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Top 9 PPC Mistakes Businesses Make and How to Avoid Them

Kevin Urrutia, have listed down the common mistakes business owners, and digital marketing professionals make when running a PPC campaign, so it will not happen to you. Kevin is a founder of Voy Media Marketing Agency NYC that helps businesses maximize the benefits of Facebook Advertising, leading to a dramatic improvement in sales while pushing down costs.

Are your pay-per-click campaigns bringing in tons of ROI or just costing you money?

If it is the latter, do you know why it is happening? The thing is, a lot of businesses would opt to run a PPC campaign without a solid plan. As a result, they do not know what metrics to measure and whether or not they are earning from their campaign.

Read below to discover top mistakes made by businesses so you will avoid them.

Lack of Strategic Plan

Small business owners tend to wear many hats until they are financially secured enough to hire specialists. 

Learning from your mistakes through trial and error is a manageable and acceptable way to handle various business components. But when we talk about PPC, however, jumping to it without knowing the ins and outs of the business can be a costly mistake and is the number one error small businesses make. 

Hence, at Voy Media Markering Agency NYC, we always advise our clients to set clear campaign goals before executing their plan. It is also imperative that you have a PPC strategy, which includes clearly defining your target audience, the kind of ads that can resonate with them, and what you would like to achieve from a particular ad campaign.

PPC might have a bad reputation from people who don’t take the time to strategize. But if you make an effort to segment your ad groups and campaigns based on your target audience and intention, then you’ll find that it’s powerful. 

Ringostat team also recommends you to discover an article “PPC Specialist should listen to recordings of calls from advertisements. Why?” on our blog. 

Not Optimizing for the Right Keywords

As a marketer, you know the importance of keyword research in the content creation process. However, a lot of people make the mistake of doing thorough research for their PPC campaigns.

In fact, most of them rush through their campaigns that they skip this step, leading to a failed and costly promotion. The most common mistakes when it comes to targeting keywords for your PPC ads are using broad keywords and not utilizing negative keywords.

PPC Mistakes, Not Optimizing for the Right Keywords

Targeting Broad Keywords

Although there’s nothing intrinsically wrong with targeting broad keywords, you also need to be mindful of the fact that the algorithm of Google might end up showing your ad to searches that aren’t relevant to your business. 

Too Few Negative Keywords

Picking negative keywords is just as important as selecting keywords. It’s because they’ll inform Google and other search engines when not to show your ad. They’ll exclude irrelevant search terms, allowing you to focus on the keywords that matter most to your target audience. 

PPC Mistakes, Picking negative keywords with filters

Mixing Search and Display Campaigns

When you start a brand new PPC campaign, you can opt to target only the search network or to target both the display and search network on the same campaign. It’s not a good practice to combine both search and display campaigns, though, as it can make your overall PPC strategy hard to manage. It’s because of both display and search advertising work in varying ways.

Search advertising will specifically target users that are looking for your products and services. As a result, you’ll get higher click-through rates, as well as a higher cost-per-click. 

PPC Mistakes, PPC campaign - Search ad and Display ad

On the other hand, a display network could reach a much wider audience who aren’t necessarily searching for your product or service. Instead, your ads will appear on websites that are relevant to you and your target audience. As a result, it will have a lower cost per click, as well as lower click-through rates. Nonetheless, mixing search and display campaigns can skew your data if you check at the performance of your campaign as a whole.

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Failing to Use a Landing Page

PPC, when done right, can send a ton of traffic to your website. Hence, it is important that you are bringing your website traffic to the right landing page. Say, if your campaign goal is to increase your sales, it is best to drive traffic to your product page instead of your homepage.

Providing your visitors the exact information that they’re searching for can help you test your landing page optimization, such as your image, copy, and CTA button. Not to mention that it can drive conversions to your site, which could have a positive impact on your revenue.

If you’ve created your site on WordPress, then you can easily build landing pages through the popular content management platform. You can also utilize a landing page building tool if your marketing automation software doesn’t have such features.  Just make sure that you don’t commit the most common landing page mistakes when creating pages for your PPC campaigns.

PPC Mistakes, Landing Page example

Not Running a Test

Don’t write one version of your copy and run your PPC campaign without even testing it. There’s a possibility that your first attempt won’t usually be the best, so you should have multiple versions of your ads, especially for all the campaigns that you are running. Then, make sure to test those ad versions.

If you’re doing PPC on Facebook’s Ad Platform, then ensure that you also test the images and not just the copy. 

PPC Mistakes, Options for PPC settings on Facebook’s Ad Platform

Here’s how you can write multiple versions for your PPC ads for testing:

  • come up with an ad version that answers the question, “what’s in it for me?” It should also discuss the value of your business and what customers could get when buying from you;
  • the second version focuses on the pain point that you’re solving, as well as the services that you offer;
  • finally, the third copy should be a wild card. Be creative as much as you can, and come up with a creative copy that is different from the first two ads. 

Setting Up Automated Rules Incorrectly

Sales do not always happen between working hours. And even if they do, they happen completely from a different time zone. 

However, thanks to the rule of automation, there is no need to wake up in the wee hours of the morning just so that you can make ad changes. Everything can run smoothly, as long as you do it the right way. 

Using One Ad Per Group

When building a new campaign, it might be a lot faster to add just one ad per group. But you won’t know if a different ad could help you gain better results.

As part of your PPC strategy, always test out new ideas for your ads. Make at least three ads per group with a single variable in each.

PPC Mistakes, Testing ad groups for PPC

These won’t usually take a long time to set up. Once done, let the ads run for at least 30 days before comparing the results. That way, you can get the best results and data that can give you an informed decision on which ad is performing well.

You should also set the ad rotation settings to “Do not optimize: Rotate ads evenly.” This will ensure that all your ads will get an even chance to be shown. By picking the “Optimize: Prefer best performing ads,” Google will pick which ad it will recognize as the best performer, showing it to relevant searches and websites more often.

Choosing the Wrong Metrics

Not all conversions will be the same. However, not many people optimize their ads to generate sales.

When running a PPC campaign, it is important to target commercial keywords and choose placements where you can compel an audience to buy. You can do this with the help of Google’s ValueTrack parameters

PPC Mistakes, Choosing the right metrics

What this feature does is it can help you gather information on the ad clicks source. Measuring value that’s close to money is crucial. You need to single out the people that make money, understand their motivations, and their purchasing behavior. Then, optimize these ads to reach more of them. 

Not Using Ad Extensions

Ad extensions will help you gain higher ad positions, as well as boost your click-through rates. That’s why you need to place them into good use. When Google calculates your ad mark, it will consider at least three factors.

  1. Your ad’s quality scores
  2. The cost-per-click bid you set
  3. The expected impact of your ad extensions 

A best practice is to place as many ad extensions as you can in your campaigns, but you have to ensure that they’re relevant. You can start with callout extensions and site links as they’re easier to set-up. Other ad extensions, like app extensions, may not be so relevant to your business.

PPC Mistakes, Link ad extensions

Going straight to the number one spot

Everyone wants the coveted number one spot, but sometimes, that’s not simply the best strategy to use for your PPC campaigns. Taking the top spot of the search results will surely increase your site traffic, but it doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s cost-effective on your part.

In most cases, you could get better results if you show your ad further down the page in a much lower cost-per-click. You’ll never know how this can lead to a more profitable campaign. 

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Without a doubt, setting up a PPC campaign can bring your business profits. However, the lack of a solid strategy can make your campaign prone to costly mistakes. So, whether you’re just starting out or already a veteran in PPC advertising, you must remember the mistakes listed above and do your best to avoid committing them. That’s because these mistakes can make or break the success of your entire campaign.

By following the tips that we’ve mentioned in this article, you could avoid committing these most common PPC mistakes, eventually saving a lot of time and money. Most of all, you’ll be able to achieve greater heights for your business in the long run.

About author

A full-time marketer with 3 years of experience in the B2B sphere. Started my path in marketing as a translator and content creator. Tried myself in social media outreach and email campaigns. I also worked with niche marketing (real estate) and partnership program (affiliate).