What’s Killing Your PPC Campaign

by Mike Tyler | May 2, 2016

There’s one keyword too many that’s killing your PPC Campaign, and it’s probably not the only one.

Low-competition. High-competition. CPC bid. Next set. Ad grouping. Does this word make sense? Is this keyword relevant? Ah, high-competition again. High search value? No. Ugh…

We know what it’s like to spend endless time with your keyword research for PPC campaigns in Search and Display Networks.

Sure, it’s common knowledge that your keywords should be low-competition and highly searched, but as you’re reading this–I bet you’re making a fatal flaw in your campaign that you aren’t thinking about:

Using way, way, way too many keywords in your campaign.

Woah, too many keywords? Isn’t more…better? Can’t you reach more people that way?

The fact is, you’re losing ad relevancy by including too many keywords. You’re throwing needles in haystacks, kid (and also blindfolding yourself while trying to look for said needles).

By using more keywords than you need to, you’re actually losing relevancy to the customers you want to engage in the first place; here are a few ways to avoid this trap:

Think about fewer keywords, and more negative keywords – as we’ve mentioned before, negative keywords are equally as important as the regular search terms; by excluding keywords that aren’t relevant to your ad group and product, you can funnel better traffic to your site and services.

Allocate your budget and focus towards other PPC areas with a higher ROI; including sitelink extensions, callout extensions, maximizing your CPC spend, etc.

Have a max bid for the right keywords, instead of lower bids on multiple keywords! Don’t pay for web traffic that’s ultimately doing nothing for you. Be precise, short, and concise with your keyword choices to make the most out of your CPC spend, and improve your conversion ratings.

Think long tail, and long term. Instead of shelling out bids on smaller, vague keywords–go for a long-tail approach that’s relevant to your services, and accurately represents the broad phrase matching Google uses for search queries.

As a best practice for cutting down your keywords, think about splitting your keywords among more ad groups; to improve your quality score and click through rating.

Review your costly keywords; are they justifying the $$$ spent on them with their CTR? Examine all of the analytics behind your campaign in terms of ad spend, quality score, etc., to determine what keywords are performing best, and where.

Keep in mind that Google has campaign settings that automatically adjust spending towards better performing keywords, but that you can adjust the budget manually as well. Be sure to segment your keyword performance by time, date, and more to determine best measures for ad spending.

Think about Display vs. Search advertising, (and Search w/ Display) to maximize the effectiveness for your keywords. Are consumers actively searching for your product/service, or likely to click-through on your ad as part of the display network? Which is the most appropriate for your needs?


Let us know below what your best practices are for PPC Campaign keywords–the good, the bad, and the PPCostly.


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