Banbury Howard

A dozen PPC mistakes you should never make

Along with designing brand new campaigns for clients, we also inherit a huge number of existing PPC campaigns and optimise them for better ROI. During this process, our digital marketing team often come across the same PPC mistakes being repeated across many campaigns. Here we list a dozen of those most common mistakes.

Some of these mistakes are very basic and can be fixed with very little effort. If you or your PPC manager are coming across the same mistakes with AdWords, do let us know in the comments section.

1. Generic Ads – A ds are too generic and have little or no relevance to the campaign landing page or the keywords in the particular ad group.

2. Big Fat Ad Group – Your campaign has a huge ad group with all of your keywords placed together with no relevance to each other. As a result, you get poor quality score and pay higher CPC than your competitors.

3. Spelling Mistakes – Need we say more?

4. No Call to Action- Many ads don’t have any call to action at all. Spell out what you want the visitor to do? Should they:

  • buy your product?
  • call you?
  • book a place?
  • advertise on your forum?
  • take a free trial?
  • request a quote?

Whatever is relevant to your advertising goals, whatever you want them to do, include it in your ad and encourage them to take the next step.

5. You Only Have One Ad Per Ad Group – How do you know which ad drives conversion? Try including a light hearted ad and a serious ad in each ad group and test the variations? Have a brainstorming session with your team and test new ads every now and then. If you have an e-commerce store and your offers or promotional codes change frequently, make sure you change those in your ad copy as well. You may also consider using Google Offers.

6.No Ad Extensions – Ad extensions are important. We discuss ad extensions in detail in another blog post, but these can improve your click through rate by up to 30% (Source: Google)

7. No Account Activities -PPC isn’t something you can set and forget. To make sure you continuously improve your campaign performance log in to your account. Start with 10 minutes every day and an hour or at least 30 minutes every Monday or Friday.

8. You Don’t Rate Your Quality Score – If your average QS is 5 or less, your account needs some serious optimisation.

9: Not Having Separate Bid Strategy for Mobile – Mobile users are more likely to convert than desktop users. This makes it vital to have a separate strategy for mobile users. Pull your data for the last month and analyse the performance for different devices. You may be surprised by the results.

10. Little or No Competitor Analysis- When was the last time you seriously analysed your competitors’ ads and tried to make your ads stand out? Why would people choose your service over your competitors? Does your ad reflect your unique selling points (USPs)?

11. No Capitalisation – Did you capitalise the first letter of each word on your ad copy? Title case is much more effective than sentence case when it comes to AdWords.

12. You Don’t Include Your Keywords in The URL Field – If your ad copy contains the exact keywords people are searching it will become bold. You should try and insert your keywords in your ads wherever possible, especially in your display URL. Take a look at the ad below for the keyword “Bar Stools”. Notice anything?


That is it. The 12 most common PPC mistakes we come across every day. Don’t forget, communication is the key. If you manage PPC accounts for your clients, make sure they keep you up to date about ongoing promotions or special offers. And likewise, if you are using an agency, make sure they know about any upcoming event pricing or changes in your product/service and pricing.