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Top 7 Costly PPC Blunders (and How to Stop them Happen!)

When it comes to PPC (pay-per-click) campaigns or CPC marketing, every click counts… yes, literally. This is because those clicks are necessary to boost your revenue and take your business to the next level. Without getting such an important user activity, you’d lose those clients and create a poor reputation for your capacity to deliver.

Clearly, you don’t want this to happen. However, you’d be surprised by the number of PPC marketers who make mistakes in the process of setting up their clients’ strategies for gaining new business and traffic, so you can imagine how many times we’ve been asked to list our favorite PPC blunders.

Even the most experienced marketers make mistakes, because no matter how hard we try, we’re all human and therefore capable of (common) human error. That’s why, by knowing the downsides to avoid, you’ll set yourself up for success and keep your clients happy.

In the ever-changing PPC world – with all those shiny new bells and whistles to explore – half the battle it’s to know what to elude. Take a look at the biggest PPC mistakes, along with some tips on how to avoid them for successful campaigns.

Two types of PPC Blunders

There are two categories which the mistakes we’ve listed below could fall into:

  • Accidents
  • Misapplication of best practices

Generally, accidents are the result of human or occasionally technological error, and the second category corresponds to some of the best practice “mistakes” we’ve included in our list.

Most common PPC Blunders

All people run PPC campaigns differently, whether we compare agency-level best practices or individual account management techniques, but we believe avoiding the mistakes we’ve listed here will benefit the overall shape of your campaigns.

Blunder #1

Not having a Strategic Plan

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Operating without a clear and precise understanding of the goals for a PPC campaign, as well as ignoring the plan to achieve them, is one of the most common PPC blunders that you’re likely to make (at least without our help). If you don’t find a way to fix it, this error will cost you valuable time and money in the long term.

How to avoid it?

If you don’t know who the offer is geared toward, or how to reach more viewers/consumers, you’ll find it challenging to even write ad text. What’s more, it’ll be difficult for you to build landing pages that encourage the target audience to take the desired action.

So before you start creating your ads, come up with conversion funnels. Also, make sure they work properly and look back and see the overall picture.


A good PPC marketing campaign starts with clear goals and a solid strategy to achieve them, for which it’s crucial defining as well as understanding the audience.

General tip to define the right target audience

Just ask yourself

  • What’s the age group of the people I’m looking to reach?
  • What are their specific interests?
  • What’s their demographic profile?

By targeting an accurate direction you’ll be able to push your ad to the audience that’s more likely to click and convert.

Blunder #2

Deciding on the Wrong Metrics

Just like targeting the right audience for your ad, you should use those metrics that could produce money for you. At the end of the day remember that you are trying to grab your target market’s attention, so if you can’t do that through your metrics you’re missing out with valuable ads.

How to avoid it?

Although not all conversions are the same, the general rule should always be to optimize against sales as well as tracking back to placements that actually make you money. Measuring the value that’s closest to the money is very important, so focus on identifying the people who haves it and understanding their behavior/motivation. Then, optimize to reach more of them. This will guarantee you have better rankings and less cost per clicks.

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Blunder #3

Use of Broad Match

Unless your budget is really high DO NOT USE BROAD MATCH if you’re targeting any high competition/volume keywords. When taking over new accounts, it’s consistently the biggest cause of wasted money and irrelevant traffic as it doesn’t provide you with enough information about the user’s intention to serve them the most appropriate ad.

For example, if you deal with computers, don’t bid on “computers” as a broad match keyword. This will cost you a lot of money in a limited time-frame without guaranteeing any reasonable number of conversions.

Blunder #4

Not Testing Conversion Funnel

The best way to know whether a PPC campaign would work or not, is to start out by testing conversions and checking analytics before executing it. No matter what type of campaign you’ll run, you should always test your conversion funnel beforehand.

This will enable you to avoid wasting money on a campaign that will send you users who won’t consume. Unfortunately, quality assurance is often ignored, due to the desire of many advertisers to get something live as soon as possible.

How to avoid it?

In order for you to make sure you’re running an effective PPC campaign, do the following:

  • Perform a user test
  • Perform a heuristic site analysis
  • Conduct a health check of Google Analytics

Blunder #5

Focus on the wrong keywords

Using the wrong keywords is the mistake that PPC marketers often make. You need to use the right keywords that accurately describe your audience and their interests. Remember that your main task is to get their attention, so if your keywords can’t do this for you, you’ll lose countless opportunities to generate interest and get conversions.

How to avoid it?

Once you know your target audience and have a clear idea on ​​how to market your products/services, match up the right keywords for your ad and avoid using them excessively.

We must emphasise the importance of doing this along with a careful consideration of the article, service or idea that has been marketed. Only this way can you guarantee higher clicks potential.

Blunder #6

Low-Quality Writing

This fact doesn’t require much explanation, writing boring or emotionless ads (with no CTA’s included) will significantly reduce the quality score of your campaign. Plain and simple.

How to avoid it?

Elude junk ads with low-quality keywords. Instead, strive to write value ads that capture your audience’s attention through thoughtful CTA’s. This will reduce the cost per click while increasing your CTR and conversion rate.

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Blunder #7

Not having a Good Landing Page

If you already made the mammoth effort of create excellent ads – with good content and high-quality keywords – and you’ve done all the relevant research and work to set them up for the right audience, but then lead the user to a landing page with no sense, you’ll probably lose conversions.

A good landing page is ESSENTIAL, because it is there where you turn your user into a customer. If you have already done half the work getting the click, be sure to build enough trust and provide the user with valuable information that will lead them to do what you want.

How to avoid it?

Don’t be afraid to invest in your landing page, after all – if you do it right – this is where you will see if all your efforts have been worthwhile growing your customer base. You’ll see more traffic coming to your site because if a client falls on a perfect landing page, they’ll probably stay there and changeover.

Our final thoughts

One mistake certainly doesn’t make a bad PPC campaign manager, but it always helps you to remember the harmful habits we all get into in this hard industry, as these blunders can make a huge difference in the number of clicks you can get.

Using a combination of care, automation and another set of eyes should help to keep your PPC campaigns in check and make sure those mistakes happen much less often. If you should need any help or advice on your current digital marketing activities, please feel free to contact us.

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