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Common PPC Pitfalls and How to Avoid Them

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Common PPC Pitfalls and How to Avoid Them

Pay-per-click advertising, often called by its more commonly used, shorter name, PPC, is one big piece of the digital marketing puzzle. It is – or rather, it can be – an extremely powerful tool to bring in more customers, and better-targeted customers, to your online store.

Better targeted customers visiting your eCommerce website usually equates to higher sales and revenue, which are two ends of a pay-per-click campaign. PPC can also be closely monitored in order to maximize the return on investment of your ad spend.

Though it isn’t the only keyword we’ll investigate in this article, the key words above are “can be,” because many PPC campaigns don’t deliver on their potential. Oftentimes, a lackluster paid search campaign is attributable to one of the following issues.

1. Going after the wrong keywords – or just not going after the best ones

A PPC marketing campaign, like an SEO campaign, hinges on the success of your keyword research. It’s entirely possible to uncover highly lucrative keywords during research – but it’s also possible to pick keywords that appear competitive and realistic, but will not perform well.

The difference between SEO and PPC, in this case, is that with a PPC campaign you can track everything about performance down to the most minute details. You can track impressions, divide performance, geographic performance, the performance of different ad copy, the number of clicks, and then subsequent consumer behavior.

There are many reasons that one set of ads might not be performing well or profiting your campaign, but if a number of similar ads focusing on the same or similar keywords do not result in conversions or results in a bounce, your issue may be that you’ve chosen the wrong keywords.

Luckily, you can track these events very closely and make changes throughout the course of an eCommerce PPC campaign. Making adjustments for the better is easy – providing you follow the data associated with your campaign very closely.

2. Poor, undifferentiated, plain ad copy

Lazily crafted ad copy that doesn’t differentiate itself is also a conversion-killer. The problem with identifying it is that there are a lot of ways in which ad copy can be subjectively bad – as well as a lot of ways in which it can be subjectively good.

Plain, undifferentiated ad copy isn’t doing you any favors. Would this billboard catch your attention?

For example, it’s a good idea for you to include your USP, your unique selling proposition, in your ads. It’s also a good idea to include calls-to-action (CTAs), urgency plays, and key on the emotions of your audience. It’s also a good practice to advertise any other unique values your products offer.

For example, if your business sells jackets at low prices, and offers free shipping, those are things you have already identified as selling points to your customers. Advertise them in your headers or descriptions. You have the space, use it.

As far as drafting creative copy, that’s another issue. You can analyze consumer behavior, but there is no magic process for writing creative, attention-grabbing ad copy. There is simply experience and talent. That’s why eCommerce PPC management is so valuable. PPC specialists know what data to track and how – but their experience also makes them better at scenting out the fine details of what is – and isn’t – creative ad copy.

3. Landing pages that are not optimized for conversions or well-aligned with their ads

Even with excellent ad copy, targeting highly specialized ad groups and keywords, without optimized landing pages that speak to the value advertised by the ad, your campaign will suffer.

For example, if you haven’t done your homework and your landing pages are poorly aligned with the subject matter of the ad copy or its calls to action, then there’s a good chance that those ad variants will not result in as many conversions as they could.

There is a large amount of research that a PPC specialist could pour into this matter, and it requires continuous monitoring to be done well. However, what you need to know is that the landing page has to deliver on the value proposed or promised by the ad that sent the user there.

Does your ad promise free shipping? The landing page better drive that point home. Does the ad mention any specific products? That could result in a click, and if it does, users will expect to see those products on the landing page.

If a landing page, in conjunction with an ad variant, doesn’t make sense to you, it won’t to your users. Either optimize the design of the current page or choose a different one.

4. Failing to A/B test

Another common issue with many paid search advertising campaigns is that they don’t take advantage of A/B testing. A/B testing has a lot of far-reaching value here, as it does in other areas of eCommerce.

The thing is, sometimes one ad variant will outperform another for no reason that can be easily identified. Perhaps the target audience liked the ad copy, or maybe the landing page worked better with one ad variant as opposed to the other. It might have something to do with emotions triggered in association with the search intent of a given group of keyword matches that lent more appeal to one ad over the other.

Two different ad variants might exhibit variability in the actions or conversions they elicit that can only be reasonably identified through A/B testing.

While the cause cannot always be easily identified, the effect can, and the effect is that one ad will outperform the other. By utilizing A/B testing, you can always be making continuous improvements to the success of your campaign – which is something that experienced, successful PPC service providers will perform.

5. Failing to track PPC ad variants and groups for underperformance

In addition to A/B testing, there are many other metrics you will want to track that will impact the overall performance of your campaign, including your cost-per-click (CPC), cost-per-acquisition (CPA) your conversion rate, and your bottom line, revenue.

In addition to performing A/B testing, you can monitor device performance, demographic and geographic targeting, the performance of certain ad variant and landing page combinations, click-through rates, as well as the performance of keywords and ad groups as related to the ads assigned to them.

All of these metrics will impact the success of a PPC campaign, which is why the experience of a provider of PPC management services is so valuable.


For that, There’s Only 1Digital. Our process involves thorough research, creative copy production, selecting optimized landing pages, and continuous monitoring and testing so we can identify which ads perform best. In a nutshell, that’s how we maximize your return on investment.

To learn more about how you can get the most from your paid search ads over the long term, get in touch with our team. We can conduct a PPC audit of your existing campaigns to give you some insight for improvement, and PPC management services can help you lower your CPA and get the most ROI from your online advertising.

Call us today at 888-982-8269 to learn more about our PPC services, as well as how search engine optimization and PPC services often work together to create big gains for your business.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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