You’re Doing PPC Wrong: Here’s How to Fix It

October 12, 2021
A laptop computer with a Facebook Ads account on the screen
Digital marketing has leveled the advertising playing field for many small and mid-size businesses. While traditional advertising that relied primarily on print and broadcast media proved too expensive, digital is a more affordable and effective way for small businesses to reach audiences. And one of the most cost-effective and persuasive digital marketing tools is Pay Per Click (PPC) advertising

In recent years, the popularity of PPC advertising has grown with businesses both large and small due to its major benefit: advertisers only have to pay for the number of clicks their ad receives. The second major advantage of PPC is that the ads are available on popular online platforms where contemporary audiences are most likely to be found. Placing PPC ads on search engines (Google, Bing), social media outlets (Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest), and video sharing platforms (YouTube) increases a business’s chances of engaging with its target audience. And increased engagement can lead to increased conversions and revenue.

While elements of PPC advertising are user-friendly, running a successful campaign is not as simple as placing an online ad and releasing it out into the world. Unlike traditional print advertising, PPC gives advertisers greater control over their campaigns. Advertisers can set budgets, target specific demographics, incorporate keywords that match users’ search queries, and even retarget audiences that have previously interacted with their website.

Unfortunately, many small and mid-size businesses that are currently using PPC marketing may be going about it all wrong. When businesses run a less-than-optimal PPC campaign they not only lose marketing dollars, they also miss many opportunities to reach the right audiences and drive more traffic to their website. 

Key takeaways this article will cover about improving your PPC performance:

  • Understand the reasons why common mistakes such as poor planning, irrelevant keywords, and trying to speak with all audiences negatively affect your PPC campaigns. 
  • Learn how simple fixes like setting campaign goals, choosing relevant keywords and targeting specific audiences will improve PPC performance.
  • Recognize that PPC experts can help you determine your exact goals, develop a keyword strategy, define your target audiences, decide an appropriate budget, and execute, monitor and refine your multiple PPC ad campaigns. 

PPC Mistakes and Solutions

Businesses that are new to PPC advertising are prone to make mistakes. That’s only natural. It’s new marketing territory and it takes some time to get acclimated to it. Once mistakes are recognized, action can be taken to correct these issues and improve the situation. However, it’s not easy for new PPC marketers to recognize these mistakes. When that happens, the performance and effectiveness of all current and future PPC campaigns will suffer. 

To help businesses that are new to PPC advertising run more effective campaigns, we’ve compiled a list of common PPC mistakes and their respective solutions. 

Mistake #1: Poor Planning

Any marketing campaign needs a strategy. Since PPC advertising looks simple on the surface, many businesses make the mistake of doing a minimal amount of research on the topic before launching their first campaign. This haphazard approach leads to ads that don’t reach the right audience, only reach a sliver of the target audience or, worst case scenario, don’t reach anyone at all. 

Solution #1: Set PPC Campaign Goals

Before creating a PPC campaign and releasing it into the wild world of search engines and social media platforms, advertisers should determine what goals they want to achieve with their campaign. Objectives have to move beyond simply driving traffic to a website. Goals need to be more specific. 

New businesses or websites can use their PPC campaigns to create brand awareness. Retailers,  ecommerce, and service providers may want to increase sales of a product or service. And new and existing businesses across multiple industries can employ PPC marketing to drive non-sales-based goals such as lead generation. 

Mistake #2: Poor Keyword Choices

Just like search engine optimization (SEO) marketing, PPC relies heavily on keywords to rank on search engine results pages (SERP). Many first-time PPC advertisers make the mistake of including keywords that are too generic or broad. Generic keywords (ex. shoes, plumbing, dogs) may have high search volumes but they fall short by not reaching target audiences searching for specific products or services. 

Solution #2: Choose Relevant Keywords

Instead of using generic, broad-match keywords, advertisers should include keywords that are relevant to their audiences’ search queries. Relevant keywords reach target audiences and result in higher conversion rates for PPC campaigns. 

However, finding these keywords requires some research on the advertiser’s part. Fortunately, there are quite a few free keyword research tools available. One of the best free tools is Google Ads Keyword Planner. Businesses can access this free tool by signing up for a free Google Ads account. While this tool features multiple options for conducting keyword research, one of the most user-friendly and effective ways is the “Get Results” option. From the keyword planner platform, a business simply enters their website address and selects “Get Results”. Using its knowledge base of keywords used during customer searches, the planner produces a list of relevant keyword ideas based on the website’s information and on-page content.   

Another easy and effective way to generate relevant keyword ideas is to use autosuggestions. This can be done by visiting Google, typing a few words or phrases that are relevant to a business, service, or product in the search bar, and using the results as the foundation for a keyword list. 

Mistake #3: Trying to Reach All Audiences

Inexperienced PPC advertisers often make the mistake of trying to put their ads in front of everyone who uses a search engine or social media account. The main problem with this practice is that not everyone is looking for their product or service. Someone searching for a new winter coat probably isn’t interested in suit jackets. Similarly, a person seeking a plumber in Passaic, NJ doesn’t want a website for a plumbing supply store in Dover, DE. Not only do users not appreciate information that’s irrelevant to their searches, neither does Google. And if Google determines that your ad’s audience is undefined, its performance will suffer. 

Solution #3: Target Appropriate Audiences

Using the built-in tools available in Google Ads and various social media platforms, businesses can target specific audiences for their PPC ads. Businesses can target their appropriate audiences by including relevant keywords, demographics, psychographics, and location information in their PPC ad campaigns. By targeting specific audiences, advertisers improve the overall performance of their PPC ads. 

Improve PPC Performance with a Partner

While small and midsize businesses can embark on their own PPC ad campaigns, it may benefit them to partner with an agency like Results Repeat. Our team of PPC experts will work with businesses to determine their exact goals, develop a relevant keyword strategy, define the target audiences, decide an appropriate budget, and execute and monitor multiple PPC ad campaigns. By expertly managing these PPC ads, business owners are free to concentrate on their day-to-day operations. 

If you’re a marketing director or business owner who is interested in utilizing paid advertising to build brand awareness, generate leads, and increase sales, Result Repeat’s PPC team is ready to make those goals achievable. Contact our team of PPC experts today for more information!

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