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Launching PPC Campaigns: 3 Mistakes to Dodge from the Start

Antonella Saravia

3 weeks ago

Every single day, there are 3.5 billion searches. With a 75% market share, Google has established itself as the world's dominant search engine. 

Not surprisingly, 40 to 50% of all Google searches end in an ad click.

Pay-per-click campaigns can connect you to qualified leads, boost brand awareness, and maximize ROI. Businesses investing in PPC can leverage this highly effective and measurable digital marketing strategy to achieve multiple objectives. 

However, minor mistakes can result in wasted dollars and missed opportunities, which we hope to address today. 

Whether you are investing in PPC in-house or outsourcing, run through some of these common PPC mistakes with your team. Consider it a best-practice exercise. 

If you feel overwhelmed by the end of our session, we’ve got a solution that can address all your PPC concerns.


Mistake 1: Overlooking Negative Keywords

Building your keyword list is essential and is one of the more common steps in preparing a campaign. However, we often receive new clients who come to us with previous setups missing one essential element—negative keywords. 

What are negative keywords?

Negative keywords exclude search terms in your campaigns. This filtering allows you to focus on the terms that matter to your customers and can position your ad in front of interested users, increasing your return on investment (ROI).

Types of negative keywords

You’ll want to identify search terms that aren’t intended for your product or service. This small exercise will weed out customers who have no intention of looking at your products. 

For example, if you are an athleisure brand, you’ll want to exclude terms like “button-down shirts” or “blouses.”

To understand the different ways to do this, here are some types of negative keywords you can consider using:

Negative broad match: Your ad will appear if the search contains all your negative keyword terms, even in a different order. Your ad may show if the search includes only some of your keyword terms. Keep in mind that this one is a default type. 

Negative phrase match: Your ads won’t show if the query used the exact keyword terms in the same order. 

Negative exact match: Your ad won't show if the search contains the selected keyword terms in the same order, without extra words. However, it'll show if the search includes the keyword terms with additional words.

The benefits of negative keywords

Using negative keywords allows for a more poignant ad performance by showing ads to people looking for your product or service. This feature will enable you to exclude irrelevant words and low-intent searches, reducing the cost per click and increasing the return on ad spend. 

Negative keywords can also segment your audience and create more personalized and compelling ads.


Mistake 2: Ignoring Conversion Tracking

Conversion tracking shows advertisers what happens after a customer interacts with an ad. Tracking informs you whether they purchased a product, signed up for your newsletter, called your business, or downloaded your app.

What actions can I track with conversion tracking?

A conversion is an action that the advertiser has deemed valuable. You can track the following actions:

Website actions:

Website actions: Purchases, sign-ups, and other actions that customers complete on your website.

Phone calls: These are calls made directly from your ads, calls to a phone number on your website, and clicks on a phone number on your mobile website. 

App installs and in-app actions: These include installing your Android or iOS mobile apps and making purchases or other activities within those apps. 

Import: Customer activity that begins online but finishes offline. An example is when a customer clicks on an ad, submits a contact form online, and later signs a contract in your office. 

Local actions: This action refers to when people interact with an ad specific to a physical location or store. 

What insights can you draw from conversion tracking?

Conversion tracking can help advertisers define a variety of elements in their campaigns, such as: 

  • Determine which keywords, ads, ad groups, and campaigns drive valuable customer activity.
  • Understand your return on investment (ROI) and make better-informed decisions about your ad spend.
  • Use Smart Bidding strategies to optimize your campaigns according to your business goals.
  • Compare customer interactions across devices. Learn more about cross-device, cross-browser, and other conversion data in the “All conversions” reporting column.

Mistake 3: Bad Landing Page

In PPC advertising, the landing page is the website a user directs to after clicking an ad. Newcomers to PPC might not connect, but the landing page is significant to the buyer’s journey. 

Yes, someone clicked on your ad, but where are you taking them next? The goal is to get them to take a conversion action. A well-designed landing page continues the conversation with the user. It ensures that “step 2” aligns with the ad messaging in “step 1,” making them more likely to purchase or fill out a form.

If the experience is poor, it has a domino effect of consequences. Users jump off, lowering quality scores, ad ranks, and higher costs. 

Why are landing pages important in PPC?

Here are a few ways that landing pages contribute to your PPC campaigns:

It’s a clear path to conversion: The purpose of a landing page is to guide the user to the desired conversion. Let’s say your ad promotes the newest Sun UV Fishing shirts, and you direct the user to a general page for fishing gear. There is always a chance that the user will have trouble finding what they are looking for, making them less likely to take action. Precise alignment from the ad to the content on the landing pages ensures direct relevance, minimizing user experience frustration. 

Bad design can turn off a user. Nothing is more satisfactory to a potential customer than a good experience. Whether it’s a lovely shop or a user-friendly website, if the experience is enjoyable, you're building good rapport. A good relationship can reduce bounce rates and increase the time spent on a page. Both contribute to quality scores, and Google Ads uses this metric to determine ad ranking and costs per click.

Drawing insights for continuous improvement: Tools like Google Analytics allow you to track performance and identify when or where a user loses interest or builds momentum. It’d be a shame to overlook these features as they will enable you to optimize your PPC campaigns with data. Optimizing digital campaigns is a long game that requires monitoring and testing to identify what works best for you and your customers. 


Mistake 4: And Last, But Not Least… Not Following the Industry

PPC is a compelling marketing strategy; however, it requires your attention. Google keeps changing the way an ad shows on the search results page. Often, we see strategists who have set up campaigns and let them run without accounting for improvements or industry changes. 

If you’re eager to start this one, jump on White Shark Media’s YouTube channel for industry updates and guides. Our team has created endless videos on PPC management, selling PPC, and tips for growing your digital marketing agency’s network. 

Unlike many other industries, PPC is ever-evolving. Following along and keeping interest is one of the essential aspects of PPC, but it is also a common slip-up for PPC beginners. 


A Solution for All of Your PPC Concerns

For many, navigating the intricate landscape of PPC advertising may seem daunting, but to those, we often suggest leaning on white-label experts to do the work for them. 

Understanding and avoiding the mistakes we’ve mentioned are essential to thriving in the PPC campaigns you manage for your clients.

To learn more about white-label PPC services, contact White Shark Media for a free consultation on your campaigns.