6 Common PPC Mistakes to Avoid

May 7, 2018 Caitlin McElwain

Pay-per-click (PPC) advertising lets you feature your ad on search engines such as Google, making your business extremely visible to people searching for your products and services. While PPC is an efficient and effective way to advertise, it can become expensive if not set properly. In this article, you’ll learn how these ads work and some of the common mistakes people make in their campaigns.

How does PPC work?

In a PPC campaign, you create ads that are displayed on the Search Engine Results Pages (SERP) of Google and other search engines and you pay only when people click on your ads. If you run a PPC ad for your cake and pastry shop in Halifax and someone searches for those keywords (cake, pastry, shop, Halifax) on Google, your ad will appear at the top—above the organic (unpaid) results.

Pay-per-click ads are sold in an auction, so you decide what it’s worth to you to get someone to come to your website. Then you bid an amount for a specific search term, and that amount is the maximum you will pay when people click on your ad.

What are the common mistakes?

Below are some common mistakes people make with their PPC campaigns. Avoid these mistakes to drive quality traffic to your site instead.

1. Fighting for the #1 spot

Trying to be number one on any search engine isn’t always the best strategy. Sure, it’ll increase the percentage of people that click on your ad, but you’ll pay more for these clicks. Instead, reduce your bids to obtain a better return on investment. This is particularly true for highly competitive industry. 

2. Not having a relevant landing page for your ad

When people click on your ad, they need to find what they’re looking for right away, otherwise they may get frustrated and leave. Build a separate landing page specific to each ad you create to increase your conversion/sale rate. .

3. Not using geographic targeting

This feature allows you to target your ads to users in your area, helping you to avoid wasted spend. It’s particularly important for local businesses, because you will only target the locations that offer maximum ROI.

4. Targeting too broadly

Broad match keywords are important for any PPC campaign, but be careful not to reach too far. If you sell women’s red shoes and only women’s red shoes, bidding on broad keywords like shoes or boots would be pointless. Make sure your keywords are relevant to your business and accurately reflect what you sell.

5. Missing calls to action

Every ad should include a clear call to action—like “Buy Now”—encouraging users to complete the action you want them to take. Don’t underestimate the power of your CTA— the right one could mean the difference between browsing and buying.

6. Sending the wrong message

Always create ads that are specific to the keywords you selected. Not only will your ad be more relevant, but the keywords will be bolded for more appeal. 

More on pay-per-click

We’ve covered some common PPC mistakes, but there’s even more you should be aware of. If you are planning to create a PPC ad, be sure to download our full guide and learn how to make the most of your campaign.

TIP: Starting PPC advertising requires mastering some pretty technical stuff. Our specialists at Yellow Pages can help set up and monitor your campaign. Click here and learn more.

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