Paid Advertising Pitfalls To Avoid for a Good ROI

It’s always a good idea to supplement your organic digital marketing efforts with an effective paid campaign. Paid ads can help push more leads down the sales funnel and bring specific sets of high-converting audiences to your online platform.

If used right, online advertising has immense potential to deliver your brand’s message effectively to the correct audience. In addition, your paid campaigns can familiarize your audience with your offerings and improve the outcomes of your search engine optimization (SEO) efforts in the future. The idea is that a paid marketing campaign quickly puts your business in front of unsuspecting target audience members.

The part that sets paid campaigns apart from organic ones is the time difference between the start of the campaign and noticing visible results. A pay-per-click (PPC) campaign takes less time to deliver results than a carefully crafted SEO strategy. That said, paid campaigns are not guaranteed to increase your business’s conversions. It all depends on how you approach them.

It’s an art to get a PPC campaign right, and there are various mistakes you can make to decrease the chances of getting the ideal return on investment.

Want to learn more about mistakes that derail the results of PPC campaigns?

This article takes a look at 15 mistakes that can spoil your ambition to use PPC as a medium to maintain a steady flow of visitors to your website. It will also cover how to avoid these mistakes or fix them, and help increase your return on investment (ROI) for every cent you spend on paid ads. So without further ado, let’s begin.

15 PPC Mistakes You Should Avoid

1. Relying Exclusively on a Single Ad Platform

One of the biggest mistakes you might make while getting started with your paid advertising journey is relying on a singular ad platform. Of course, it could be Google AdWords or Facebook, as these are the most popular ones out there.

While it is advisable to start with one of these, limiting yourself to these may reduce your ROI in the long run. For instance, Facebook allows you to target an audience based on their demographics and interests. On the other hand, AdWords focuses on choosing particular keywords that people use to search on Google.

Your business might require you to branch out to other online advertising platforms based on its goals and target audience. There are various options, such as Reddit and LinkedIn, where you can target more specific sets of audiences.

You can also place ads directly on websites your target audience visits frequently.

The Fix:

  • Run your ad campaigns on multiple platforms and manage your ad budget strategically.
  • Carefully identify the platforms that align with your goals and help you reach out to more members of your target audience.
  • Don’t shy away from placing ads on specific websites if you think you can get better results.

2. Ignoring the Need for Specific Landing Pages

You reduce your PPC campaign’s effectiveness when you don’t create dedicated landing pages. While your homepage might seem like an ideal page to bring people who click on your ads, it can lead to missing out on your campaign’s full potential. The homepage requires visitors to navigate your website to find the information that interests them.

It can be off-putting for many of them to make an effort because of diminishing attention spans and scarcity of time. In such a scenario, users might leave your website without clicking a call-to-action button.

The Fix:

  • Always make it a point to create specific landing pages.
  • The idea behind a landing page is to ensure conversions, which is also the end goal of a PPC campaign.
  • Each landing page should provide people who click on an ad with the information that is relevant to them and propels them to take action.
  • A landing page should be coherent with your ad copy.

3. Missing Out on Tracking Results and Analyzing Ad Metrics

You can do everything right, from choosing the correct ad copy to making the right bid, but your lack of analysis of ad results and metrics can nullify everything. When you ignore the ad metrics and don’t track the results of your ongoing campaigns, you fail to maximize your ROI. It can be challenging to track the results of your campaigns if you don’t know the right way to approach them. 

The Fix:

  • First, you must decide the key performance indicators(KPIs) for your campaigns. Once you do that, you can set these metrics as the benchmarks for your daily, weekly and monthly tracking work.
  • Next, you need to choose the right tracking system to analyze these KPIs. For instance, you can use Google Analytics to track your ad campaigns running on AdWords.
  • Then, when you track the conversion metrics, you can focus on the areas where your PPC ads might be facing an issue with conversions.

You can choose from a wide variety of online PPC advertising tools to aid the tracking process of your ad campaigns. 

4. Not Paying Attention to A/B Testing of Landing Pages

You can create multiple specific landing pages to drive more conversions through your PPC campaigns. We have already mentioned the importance of a landing page in improving conversion chances. But not all landing pages prove effective in the real world. You can dedicate enough time and creative effort to creating your landing pages, but if you don’t perform A/B testing, you can’t know if they work. 

The Fix:

  • Always run A/B testing on your landing pages.
  • You can choose different elements of your landing page to conduct your test, but we advise that you focus on one of them at a time.
  • Note that A/B testing will take some time to give accurate results. Therefore, you need to give it the metaphorical breathing space it requires to provide you with actionable insights. 

5. Not Adding Negative Keywords to the Ad Copy

When you use Google Adwords for your campaigns, you work with keywords. As a result, Google’s algorithms may match your PPC campaigns with keywords that might be irrelevant to your offerings. These matches aren’t a mistake but a result of the hyper-efficiency of the algorithms in triggering keywords. 

For instance, Google displays ads for searches that include “cheap” and “free” by default. In such a case, your ad that might require the person who clicks on the ad link to buy a subscription or a product for conversion will attract unwanted clicks. 

The Fix:

  • If you add negative keywords to your ad campaigns, you can prevent this from happening.
  • You can check your Search Terms Report to identify the keywords you want to omit from your ad.
  • Once identified, you can set these keywords as negative and prevent your ads from being shown to anyone using them in their queries. 

6. Adopting a Strategy That Doesn’t Sync With Your Budget

You should always work according to your ad budget. When you become over-ambitious with a limited budget, you end up adopting a paid campaign strategy that can’t be fulfilled in the long run. You end up choosing multiple ad platforms to run your ads while you could’ve just stretched the functionality of a few to achieve the best results.

The Fix:

  • Analyze your budget carefully to begin with. You can bet on the standard ad platforms such as AdWords and Facebook only if you have a fixed small budget. Instead, you can bet on keywords that attract comparatively less competition.
  • Similarly, on Facebook, you can select the audience to maximize the output of your money.
  • On the other hand, if you have a considerable budget to spend on your PPC campaigns, you can branch out to other websites and platforms to place your ads. You can even bet on keywords that attract the maximum competition.

7. Ignoring the Implementation of Retargeting

Retargeting, or remarketing, is the practice of showing ads to users who have already shown interest in a product or company. It reminds these users to follow through and take action on your landing page, which they bounced off from earlier.

Retargeting works through cookies that get saved on the user’s device when they initially visit your landing page after clicking on an ad. It is also a cheaper option than running new ad campaigns.

Retargeting is especially relevant for ads that require the user to purchase something. Ads rarely lead to buying decisions in the first go. So, if you ignore the implementation of retargeting, you stand to lose out on urging interested users to go down the conversion funnel.

The Fix:

  • Make retargeting an essential part of your paid ad campaigns to save money and drive more conversions.
  • Retargeting ad copies should contain messages that remind users about their interest in your business in the first place.
  • The end goal of these ads should be to convert more and more previously interested users.

8. Adopting a Bidding Strategy That Doesn’t Align With Your Goals

You must avoid adopting a bidding strategy that doesn’t align with your goals. There are quite a few of these strategies to choose from. Some of the bidding strategies for Google Ads are as follows: 

Maximize Conversions (no CPA target)

When this strategy is used, it aims to guarantee the maximum number of conversions possible. Since there is no CPA(cost per action) target, it tries to use the entire ad budget you set for it. 

Maximize Conversions with a CPA target

When you use this strategy, it aims to guarantee maximum conversions within the CPA target you set.

Target Impression Share 

If you want to maximize your visibility, choosing this bidding strategy is your best bet. It focuses more on increasing visibility than affecting other metrics. 

Maximize Value

It is a bidding strategy that closely resembles Maximize Conversions without a target CPA. It aims to drive maximum conversion value as it tries to meet the ad budget. The only difference is the fact that it seeks to drive conversion value, which is a qualitative factor. 

Maximize Clicks

As the name suggests, this strategy aims to bring maximum traffic to landing pages. The conversion of the incoming traffic, though, is not guaranteed.

It’s important to identify your clear PPC goals and then choose from the set of these and other bidding strategies. Each bidding strategy aims to achieve a different purpose. Therefore, before adopting a bidding strategy for your ads, you must know your needs.

9. Not Customizing Ad Copies and Relying on the Same Ones

You might save time by relying on the same ad copy for your various ad campaigns, but it may hurt your ROI. Customized ad copy can be more appealing and attract more users to click on your ads.

The idea is to create ad copy that’s relevant to the target audience. Doing so requires time and effort, but it eventually ends up being highly rewarding. You can improve your click-through rates by devoting time to creating unique ad copy.

You can also get an edge over your competitors’ ads by studying their ad copy and making yours better.

The Fix:

  • Never make the mistake of using the same ad copy for all your ads.
  • Take some time out to brainstorm and create different sets of ad copy for a campaign.
  • Copy should be unique and appeal to different sets of your target audience.

10. Compromising on the Quality of the Creative

The ad copy and the image of an ad comprise its creativity. Compromising on the quality of the creative is one of the biggest blunders to make. If your ad copy doesn’t look fresh, appealing, clean and professional, your target audience won’t bother clicking on your ads.

The Fix:

  • Your ad copy should reflect your brand’s image, offerings and overall identity.
  • It should contain images relevant to your offerings or ones that urge prospective clients to click on your ads.
  • In case you opt for unrelated images, they should aim to capture the audience’s attention. 

You should use appealing and vibrant images to create a sudden and lasting impact in the minds of your audience. Choose a balanced color scheme. Try not to be too radical, as it may take away from the professionalism of your ad copy. 

Hire a professional to work their magic on the design of your ad copy, from the images, alignment and every other visual aspect. As far as the copy goes, you should use catchy text that invites the user to click on the ad. 

Since you cannot use too many words, you need to ensure that every word of your copy counts. Use relevant keywords in your copy, and never forget to include a call to action.

11. Mismatching Keywords With Your Objectives

You should always avoid bidding on general keywords. When you bid for general keywords, your ad may be displayed to an audience looking for something entirely different.

For example, if you want to sell Off-White Sneakers, your bidding strategy should aim to target keywords such as “Best Off-White Sneakers,” “White Sneakers,” “Sneakers,” and the like. If you instead bet on general keywords such as “Shoes,” “Footwear,” etc., your ads will show to a wider audience that might not be interested in your specific product.

You can say that the latter keywords may still be relevant to your product category. But they don’t contain more specific details of what the user might expect with their search queries.

The Fix:

  • Think from the perspective of your target audience and make a list of relevant keywords before you bid.
  • You can include long-tail and short-tail keywords based on their relevance to your audience.

12. Not Using Bid Modifiers Correctly

If you fail to use bid modifiers correctly, you can reduce the effectiveness of your ad campaign and render it useless in the real world. Some common issues that may arise due to bid-modifier misuse are: 

 You need to consider that bid modifiers work differently for manual and automated bidding. Therefore, your adjustments to the bid strategy can impact the effectiveness of the bid modifiers.

The Fix:

You should verify the functionality of various bid modifiers with your bidding strategy (automated or manual).

 When you adjust multiple bud modifiers for the same auction, you increase the risk of compounding. Bid modifiers tend to compound when used simultaneously. The problem is that they compound against each other. 

The Fix:

Always avoid making bid modifier changes across different categories of the same auction at a given time.

 Bid modifiers lose their effectiveness when you adjust multiple segments of a campaign at a single time. It happens because, in the case of multiple simultaneous adjustments to various segments, there is no control segment to steer everything. 

The Fix:

Adjust bids instead of bid modifiers if you want to make changes to multiple segments at the same time.

13. Falling Prey To Click Fraud

Click fraud is something that has been an ugly part of online advertising since its initial days. However, you cannot afford to ignore this issue and leave your ad campaigns unprotected from its effects.

Click fraud may result from the ill intentions of your competitors or inconsiderate users. Unfortunately, there is no way to pull a complete plug on this practice, but you can limit its prevalence.

According to some fraud statistics, one in every five clicks on your ads is a result of click fraud today. The worst part is that these fraud clicks often go undetected and unnoticed.

The Fix:

  • You can choose from a range of online tools that protect your ad campaigns from click fraud.
  • Simply search for these tools on the web and compare their features to find the best fit. But make it a point to do something about click fraud.
  • Don’t let it plague your ads unchecked; save your ad spend.

14. Working With the Default Settings on Search Engines

Changing the default settings on search engines where you run your ads might seem like a hassle. But these settings may prove counterproductive or negatively affect your ad campaigns’ objectives in some cases.

For example, the default keyword match type is set to broad-match keywords. But you should know that this type is not as effective and can be replaced with alternatives that perform better.

The Fix:

  • Always review the default settings on search engines and make the required changes as soon as you launch your ad campaign.
  • Take stock of various setting parameters and change them based on your goals to maximize the output in terms of the ROI.

15. Missing Out on Location Targeting

If you are going to run your ads as a local business, you cannot afford to miss out on location targeting. If your ads don’t appear for your local audience, your ad campaign will never drive the results you might hope for. 

Even if you are not a local business, you will also lose out on conversions if you fail to target various specific locations where a significant chunk of your target audience might be present.  

The Fix:

  • You must use location targeting to specify where your ads should be visible to users. Make it a point to specify those locations where your business is present. Personalize your ad campaigns based on the location of your users, and you can expect to drive more tangible results for your PPC campaigns. 

Conclusion

Paid advertising can work wonders in collaboration with your SEO efforts and help drive more conversions if done right. However, you should be aware of various pitfalls to avoid diminishing your probable ROI. You can take a cue from this article and work in the right direction to ensure that your ad campaigns are free from the mistakes we have mentioned.

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