Fix common PPC mistakes

1. Customize your PPC to your audience type.

Avoid trying to serve everyone with the same ad or experience; avoid this mistake by understanding the differences between search, display, and social traffic, so that you can create a specialized experience for each type of traffic. Segment the different types of traffic on your site and tailor to your audience type. Provide a specific experience to your customer through the language in the ads, or in a landing page experience dedicated to that type of traffic. For example, search traffic has a high level of motivation, are actively seeking a solution, and respond to a hard sell. These customers will likely need only the essential products and service information and require a frictionless experience. Whereas display traffic differs, having low motivation, responding to a soft sell, and will likely need comprehensive product and service information to be persuaded.

2. Create personas using qualitative and quantitative research. Start with qualitative research, then filling in the blanks with quantitative research.

Characterize your audience to determine who your ads are for, so you know how to write them.

3. Add Google ValueTracker parameters to your landing page URLs to collect useful data about the source of your ad clicks that you can use to optimize.

Measure results as close to the money as possible and optimize for sales. Focus on identifying the types of people who make you money, understanding their motivations and behavior, and optimizing to reach more of them.

4. Set your campaigns to target and bid before they go live, as opposed to bid only, to achieve better targeting.

For example, in remarketing campaigns, you want to target ads to users who have previously visited your site. First, create an audience of users. Next, target it in Google Ads. Check that you selected target and bid before launching your campaign.

5. Use exact match and bid modifiers for short-tail head terms.

If you want to have coverage for short-tail head terms (one worded terms), choose exact match and use all available bid modifiers. Exact match, which matches to the exact term or very close to it, has the advantage of specificity which allows you to target people at later stages of the conversion funnel. For example, you can use mobile, geographic, and schedule bid modifiers to increase the probability that the ads you show, will result in conversions.

6. Test your conversion funnel, site, and analytics before starting the campaign.

Conduct a user test by commissioning a few user testing videos, from the UserTesting platform, and observe people performing tasks on your site. This will allow you to spot friction and improve your funnel. Conduct cross-device and cross-browser testing using Google Analytics, to analyze your traffic by device and browser type to see what needs improvement. Conduct a Google Analytics health check to ensure your analytics are tracking and reporting correctly before launching your campaign.

7. Write ads that evoke emotion by leveraging emotional triggers and appeals.

Emotionally charged ads reduce cost per click and increase your impression share. Ask yourself: Who is your customer? What persona do you want to take on in relation to your target market? Then write emotionally charged ads from the standpoint of the chosen persona. For example, you can appeal to anger, disgust, affirmation, and fear to persuade your visitor and influence their decision.