PPC), when executed correctly, can be a great way to direct traffic to your website. PPC satisfies the needs of people searching for something in particular, search engines and those who choose to advertise online. It is a fact that people are more likely to click on a paid advertisement than not.


This piece will discuss pay-per-click Marketing and the common mistakes that marketers make time after time. Read further to boost your PPC strategy and avoid doing the same.

Pay-Per-Click Marketing

Pay-Per-Click (PPC) Marketing revolves around keywords. PPC is made up of three main areas:

  • Research: It is a must to take the time to conduct research to narrow down the keywords you will need to use. Keywords research is crucial and a must to the success of your overall campaign.
  • Grouping: By this I mean you must create specific ad groups for specific keywords to be housed under. Each ad group will contain a specific list of keywords for each to be successful.
  • Organization: PPC marketing campaigns need organization. Because so much goes into a PPC campaign, properly organizing each account, ad group and keyword will be crucial. Having organized accounts and ad groups will allow for better statistics and reporting as well as being able to properly grade the success of each campaign; thus making it easier to make educated decisions about your marketing campaign.

If you can properly do the above 3 things, your chances of keeping your costs down and increasing your conversions will be multiply many times over.

Common PPC pitfalls

Like any marketing campaign there are common mistakes to avoid, PPC is no different. In no particular order, below is a list of the most common mistakes marketers make when implementing their PPC campaign:

  1. Not Using Geo-targeting. Google and other major search engines allow you to geo-target your ads. Even though it may be a “mental” thing, people feel better about using a provider who is local.Because of this, be sure to place the particular state/city (whichever makes sense for your audience) and place one for each. An example would be replacing text in an ad for each state. You will see that because your audience recognizes their location you get a higher CTR (click-through rate) and a lower CPR.
  2. Not Being Set-up for “Exact Tracking.” You should be tracking each visitor on your PPC campaign including their exact keyword searched, campaign and ad group used. Integrating your PPC campaign with your website analytic or marketing software is the best way to do this.
  3. Not Using Keywords in Ad Copy. I can’t believe marketers still make this mistake, but they surely do or it wouldn’t have made my list. Be sure to utilize keywords you have researched in your ad copy. Integrate it in a strategic way. It will make your ad more relevant.
  4. Not optimizing for Quality Score. Many marketers ignore their quality score because they aren’t sure how Google calculates (because of ever changing algorithms) it and therefore think it isn’t something to pay attention to. They are wrong, it is important to pay attention to. Your quality score directly affects your CPC (cost per click). Lower CPC’s means a lower amount of money spent per conversion therefore optimizing for quality score has the potential to save you money per click and your overall costs per conversion.
  5. Not Maximizing Your Landing Page Experience. More than one if four Adwords accounts sends their traffic to the same landing page and one in five businesses send all traffic to their homepage (hubspot). Your landing page(s), yes I mean pages because each unique ad may need to have its own landing page. Your visitor needs to have a simple and gratifying experience when they click on your ad. Make the steps for conversion as easy as possible to maximize results.
  6. Ignoring Mobile Website Traffic. It is a fact that mobile users are more apt to convert because they are most likely looking for an immediate solution to a problem. However, because it used to be very complicated and costly to setup AdWords ads for mobile devices many advertisers chose to ignore it all together. Now with the feature called Enhanced Campaigns, you are able to easily setup Adwords ads for Mobile and Desktop. No more excuses.
  7. Not Fully Understanding the Meaning of Ad Matching. When you are setting up your Adwords campaign, you will be asked to choose keyword match types. This feature basically allows search engines to understand how aggressive or restrictive you want to be when matching advertisements to certain keywords and phrases. Not setting up this feature correctly could be very costly and waste a lot of time due to the fact that your traffic will not ideally match with your “target audience.”
  8. Not Using Long-Tail Search Phrases or Negative Keywords. When you use negative keywords you are better able to filter out traffic that doesn’t meet your ideal audience. Typically long-tailed keywords don’t bring in as much traffic but the traffic that is brought in will be more lucrative because such specific keywords and phrases will be used.
  9. Not Testing Your Advertisements. Just like any new feature or addition to your own website, your advertisements too need testing. There are many ways to test ads; try rotating them out and seeing how each performs or doing some strategic A/B testing to randomly figure out which ads are working and which ones aren’t.
  10. Only Directing Visitors to Your Homepage. One of my major pet peeves is when businesses rout all their advertisements to their homepage or the same landing page for everything. Why would you spend all the money on different and unique ads that highlight different products or features if you are only going to send all visitors to the same place? When someone clicks on an advertisement they are searching for specific information and do not want to spend the time searching for their desired information. Be sure to direct each ad to a unique landing page or at least to the specific information highlighted in your ad.

Final Thoughts

PPC advertising can be a very powerful use of your marketing dollars if done correctly. It has the means to significantly increase traffic and conversions alike. However, if these common mistakes are overlooked, it may only provide you with negative results.

“You can’t ever make the same mistake twice because the second time you make it is not a mistake, it is a choice.” – Author Unknown