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6 Pay-Per-Click Management Myths to Avoid

Dustin Brackett
March 23, 2018

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When you have a question, what do you do? You Google it.

When you have a problem, what do you do? You Google it.

When you're doing research, what do you do? Google it, of course!

Google has completely taken over how we solve problems today. And because of this, pay-per-click management, specifically through Google AdWords, has become a vital piece of most businesses' marketing campaigns. The problem with pay-per-click advertising is that it takes a lot of time, effort, technical knowledge, and understanding in order to make your campaigns perform well and reach your ideal target market.

One of our clients had previously been given some bad advice regarding their pay-per-click management that we were just made aware of. If they're getting this advice, it's likely some of you have as well. Let's dive into some of the myths/bad advice to avoid when it comes to your PPC!

You don't need landing pages - that's what your homepage is!

This one blows me away. Let's say, for example, you're advertising your brand new fancy high heels with your ad. You just came out with a new pair and you want to push traffic to your website to buy them. If you just send them to your homepage, you're failing to:

  1. Give the person that clicked on your ad what they're looking for (they were looking for your new pair of heels, but you sent them to the homepage that talks about your brand, different shoe lines, etc.). Now they have to search out the heels that they were looking for. How many of those people are likely clicking away from your site out of frustration? I bet it's more than you think.
  2. Accurately connect your ad (about a specific pair of heels) to your landing page (general information about your brand). Your quality scores are going to suffer now.
  3. Give the person that clicked the opportunity to purchase those heels quickly. If someone has to search out the product that they're looking for, they're likely to get distracted, bounce off of your website, or even go back to Google to re-search what they were looking for. All of this hurts your quality score as well!

The point here is that your campaigns and ad groups should be specific to a single product, feature, service, or other singular piece of your business. If that is the case (as it should be) then you simply cannot provide your visitors a good experience if you're just directing them to your homepage. Landing pages are vital to a successful campaign and to increasing your conversions/sales! The whole point of a PPC campaign is to get conversions and/or sales. If you're not giving your visitor that ability immediately, you're failing.

Quality scores aren't a big deal

This couldn't be further from the truth. Quality scores determine so much of the success of your campaign. First, let's look at what all goes into a quality score:

  • Previous AdWords performance
  • Landing page experience (see previous point)
  • Relevance of ad text
  • Relevance of keyword
  • Click through rate

All of these things are triggers for AdWords to determine how relevant your keywords, ad groups, ads, and landing pages are to the search queries that trigger your ads. If your quality scores are high (score of 7-10), Google has determined that everything is well aligned and that the searcher would have a good experience. In return for a high quality score, you are rewarded with lower costs per click and higher ad rank. This means that your ad is going to be shown more frequently, higher on the search engine results page, and that you'll pay less for each click than your competitors! You could be paying up to 30% less for each click just by having a high quality score!

If your quality scores are between 4-6, then Google has determined that your searcher would have an ok experience, but definitely not a great experience. This could mean that your landing page doesn't align well with your ad, that you're getting a low click through rate on your ads, or even that your ad has not performed extremely well in the past In this situation you're likely paying 15% to 75% more per click than the average. These keywords or ads are likely salvageable, but you'll need to do some work optimizing to get them up to that 7+ range.

If your quality scores are between 1-3, then Google has determined there is a big gap between your ad groups, ads, keywords, and landing page. At this point you should be reevaluating each element to see if they belong together and if they are actually viable. In this situation, you're likely paying 133% - 600% more per click! Yikes.

So, yeah, I'd say quality scores are kind of a big deal. Don't let them tell you different.

You should use all broad match keywords

We have a good rule of thumb for this one -


Do you have an unlimited budget?


Yes - then go ahead and use only broad match keywords. Who cares if you get a ton of irrelevant clicks?

No - then why are you going to give Google the ability to show your ads whenever they feel like your ad may be remotely relevant?

Broad match keywords give Google a ton of control over your account (which we personally like to avoid). Let's look at an example:

Going back to our previous example, maybe you're selling a pair of expensive stiletto heels. If your broad match keyword is something like "high heels" then your ad could show when someone searches "best high heels", but it could also show up when someone searches, "how to repair broken high heels", "how to walk in high heels", or even "cheap high heels". None of these search queries are good for this company, but each search could have resulted in a low quality click.

Because of this, we recommend using modified broad match, phrase, and exact match keywords. It's also important (in any case) to spend at least as much time on your negative keywords as you spend on your positive keywords.

Don't get us wrong, there is a place for broad match, especially if your campaign is focused on branding, but for most of the campaigns that our clients run, they're just not a good fit.

It's ok to have broken English in your ads because of the character limits

In my opinion, if your ad sounds like broken English, you were just lazy when creating it. Sure there are character limitations that you have to abide by, but that doesn't mean that it should sound like a robot or like someone that doesn't speak English well. Here are the limitations that you have to be aware of:

Headline 1: 30 characters
Headline 2: 30 characters
Description: 80 characters
URL path 1: 15 characters
URL path 2: 15 characters
Extensions: 25 characters

The trick here is to be creative. Every single advertiser on Google AdWords is restricted by these same limitations, but you'd never see an ad by Nike or Apple that sounded like a robot. Take the time to write ads that make sense, sound good, and encourage a click. It's all about effort here.

Capitalization doesn't matter

First of all, yes, excessive capitalization is prohibited in your ad. This includes something like - HIGH HEELS, HiGh HeElS, or H.I.G.H. H.E.E.L.S. This, however, does not include capitalizing each word like - High Heels. 

Real estate matters in an ad. The more of it you can take, the more likely you are to get that click. One great way to claim as much real estate on the SERP (search engine results page) as possible is to capital each word (yes - EVERY word). 

Another benefit of capitalization is that it draws more attention to your ad. You want your ad to stand out as much as possible, right?

There is absolutely no downfall to capitalizing each word (including the URL paths) so, as Nike would say, Just Do It. 

Your campaign runs it self after you set it up

This is so inaccurate. If you want to run a good campaign, you have to be in the campaign daily to monitor performance, add new keywords, add new ad groups, add new ads, and to monitor your search queries. If you're expecting your pay-per-click campaign to run itself, then you're going to be throwing a lot of money down the drain. PPC is an investment, not only in your ad spend, but also in time for pay-per-click management, optimization, and testing. When you start, just expect to be spending a lot of time in your campaign.

There are a lot of moving parts in an AdWords campaign and there are definitely different opinions on different pieces of a good PPC campaign, but these myths are simply untrue. Don't get tricked into thinking they're fact.

Digital Advertising


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