My PPC campaign isn’t working: why? Common mistakes and how to fix them

Posted: 17 Oct 2022

Pay-per-click (PPC) continues to be a leading part of digital marketing in 2022. When it’s done well, you are likely to see very strong results. However, there are a few key mistakes that are common and can limit your campaign’s success. 

If you have recently started a campaign that isn’t bringing in the clicks, we will take a look at a list of common PPC mistakes and guide you through fixing them. 

Common mistake #1: Sending visitors to your homepage 

This is a mistake we frequently see from clients who have previously managed their own PPC campaigns. If you are sending your traffic to your homepage, you are in actual fact sending them to the page with the highest bounce rate. Usually, the homepage does not contain the information searchers are looking for, meaning the user will have to click away from that page to find the information they are actually looking for. The more clicking around the user has to do, the more likely they are to leave your site altogether in order to seek out a competitor.

How to fix: Take them to a landing page with information specifically linked to their search. Look in Google Ads for the quality score your ad has been given compared to other advertisers. This score is measured on a scale of 1–10 and is available at the keyword level. If you don’t have a keyword for the valued search terms shown in this diagnostic tool, make one! 

Need help with your PPC management? Detail Marketing can ensure that you are sending traffic to relevant and informative landing pages only. 

#Common mistake #2: The campaign date is wrong 

Seems obvious, right? When you’ve been involved in creating and implementing a campaign from the very beginning, not having the right date range selected is an extremely frustrating reason for a PPC campaign not working. 

Set the date range to include at least yesterday and today. You also might have accidentally set the start date for the future. 

How to fix: Always check your start and end dates in your campaign settings. If you do have the correct date range, you can cross this potential reason for your lack of campaign success off your list. 

Common mistake #3: Bidding for position number one 

Yes, we would all love to find ourselves in the top spot, but sometimes it isn’t actually the best approach for your PPC strategy. Being number one will increase the amount of traffic coming to your site, but it might not be cost-effective, especially if you are a small business. Getting to the top spot can prove very expensive and the value of the leads that come from being there is not always going to be worth spending that amount of money. 

How to fix: Aim for position two, three or four – you may get fewer clicks overall, but they will be for a lower cost and will likely still be of high quality.

Common mistake #4: The ad got disapproved 

Although you should get a notification if your ad is disapproved, these can get lost in email spam filters (we’ve seen it happen more than once). 

If you see that your ad is disapproved, check if it’s for a valid reason or a mistake on the ad network’s part. Valid ad disapprovals need to be corrected, and then you can appeal the disapproval in the ad platform.

How to fix: Check your ad hasn’t been put into a restricted category because of wording choices. Often an ad being disapproved can be due to an editorial reason. Don’t use ALL CAPS in your ad and be careful of your use of punctuation. 

Common mistake #5: Missing extensions 

Extensions can expand your advert with additional information, making it more appealing to users on the search results page. Extensions consist of further website links and phone numbers, which allow users to go directly to what they are looking for. People often don’t use this extension opportunity, either at all, or to its full extent, so this would be a missed opportunity for your business and campaign. 

How to fix: Always use extensions fully!

Common mistake #6: Keywords have no search volume 

Right at the beginning of starting a PPC strategy, a lot of us have our ‘ideal’ list of keywords that we want to target. Then we do some actual research. Is there anything more disappointing than to then find that the keywords you thought would be vital to your campaign success actually have absolutely no volume?! 😩

If your keyword has a low search volume, it just won’t happen. 

How to fix: While some industries have lower search volume due to how niche their products or services are, it’s usually better to use a broad match on your longer-tail keywords. 

Common mistake #7: Not adding negative keywords

Negative keywords are a type of keyword that prevents your ad from being triggered by a certain word or phrase. These are important as they narrow down the searches that your ad will appear in, meaning that the traffic you receive will contain relevant searchers and increase the likelihood of a conversion.

How to fix: Build up lists of negative keywords for your campaigns and ad groups ahead of putting your campaigns live. If you need help with this, the Graeme at Detail Marketing is on hand to implement and maintain all your campaigns and will keep your negative keyword lists fully up-to-date. 

Common mistake #8: Your bidding strategy doesn’t make any sense

If you’re new to PPC campaigns, you might struggle to set meaningful bids in the early days of an ad group. This can quickly lead to a less-than-successful campaign. 

If the bid is more than 10 per cent of the daily budget, it is too high and the ad network might find it difficult to enter the keyword into the auction.

How to fix: Be sure to set bids and bidding strategies in line with your industry and the age of the account.

Common mistake #9: Not matching keywords to your ad copy 

After you put in the hard work of researching the best keyword to target, it’s not uncommon for businesses to then forget to use that keyword in their campaign copy. 

If your ad copy doesn’t match up to your keywords (chosen with the data to back up its selection), users are unlikely to click on your link. 

How to fix: Make sure that your keywords are used throughout the ad copy and landing page copy. This will not only create a better user experience, but it will also help with your quality score. The better your advert, the more Google will want to display it.

The bottom line 

There are a number of reasons why your PPC campaign might be struggling to garner any clicks. Work your way through these common mistakes one by one and you should be able to uncover which area is holding back its success. 

If you’re unable to manage and maintain your campaign and need some PPC support, the team at Detail Marketing is here to help. Say hello. 👋

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