4 Critical Mistakes that Can Kill PPC Campaigns

The post below was written by Aaron Gray, co-founder of digital marketing firm Studio 56.

PPC campaigns are a critical part of your online marketing or digital marketing plan. If you’re not using your AdWords account correctly, you might be losing high amounts of traffic each and every week.

PPC, or pay per click, campaigns are a type of internet marketing method where advertisers pay a set fee when their ad is clicked. You can think of it as a way of buying visitors rather than earning visitors.

1. Inefficient Campaign Structure

Structuring your campaign is important to ensure visitors are enticed to click on your ad. Many businesses make the mistake of creating an inefficient campaign structure that loses visitors rather than gaining them. By structuring your campaign appropriately you can:

  • Monitor changes easily
  • Determine whether ads are generating the conversions and traffic you desire
  • Have better control over costs and budgets
  • Edit and manage your campaign easily
  • Locate specific keywords quickly

By organizing the structure of your campaigns, you will be able to improve your conversions while having the ability to relate ads and keywords directly with one another to help improve your quality score.

How to Structure Your PPC Campaigns Accordingly

One of the best rules when creating your PPC campaign structure is mirroring your website structure and the page the campaign’s linked to. Specifically, themed AdWords campaigns using the most relevant keywords will ensure that when linking back to your website, your visitors will automatically relate to your website. This mirror image between the two will also provide users with a more intimate relationship with your website, as if they’ve known you before. This can help to trigger a higher conversion rate for new visitors. An example of a really good account campaign structure is shown below.

Account – Bathroom Store

Campaign 1 – Taps
Mixer Taps

Ad 1
Ad 2
Pull Up Taps
Ad 1
Ad 2

Campaign 2 – Vanities
Wall Hung Vanities

Ad 1
Ad 2
Floor Mounted Vanities
Ad 1
Ad 2

In addition to the mirroring method, if you’re a business that serves multiple geographic areas, it’s important to set up a separate campaign to target each location. If the locations have different languages, make sure you create ads in those languages.

Manage Your PPC Campaigns With Your AdWords Editor

AdWords Editor is a free application from Google that helps you organize and manage your PPC ad campaigns in a much more efficient way. This editor allows you to easily make appropriate changes in a quick and convenient way to maintain the efficiency of your PPC campaign. Advantages of using AdWords Editor include:

  • Perform advance edits and searches
  • Quickly make larger scale changes when necessary
  • Remove, edit, and add PPC campaigns, ads, ad groups, placements, and keywords.
  • View and sort performance statistics
  • Archive or share your account screenshot through the export feature
  • Move or copy items between accounts, ad groups, and campaigns

Structuring your PPC campaign in a more organized and efficient way allows you to run a more productive A/B test at a later date. In some regards, it’s similar to when you build a vehicle. Although you have the body, wheels, and engine to get from A to B, a great car will come with the fuel, music player and all the extras from the beginning. This is the same for a PPC campaign; although you can have the basics set out, you still need the underlying features to make your campaign really great.


2. Not Utilising Google My Business and AdWords Extensions

Many businesses make the mistake of not utilising their Google My Business account and AdWords Extensions. AdWords Extensions are a specific ad format type that allows additional information about your business to be shown on your ad through an extension of your ad’s text. Some ad extensions can be automated while others are manually added.

Advantages Of AdWords Extensions

Better Investment Return – AdWords extensions can help improve the CTR of your ads. This means the more clicks you receive, the more traffic is being directed to your website. This in turn can lead to an increase in overall profits and return on investments.

Improved Visibility – Using AdWords extensions can help to enhance and improve the overall visibility of your ad.

Generally, your ad will feature at the top of search engine results instead of being positioned in the sidebar of search engines. When there are two competing with the same quality and bid, the ad that will appear higher in the results will be the one that’s expected to create a higher impact.

What This Means For You

For those creating PPC campaigns, it allows you to set up locations for each individual ad and manage all business locations in the one place. You can also setup a feature with AdWords to enable the display of addresses instantly on all advertisements, like in the screenshot below. It also means you have a way to better refine your advertising targets. When setting up a new AdWords campaign you can customize the location and bid adjustments accordingly.


How To Enable Google My Business

  1. Sign into your account with AdWords
  2. Click on the ‘Ad Extensions’
  3. Select ‘View: Location Extensions’ in the drop down menu
  4. From the menu choose ‘Upgrade’
  5. Click on +Extension
  6. You will be prompted to add your Google My Business Account.

3. Not Building Different Campaigns For Different Device Users

One of the biggest mistakes AdWords user make is not building your campaigns for both desktop and mobile traffic. When preparing your website for viewing on mobiles it needs to be built according to specific parameters to make sure the website is mobile friendly. This is also important for campaigns.

Campaigns that aren’t mobile friendly won’t generate the conversions needed, and with so many people using mobile devices these days, it’s no wonder a major source of conversions come from mobile. Generating mobile friendly campaigns means your mobile audience can act fast in visiting your website. Unfortunately, many marketers still aren’t taking initiatives to preparing mobile friendly campaigns, thereby losing out on the revenue and conversions that come along with it.

The statistics below show how search and mobile users tie together:

  • Up to 52% of mobile shoppers have admitted to buying across cross-channel online avenues.
  • Up to 93% of users who search through mobiles generally go on to make a final purchase.
  • 74% of mobile users according to a Google study use a search engine as a part of their final research process before buying.

Mobile Prediction

  • It’s estimated within 2016-2017 mobile searches (85.9 billion) are expected to overtake desktop searches (84 billion) within the coming years.
  • Up to 50% of PPC purchases are said to come from mobile phones within the next few years.
  • It’s estimated that by 2017 up to 85% of the world will have access to 3G networks.


Tips for Building a Mobile PPC Campaign

When building a mobile PPC campaign, you need to ask yourself a few questions first:

  • Does your business offer items that can be purchased on the go?
  • Does your business receive a high number of phone calls from mobile devices?
  • If you were searching for your own services, would you use your mobile device or desktop?

It’s important to make sure you understand your business, the needs of your customer, and how you can combine the two to create a powerful PPC campaign that is mobile friendly.

How to Make Sure Your PPC Campaigns and Landing Pages Are Optimized

It’s estimated that up to 57% of mobile users will move away from your site if loading time takes up to 3 seconds or longer. If the site or campaign isn’t mobile optimized, up to 30% of users will abandon the shopping cart. You can use the following methods to prevent losing these potential customers:

  • Minimize loading time — the faster the better
  • Make sure all content is easily read when your visitors click through to your website
  • Make sure the call to action is clear and is enticing so visitors act quickly

You need to remember mobile users want clear headlines, easy to find call to actions, and content which is short and to the point. Overall they want a website which loads very fast because they’re not going to wait around.

4. Not A/B Testing Your Campaigns And Landing Pages

A/B testing, also called split testing, is used to compare the performance rate of the same web page using two different versions. A/B testing is used to improve your conversion rate for pages and PPC campaigns by helping you determine whether a specific layout is generating more conversions than the other version of your page.

While many businesses will perform A/B tests on their website, they don’t think to do the same for their AdWords campaigns. A/B testing should be carried out on all AdWords campaigns and attached landing pages to ensure the best possible conversion rate.

Version 1 Example


Version 2 Example


When and How Long to A/B Test

To maximize the efficiency of your A/B testing, you need to consider which days to test and how long to test for. Many companies have found that certain days of the week have resulted in higher traffic and conversions. This information is vital to how you plan your PPC campaigns as well as how you operate and conduct your other marketing efforts.

So how long should you test your PPC campaign for? It’s recommended that you test your AdWords campaign for at least seven days. This length of time allows for any changes in your testing to be catalogued for review. In some cases, you may see a 200% conversion boost on day two, while by day five you may only see a 15% boost in conversions. By running your test for seven days, you can see the differences in website traffic across a whole week. You may find that specific days, like Saturday, generate more traffic than a Monday would. It also gives you insight into the times of day which you receive more traffic and conversions.

Another option is to run the test until you reach at least 100 conversions. Although more is better for increased accuracy, 100 conversions give you enough data to and change your campaign accordingly.


The success of a digital marketing plan relies on each area of your strategy including PPC campaigns. By knowing the mistakes that can kill your campaign before you’ve even started you can easily generate high conversions through your ads. So which mistakes were you making?

Aaron is the co-founder of Studio 56 and is a passionate digital marketing expert who has worked with some of the largest digital marketing agencies in Australia. He has been working in the digital marketing field for ten years. Aaron loves to travel the world to not only enhance his cultural experiences but learn and enhance his skills in the digital marketing industry. He is dedicated to helping others reach their online marketing goals.

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