5 Common Mistakes in PPC Advertising Campaigns

What do all marketers using PPC (pay-per-click) have in common? That is, everyone is human. And, like all humans, PPC Advertising Campaign marketers make mistakes.

The most common mistakes in PPC campaigns are easy to fix. If you are a little more problematic and spend more time and effort, you will move to an optimal strategy that focuses on ROI (return on investment) rather than CPA (advertising cost per conversion).

You will get more desirable results. By changing the approach to your overall PPC marketing efforts, you can fine-tune the process of reaching conversions to get higher quality conversions.

PPC marketers are, after all, humans. However, if you avoid common mistakes in running campaigns, you can do your job like a PPC-only machine that handles a large amount of computation. If you want to know if your PPC skills are at a passing level, take the short quiz below.

Immediately, let’s tighten our mind and start work. Here are five of the most common mistakes in a campaign and how to turn them into strengths.

If the PPC Advertising Campaigns Marketing is too Rough

One of the common PPC marketing mistakes is that the remarketing list is too rough and not properly segmented.

For example, remarketing with branded ads to all users who have visited your website in the last 20 days is too crude and has no real effect on increasing CVR (conversion rate).

If your site visitors read certain articles on your site, you should focus on adding value to those readers in your retargeting campaign.

For example, consider a company that provides catering services for corporate events and private events.

Site visitors who have viewed an article on the company’s blog page titled “How to Plan a Corporate Event” for more than 20 seconds are interested in corporate services.

Therefore, it is necessary to display ads that are specific to business events, rather than retargeting with general ads.

Solution: Don’t overemphasize the size of your target audience. The audience list should be categorized into at least three or four segments, and value propositions specific to each segment should be offered.

If you are Optimizing Hard Conversions Instead of Soft Conversions

One of the biggest challenges for PPC marketers is the marketing funnel (the process leading up to conversion) in an advertising campaign when there is not enough traffic or budget to achieve sufficient conversions.

It will be how to optimize the action at the most downstream (for example, the purchase stage).

But that’s not the case, and you should optimize soft conversions or mid-to-upstream actions in your marketing funnel.

That way, you can collect enough data to develop behavioural forecasts, determine which prospects are likely to go downstream of the funnel, and develop the right strategy.

Let’s say your target conversion is to generate a lead for a demo session with your sales representative. The challenge is how to measure final conversions.

One way is to optimize your landing page to achieve a particular outcome. In other words, it’s optimized for users who have high engagement behaviors (form filling, watching videos, high scroll rates, long-term site browsing, etc.).

Such “softer” conversions give more room to implement the algorithm on the platform. It can then reach highly conscious users and guide these good customers downstream of the funnel.

Solution: Optimize your campaign by tracking the processes leading to soft conversions. Behavioural data can then be used to drive hard conversions.

If you overlook the value of conversions that complete over time

For example, suppose you run an advertising campaign for two weeks and your CVR (conversion rate) is very low.

In this case, you’ll probably end the campaign and treat it as a failure. However, not all conversions are completed during or immediately after the campaign.

For example, let’s say you’re running a car insurance renewal campaign that offers you the benefit of “click to download a $ 50 discount coupon!”

The customer may have downloaded the coupon, but used it two months later, when the insurance expired.

The final conversion in this case would have been achieved two months after the campaign was launched.

Depending on the type of conversion you are targeting, there may be a time lag between the user engagement and conversion process.

It’s a common mistake in PPC advertising campaigns to measure only immediate results and end the campaign prematurely, without considering late-completion conversions.

Solution: Keep in mind the value of conversions that complete in time. It’s important to look at conversions from a broader perspective and analyze your data.

You can also test different attribution models, such as switching your Google Analytics settings from measuring clicks just before conversion to measuring first clicks.

If You are not Looking at a Wide Field of View

PPC marketers run campaigns on a variety of platforms. They may have separate departments dedicated to social marketing and SEM (search engine marketing), or they may collaborate with multiple agencies responsible for each channel of PPC marketing activities.

In any case, you’re likely analyzing each campaign and each platform separately. 

There is no single tracking feature that covers all channels, and it’s impossible to know where it happened for every impression view. 

Each PPC platform is an independent ecosystem. But in a PPC campaign, you need to think more broadly about how each channel influences each other.

For example, suppose your CTR (click-through rate) is low during an Instagram campaign. However, the impact on Google’s ongoing brand campaign at this time should not be underestimated. 

The user may not have clicked on the link on Instagram. However, it’s possible that they clicked on Google’s search ads because they saw ads posted on Instagram in the last few days.

Another example is the automatic video playback. Users may watch a video for only a few seconds and not convert. Still, the impact of video on brand awareness is significant. 

Video impressions are much more effective than banner ad impressions. 

PPC advertising is becoming more video-centric, making it even more difficult to measure the actual value of impressions.

Solution: The cross-channel effect of the campaign should not be underestimated. Campaigns for each channel need to be optimized individually but should be considered more broadly. 

For example, you need to measure video impressions in detail and observe how they affect campaigns on other channels. 

Besides, native ads (advertorials that naturally blend articles and ads) should be added to cross-channel measures to improve the overall ROI of PPC campaigns.

If you don’t manage the exclusion list properly
If you’re a PPC marketer, you know the importance of exclusion lists. By leveraging the exclusion list, you can focus on acquiring new customers rather than targeting existing customers.

The challenge for PPC marketers is to move from cookie-based user exclusion list creation to a more dynamic data-based exclusion list strategy.

B2B industry PPC marketers need to exclude employees of certain clients whose sales departments have already completed contracts from their retargeting list.

For LinkedIn, it’s easy to exclude employees from a particular company from the list by modifying existing targeting or uploading an ABM (Account-Based Marketing) exclusion list to the LinkedIn platform.

But on other platforms, it’s not that simple. But there is a way. For example, you can create an IP-based exclusion list and upload it to Google Search Ads or Display Advertising campaigns to exclude employees from companies that are already clients.

Let’s say you run an e-commerce store in the B2C industry. Each time a product is purchased, it adds the buyer as an existing customer to the database and owns customer data such as name, phone number, and email address.

These data are also available on Facebook and now on Google’s exclusion list. For spot purchases (for example, annual subscriptions), create an exclusion list of purchased customers.

That way, purchased customers can be retargeted with different products and services. On the other hand, the campaign can be focused on acquiring new customers.

Solution: In this era, every operator is acquiring a large amount of user data. Along with cookies, you should leverage data-based exclusion lists to create more effective customer acquisition strategies.

For example, even marketers who are familiar with PPC should be aware that PPC is constantly changing and new trends and tools are emerging. The most common traps for PPC and performance marketing should be avoided by following the guidelines above.

Summary: Five Common Mistakes in PPC Campaigns
• The remarketing list is too crude. Classify your audience list into at least three segments and make individual value propositions for each segment.
• Optimizing soft conversions is more effective than optimizing hard conversions. Then focus on getting higher quality leads downstream of the purchasing funnel.
• It is also necessary to count the conversions that are completed overtime after the campaign is implemented. Take a bigger view of conversions and test your data.
• Campaigns should be optimized individually for each channel but should be considered more broadly.
• Leverage customer data to create dynamic data-based lists in addition to cookie-based exclusion lists.