Reasons why PPC fails

By Paul Morris
google ppc success

By Paul Morris

This Search Muse post will cover some of the reasons why PPC campaigns fail. It does assume that you have a sound product in a market that is ‘possible’ to PPC to with achievable CPA’s.

PPC ROCKS. PERIOD. However sometimes it doesn’t rock. Sometimes the CPA goes through the roof and sales/ downloads/ subscriptions go through the floor. If that’s the case then you need to get your thinking cap on and find out why.

There are some Must Do’s and Must Dont’s with a PPC campaign and if your ppc manager or agency are not doing them then they need to be taken out back and shot.

  • Keyword Selection
    • Not enough long tail keywords
    • Too many broad match keywords
    • Irrelevant keyword groups per ad group
    • Too many keywords per ad group
    • Little or no use of negative keywords
  • Campaign/Ad group Structure
    • The PPC account should mirror or, at the very least, take note of the website structure
    • The products should be broken down into tight/ related themes
  • Keyword Matching
    • Usually always broad match (at least use broad match modifiers!)
    • Dynamic keyword insertion is seen as ‘an easy way out’ of doing any real work
  • Campaign Settings and Types of PPC
    • Day-parting should be considered
    • Under spending budgets i.e. lost impression share
    • The content network, retargeting network, site links, other ppc providers (e.g. facebook, yell, Linked In), ppc product listings, etc are overlooked
  • Ads/Creative’s
    • No call to actions, poor formatting or spelling
    • Adverts do not directly relate to the targeted keywords
    • Either too many or not enough adverts
    • Winning ads (it’s very important the PPC agency/ manager understands the definition of a ‘winning ad’) are not always promoted over underperforming ads (and if they are then the cycle of testing should begin again)
  • Landing Page selection
    • Usually the landing page is too generic OR in the worst case there is clearly a better page to direct traffic to that already exists OR by ‘simply’ creating another page the quality score/ conversion rate will increase
    • A/B or multivariate testing has not been attempted
  • MisDirection
    • The big boss who ultimately made you bid on those fat head terms in the beginning also had a hand in that shocking website/ landing page thus the boss’ ego inhibits the major change that will enable your ppc manager/ agency to do something about those poor results

So as a starter for ten (there will be future ppc blogs on optimisation) my first major tip is to delve into your account/ ask the right questions and challenge the right people.