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    16 Replies Latest reply on Dec 21, 2007 8:03 AM by Biz Online

    Three Common Mistakes in Pay Per Click Campaigns

    Biz Online Adventurer
      I manage pay per click campaigns for a variety of clients. It baffles me why I see the same mistakes repeated over and over in Google Adwords or Yahoo campaigns. Let's get started, shall we?

      Mistake #1 - Lack of use or no negative keywordsIt works like this: Let's say you sell residential swimming pools in Dallas, Texas. In your campaigns, you need to have negative keywords in the cities you do not sell in, like Arlington, Irving, Duncanville, etc. Also, since you are targeting residential customers, you need to exclude keywords that attract business or commercial interests, like apartments, condos, etc. A negative keyword can be added easily in Yahoo and Google campaigns. You will not receive unneccessary clicks, and you won't get the cost of the unneccesary clicks either.

      Mistake #2 - Improper targeting of ads (Network targeting)In Google Adwords, when you set up a new campaign, the Default values for the Network include the Content network. Also, the default bid for the Content network is your maximum CPC, or cost per click! The Content network include sites that show Google ads. When someone clicks on these ads on these sites, the website makes money from the click, and you get charged for a click. Most of the time, I just opt out completely, but depending on the client, I may keep it on. If I do keep it on, I make sure and change the Content network bidding, down to .05 or .10 cents a click to limit my exposure.

      Mistake #3 - Not testing new adsSplit testing, or A/B testing, is the process of building two ads in each adgroup. In your campaign settings, under Advanced Options, set the Adserving option to Rotate (you have to change it from the default value of Optimize). This way, your ads are served up equally. After enough impressions and click throughs, you will be able to determine the better performing ad. Pause the ad that is not performing as well, and then build a new ad. Now, with your new ad, try to beat the performance of the previous winning ad. Constantly testing your ads will, over time, dramatically increase your click through rates!

      Have a question, post it here for others! And good luck with your PPC (pay per click) advertising!
        • Re: Three Common Mistakes in Pay Per Click Campaigns
          WEBillions Adventurer
          A lot of the silly things people do (this included) seems to be out of either ignorance or laziness. I have no beef with ignorance, though I do wish sometimes people would make more of an effort to educate themselves. But this seems to lead me to the other point--laziness. Some people just seem to be too lazy to spend the time to figure out what really works. Seems like a big mistake since you can waste so much money.

          Honestly, before I started reading this forum, I had no idea about negative keywords, so I myself was ignorant. It seems one could help a lot of people by just making these simple tips more well know.
          • Re: Three Common Mistakes in Pay Per Click Campaigns
            LUCKIEST Guide
            Great marketing tool. Thanks for the education. It is a fact of life, we all make mistakes.
            Although initial mistakes are not fatal, it takes skill, discipline and hard work to regain that advantage.
            Thanks, LUCKIEST
            • Re: Three Common Mistakes in Pay Per Click Campaigns
              Biz Online Adventurer
              Another note on negative terms:
              Take your keyword phrase that you are targeting, and type it into google and yahoo. Now, look at all of the different web pages and sponsored ads that have "nothing to do with your keyword phrase." This will help you develop further negative keywords.

              Also doing this in the Yahoo / Overture keyword tool helps you spot possible negative words that have nothing to do with your target market. Good luck!
              • Re: Three Common Mistakes in Pay Per Click Campaigns
                Biz Online Adventurer
                Here's Mistake #4: Pointing all of your pay per click ads to your home page!

                I see this mistake all the time. If you sell five different products, and you advertise those five in your pay per click campaign, then you should have five different pages, or landing pages, to send the paid traffic to.

                • Re: Three Common Mistakes in Pay Per Click Campaigns
                  LUCKIEST Guide
                  Biz Online, Thanks for the education on pay per click campaigns. I will make a copy and distribute at
                  our next SCORE meeting. As we counsel people in business this will be informative to them.
                  Again thanks, LUCKIEST
                  • Re: Three Common Mistakes in Pay Per Click Campaigns
                    CorpCons08 Ranger

                    I was looking through older posts and came across this.
                    Thank you for posting this information.
                    I am going to save this as well.

                    Best wishes,
                    • Re: Three Common Mistakes in Pay Per Click Campaigns
                      Biz Online Adventurer

                      Most Common Mistakes - #5

                      Using the suggested bid Google or Yahoo recommends! Most of the time, when setting up a new Campaign/Adgroup, Y! and G will suggest bids for keywords you enter. Bid what you are comfortable with, not what is suggested. Approach bidding from a profitability standpoint, like this:


                      Let's say you sell a pair of red cateye sunglasses for $100.


                      Your product cost is $50. So you have a keystone, or gross profit of $50, and a gross margin of 50%.


                      For this example, let's assume customer is paying for the shipping.


                      Let's say you bid on red cateye sunglasses as a keyword at $1 a click.


                      Let's assume your ad gets 100 impressions (views), and 10 clicks.


                      The click through rate (CTR) would be 10 clicks divided by 100 impressions = 10%.


                      Those 10 clicks cost $1 each, so it costs $10 for your ad clicks.


                      Let's assume you sold 2 pair of red cateye sunglasses from those 10 clicks. (I had a pair of these back in college, Varnay's, so I'm dating myself !!)


                      So, your cost per acquisition (CPA), or cost per sale, was $10 cost divided by 2 sales = $5 CPA, or cost per sale


                      Revenue on 2 sales = 2 x $100 = $200


                      Cost of Goods = 2 x $50 = $100


                      Click costs = 10 clicks x $1 = $10


                      Your net profit would be $200 - $100 - $10 = $90


                      Your net profit percentage would be $90 / $200 = 45%, not too shabby.


                      Hope this helps!


                      • Re: Three Common Mistakes in Pay Per Click Campaigns
                        Biz Online Adventurer

                        Mistake #6 - Not Having Ownership of Your Accounts!I recently took over a $1 million pay per click advertising campaign. The problem was, and to share Mistake #6, is the company's Yahoo Search Marketing account was in the Advertising Agency's name, NOT the company's name.

                        What this means is this: If you don't have ownership of your pay per click accounts, and you become dissatisfied with the ad agency or firm that is managing the account, you loose everything in that account: access, keywords, ads written, and the quality score's that go with an account that has history.

                        How to Avoid Mistake #6
                        If you decide to have your pay per click advertising managed by someone other than yourself, set up the master accounts in Google, Yahoo, and MSN in your company's name or your business name. You then can grant access to your account via a different sign in and password. This way, you have complete control.

                        I advise all my clients to do this, even if I'm managing thier account; I want all of my clients to have complete control of thier Google and Yahoo accounts. And likewise, if you become dissatisfied with the account management, you simply turn of the firm's access.

                        Good Luck!