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5 Common PPC Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

By: Keisha Dunstan

PPC is a constantly evolving landscape, and it can be hard to keep up with all of the best practices. So instead, let’s take a look at the most common PPC mistakes people make and how they can be rectified.

After all, doing a fix on some of the mistakes listed below (that you may have been making for a while) will most likely mean seeing an instant improvement the next time you’re asked to pull reports.

1. Your Keywords Aren’t Specific Enough

When conducting keyword research, make sure you’re honing in on those that are as specific as possible. Include both service and location-specific terms.

For example, “plastic surgeon in Jacksonville” will bring you leads more likely to convert than “doctors in Florida”. The more specific the keywords, the more likely people looking exactly for what you provide will come to your site and the lower your cost per click.

2. You’re Not Directing People to the Right Web Pages

When someone clicks on your PPC ad, where is it directing them? Hint: It shouldn’t be your home page.

Much like your keywords, the web pages your ads point to should be specific. For example, does your ad mention a specific service? Then have it go to the page where that service is explained in-depth. Does your ad ask if someone wants to make an appointment? Then have it link to your appointment page. The last thing you want is to pay for a click and have someone visit your site, only to bounce away because they can’t find what they came for.

3. You’re Not Using Exclusion Lists

Exclusion lists are essential to any PPC campaign, as they exclude people who aren’t a fit for your ad (e.g. existing patients). When setting up an exclusion list, it’s important to use both cookies-based and data-based exclusion.

While cookies-based exclusion excludes people who’ve been to a specific page on your website, say an appointment confirmation page, data-based exclusion uses data the patient has provided to keep them from seeing your ads. You have access to a lot of user data, so use it! Data-based exclusion can be used on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Google to exclude existing patients.

4. You’re Not Creating Mobile-Specific Ads

Back in the Spring of 2015, Google officially announced that mobile search had outpaced desktop. However, nearly four years later, people are still simply pushing their desktop ads to mobile.

Although this may be convenient for the person setting up the PPC campaign, it’s not convenient for users. That’s because the behavior and motivation level of mobile users can be vastly different than those of desktop users. So make sure you’re creating PPC ads specifically for mobile!

5. You’re Working Off Of Outdated Information

As I mentioned in the intro, PPC is fast moving, which means something you learned six months ago could already be obsolete. Google Ads continues to make updates on everything from search metrics and goal-based campaigns to TrueView, call/message reporting, and bidding types.

So how can you stay up to date? Search Engine Land is constantly writing about all updates as they become live, and even has a newsletter you can subscribe to if you want the latest tips and tactics delivered directly to your mailbox.

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5 Common PPC Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

The PPC world can be confusing at best, so reassess what you’re doing and how your campaigns are performing, make some of the aforementioned tweaks, and see how your performance changes!

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