3 PPC Mistakes That Are Easy to Avoid


September 4, 2018 By

Cheryl Dykstra


When it comes to pay-per-click (PPC) management, a simple mistake can easily throw off your budget and affect your bottom line.

Even PPC professionals have made at least one of these mistakes at some point, but as long as they’re not repeated, they can be a good learning opportunity.

Here are the most common mistakes you can make when it comes to PPC management and how to avoid them:

1. Using the Wrong Targeting

One of the most crucial parts of a successful PPC campaign is the targeting.

Just because you had success with a certain target audience for one campaign doesn’t mean you’ll have that same success with a different campaign. The wrong audience for a particular campaign or objective won’t bring desired results, that’s why you need to be careful when setting up your targeting options.

For example, you can narrow down your audience by selecting to use the option of ‘target and bid’. This option allows you to reach the people who are on your retargeting list without wasting your budget on users who wouldn’t meet your criteria. However, it’s common to overlook this tactic and use the ‘bid only’ option. With ‘bid only” a user is not required to match your targeting methods to see your ad. So, in many cases, "bid only" can lead to confusing results for the user which can lower effectiveness and drive up your ad costs.

Another mistake you can make when targeting is not excluding people you don’t want to reach. Ensure when you’re remarketing to still narrow down your options so you don’t pay to reach people that aren’t interested.

The Fix: Create a plan for your targeting and check all the options to ensure that you’re optimizing your audience as much as possible. Keep an eye on your campaign once it starts to monitor its efficiency.

2. Using the Wrong Keywords

Most PPC professionals use keywords to find new opportunities for success. When is the last time you evaluated your keyword strategy though?

While you may assume that certain keywords will perform the best for your business, it’s always good to confirm that through your analytics.

For example, you may be focusing on keywords that are too broad. This can be good for reaching a broad audience, but can also lead to a more expensive campaign – as discussed before. Testing long-tail keywords (more narrow keywords) as a more cost-effective option can lead to improved results in competitive industries.

Another common mistake is to ignore your negative keywords. Use them as part of your strategy to filter the keywords you don’t need in order to avoid paying for unwanted clicks.

Lastly, many businesses forget to bid on their own branded keywords. It may sound confusing or unnecessary, but if your competitors bid on your brand’s keywords, then you may miss on potential customers that were willing to learn more about your business.

The Fix: Don’t assume you know which keywords will work best. Test and analyze your results to find the true answer.

3. Using Inconsistent Messaging

The best PPC campaign is paired with an equally optimized landing page.

Sometimes however, landing pages are designed independently from PPC ads, which can lead to several possible inconsistencies including:

  • Design
  • Copy
  • Goals / Calls-to-action
  • Different personas


Your landing page should be an extension of your ads. It should continue the customer journey through its design, messaging and calls-to-action. Not only can this be confusing for your audience, but it could also affect your Quality Score from Google – which has to do with the relevance of your ads and landing pages.

When it comes to the messaging, your PPC ads should not trick your target audience to click into something that’s completely irrelevant to them. You need to create a progression to the ad that will make taking the next steps seem logical. It’s about tapping into the psychology of the user to blend user experience (UX) and advertising to generate the best results.

The Fix: Before you launch your next campaign, match up the PPC ads and corresponding landing pages to ensure they fit together and remain consistent in the design and messaging – bringing your prospects closer to your desired goal.


Sales & Marketing Technologies’ team of experienced digital marketers can handle pay-per-click (PPC) campaigns and budgets of any size. For more information about how a PPC campaign could get you results, give us a call today at 407-682-2222.

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