All PPC marketers have one thing in common which is that they’re all human. Like all humans, they make mistakes. Most common PPC campaign mistakes can be easily rectified with extra awareness, time, and effort. It is important to adjust your optimization strategy to focus on the ROI instead of CPA because you tend to get better results.

As you Change the way you approach your PPC activities as a whole, you are able to fine-tune your funnel and get higher-quality conversions. We will go through common mistakes that you’re probably making in your campaigns.

Your Remarketing Lists Are Too General

Remarketing lists that are too general and are not properly segmented is one of the most common PPC mishaps. For example, remarketing a brand ad for all users who visited your website in the last 20 days is way too broad to have a meaningful impact on your CVR.

For instance, if visitors have read a specific article on your site, focus on giving those readers added value in your retargeting campaign. Say you’re a catering business, providing services for corporate and private events. Visitors to the website who spent more than 20 seconds on a blog page that reads, “How to Plan a Private Event,” they are clearly interested in your corporate services. Be sure not to retarget them with a general ad, rather show them an ad specific to business events.

Fixing the Mistake

The best way to go about fixing this mistake is by organizing your audience lists into at least three or four segments. The next step would be to work on tailoring your value proposition specifically for each segment.

Optimizing for Hard Conversions Rather than Soft Conversions

PPC marketers are faced with a huge challenge which is trying to optimize for an action at the bottom of the funnel. This happens when the campaign doesn’t have the traffic or a budget that allows for creating enough conversions.

There is a way around it which is to optimize for soft-conversions, or for actions at the top or middle of the funnel. That way you can gather enough data to create behavioral predictions and build a strategy based on who is more likely to move farther down the funnel.

For example, let’s say your conversion goal is to generate more leads for a demo session with your sales expert. The challenge is how to scale this bottom-of-funnel conversion. One way is by optimizing your landing page to specific events, in this case, the users who take a high engagement action on a specific page. This kind of “softer” conversion, you have been given the platforms much more room for their algorithms to work on, so you can reach very high-intent users and send these higher-qualified customers down the funnel.

Fixing the Mistake

Optimize your campaigns by tracking events for soft-conversions. Then you can use the behavioral data to drive hard conversions.

Overlooking the Value of Late Conversions

For instance, you run a campaign for two weeks and the CVR is very low. So you close the campaign and assign it to the “fail” bin. However, not every conversion is instant.

Depending on the type of conversion you’re aiming for, the process of engaging and converting users can be slow going. If you’re focusing on immediate value, not taking late conversions into account and closing campaigns prematurely, then you’re making a common PPC mistake.

Fixing the Mistake

Remember the value of late conversions. It is important to test your data with a bigger conversion window. You can even test attribution models, such as switching your GA from last-click to the first-click measurement.

Not Seeing the Bigger Picture

As a PPC marketer, you’re running campaigns on a range of platforms. You may have separate teams focusing on social and SEM or you’re working with agencies handling different aspects of your PPC activity.

That being said either way there’s a good chance that you’re analyzing each campaign, and each platform, separately. There is no single tracker that covers all channels so it is impossible to see where every impression view happens. Each PPC platform is its own ecosystem but this doesn’t mean we shouldn’t be looking at the bigger picture of how your PPC campaigns affect one another.

Fixing the Mistake

Don’t underestimate the cross-channel effect of your campaigns. Be sure to optimize your campaigns separately and look at the bigger picture. For instance, monitor video impressions closely, and watch to see how they are impacting on other campaigns.

Not Properly Managing Your Exclusion Lists

Every PPC marketer knows how important exclusion lists are. Instead of targeting existing customers, exclusion lists help to focus on new acquisitions. The challenge though for PPC marketers is moving away from cookies-based exclusion to a more dynamic exclusion strategy.

If your sales department already closed a deal with a particular client, then you want to exclude that client’s employees from your retargeting lists. This can be done by creating an IP-based exclude list and upload it to your Google search or display campaign so you can exclude employees working at a company that is already a client.

Fixing the Mistake

A lot of people today are collecting a lot of user data. Leverage your data via data-based exclusion together with cookies-based exclusion to create a much more effective acquisition strategy.

Stay focused and follow the guidelines to avoid the most common PPC mistakes and performance marketing traps.

How to Get the Best Results

Remarketing your lists are too general. Organizing your audience lists into at least three segments, and tailor your value proposition for each segment.

Optimizing for soft conversions is more effective than optimizing for hard conversions. Then you can focus on moving higher-quality leads farther down the funnel. It is important to remember that conversions count too and to test your data with a bigger conversion window.

Optimize campaigns separately, but be sure to look at the bigger picture. Make sure to leverage customer data to create dynamic data-based exclusion lists, in addition to cookies-based lists.

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