Running a Pay Per Click campaign can undoubtedly bring your business success, but it can also bring heartache if you do not get the basics right, as if you rush through a campaign or do not spend the time understanding how the system works then you are just on the road to wasting your marketing budget and getting nothing from it.

Google Ads can be confusing, there is no doubt about that, as there are many advertising options, settings and restrictions that if you fail to research and then get right, can end up with your business spending money but getting nothing from it. Like anything, the more you know about Google Ads and Pay Per Click, the more successful your efforts will be, which is why if you are going alone you should learn the system before you start spending or you should think about employing a PPC Management company in your local area to make sure your campaign rocks.

If you are sailing solo then we take a look at 7 guaranteed ways to lose money with PPC and Google Ads and more importantly, how to avoid them!

Using The Wrong Landing Page

The landing page or the final destination page on your website where the user clicks through to is vital, in fact, critical to get right, as one of the biggest reasons Google Ads does not convert is because the landing page is wrong or is simply not good / relevant enough. Although it is easy to blame Google Ads for the lack of sales, when you delve into the whole process more often than not it is the landing page that is to blame, as many people send visitors to the wrong page and therefore there is little chance of them converting. Make sure that you send your visitors through to the most relevant page on your site for your campaign and if you can, try to create a couple of specific landing pages so that you can run some split testing to see which convert the better. If you are sure you have all of your campaign settings spot on and yet you are still not making the sales, review your landing page and try something different, as this can really turn a campaign from failure to success once you find the perfect end point.

Incorrect Target Keywords

If you have ever set up an Google Ads campaign and used the keyword suggestions for your search terms, you will know where I am going with this one, as quite often, the keywords the system suggests you bid on are not really going to be the ones you want. It is so important that when you run a campaign you start with really targeted keywords and then expand these should the traffic levels and volumes not be high enough. Always try to plan your list of keywords before you start building your campaign, as you will then have a firm idea of what you are looking to bid on rather than rushing a whole list of keywords through because you want to get the campaign finished. By starting really tight and targeted means you will be getting the best traffic, and then, as I say, if the levels are low you can look at releasing (bit by bit) the restriction on the keywords to try to open up your search coverage.

Keywords Using Broad Match

Using broad match should generally be avoided unless you have endless amounts of time to sift through your data and add negative keywords to stop poor traffic landing on your website. The trouble with broad match is pretty much in the name, meaning that if you are bidding on a particular keyword, the system will find a wealth of searches that your keyword matches, and quite often, these couldn’t be further from the traffic that you actually want to attract. Broad Match Modifier is often a decent solution to the Broad Match issue, as it is pretty clever in terms of the results it can bring, but you still need to make sure you keep an eye on the exact search terms and then remove any keywords you do not wish to appear for by putting them in your negative list.

Forgetting Your Location Settings

If you are a local business looking for local customers, it is vital you make sure that you set your target locations accordingly, else your campaigns are going to be seen by visitors all over the world potentially and therefore it is probably going to cost you a fair whack in irrelevant spend. You can either target per location or you can target on a radius basis, but it is really important you get this right else you can end up with a load of traffic that has no chance of converting. If your business is nationwide then you still need to make sure the location targeting is set to the right country, but if you are a local business then always make sure you identify the correct areas you wish to target and then make sure your campaign settings reflect this accordingly.

Not Limiting Your Budget

It is easy to spend far more than you planned on PPC, simply because you have not restricted your budget to make sure that you do not overspend, as if there is money in the pot and enough traffic, Google Ads will spend it for you. You have to be realistic and make sure that your budget is high enough to deliver a decent amount of traffic, but at the same time, if you do not set a limit then you are just going to overspend and never really have full control over your campaign. Set a budget that you can afford and then adjust it accordingly, as if you get the campaign working and it is delivering sales, then you can increase the amount you are spending. Set a daily budget based on a month, as you need to give it a few weeks to adjust your campaign to get it working, and then review after a months’ worth of traffic to see if your campaign is delivering the results you are happy with.

Using Display Network

If you have a lot of experience with Google Ads then you will know that the Display network can indeed bring some results, but the amount of work and effort you have to put into it can often be immense to say the least. My advice would to be always go for a Search Only for your campaign, mainly because you will have more control but also because you do not have to worry about managing your display network advert placements, which as I say, do need a lot of work. The issue with advertising on the Display Network is that you often need to micro manage the placements, excluding and removing the ones that cost you money, or you have to use micro targeting that can often limit your reach.

If you stick with Search Only you have more control and as long as you have all of your other settings spot on, you know that your target audience really is the most suitable for your business and your campaign.

Giving The Wrong Message

Think of your Pay Per Click campaign as a journey that has to be consistent all the way through. So, when someone searches for “Blue Nike Trainers”, they will see your advert, which tells them what they are going to find when they click through to your site, and then your landing page will confirm what your advert has told them. If you start giving mixed or incorrect messages then you will have lost the customer, as the journey will be broken. Make sure your keywords, adverts and landing page all form the correct path for the journey, so that when a user searches for something you offer, you guide them through and they know that they will find what they want when they land on your site, which is vital to get decent conversions.

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