Pay Per Click (PPC) or paid search advertising can be a minefield!

There are a lot of moving parts to keep track of.

So we have put together some common mistakes that even the most experienced marketers can make, and inside information on how to avoid them:

1. Paid Search Ads that include more than one message

If your company offers more than one service then you should have specific ads to reflect each one separately, rather than including everything in one jumbled advert. 

For example, a pub that doubles as an events venue should have one ad for their pub audience who are looking for amazing food, drink and atmosphere, and a second ad that caters to the audience looking for a birthday party venue. That way, ads that are specific to a customer’s Google search will be shown an ad tailored to what they’re looking for, rather than one with mixed messaging.

2. Neglecting the landing pages

Every paid search ad should lead the audience to a landing page that mirrors the messaging in the ad they clicked on. The landing page should provide more information about the specific product or service their audience is searching for. Making the landing pages specific also helps Google suggest your page organically to audiences who have searched for relevant things, which makes your website work for you for free!

3. Not testing or monitoring/tweaking your paid search ads

Google goes through a testing stage at first, but once everything has settled it’s wise to keep a close eye on your paid search ad campaign. In particular, have a look at what search terms your ad is being shown for. Are these relevant? Working backwards, you can tweak the wording in your ad to fit the audience accordingly, and adjust the keywords to reflect what people are using to find you. Google gives suggestions and audits, but don’t blindly accept these – you must consider all the information to ensure you’re making the right changes. 

4. Only using broad match keywords

Want to be seen by as many people as possible? No. You want to be seen by as many of the right people as possible.

The quickest way to waste your paid search ad budget is to make your adverts too broad. Instead, you’ll want to make your ads as specific as possible by not only tailoring the copy and landing pages but by focussing on exact and phrase match keywords too. (See below for a further explanation.) This means your ad may be shown to fewer people, but they’ll be more likely to click on your ad, and more likely to convert.


Broad match:

Showing your ad to people who have searched for something that includes one of your keywords such as ‘takeaway’.
ie: Good Mediterranean takeaway near me, How to start a takeaway business, Find a part-time takeaway job

As you can see from the examples, you’re using the broad match keyword ‘takeaway’, but how many of these searches would be relevant to your business?


Phrase match:

Showing your paid search ad to people whose phrasing closely resembles your keyword phrase. 

The phrase match keyword of “Chinese takeaway” could show your ad for searches such as: Good Chinese takeaway nearby or Local Chinese takeaway delivery. But not for searches like: ‘Indian takeaway near me’ because that’s not the same subject matter.

To activate this, you’d use “quotation marks” on your keyword phrase. Google will show your ads for similar meanings, synonyms and different wording of your phrase.


Exact match:

Showing your ad to people whose phrasing matches your keyword phrasing exactly.
ie. The exact keyword [Golden Star Chinese takeaway] could show up for a search like: ‘Golden Star takeaway’. But not for searches like: ‘Golden Star taxi service’.


Exact matches will only show your ad when someone searches for your keywords or meaning of your keywords specifically. This works well for company names, or common search terms associated with your business. To activate this, you’d write your keyword terms within [square brackets].

5. Not using negative keywords

Negative keywords are one of the most valuable ways to keep the right people finding your paid search ad. Using negative keywords ensures you don’t pay for clicks from people who are looking for something you don’t offer. ie. If your restaurant doesn’t offer delivery or takeaway, negative keywords that could be used are ‘delivery’, ‘deliver’, ‘takeaway’, ‘UberEats’, ‘DeliverRoo’. That way, your ad won’t be shown to people searching for ‘takeaway food near me’ or any search that includes those negative keywords. Checking what search terms people are using to find you is a great place to start, as you’ll quickly see the irrelevant keywords that you don’t want to be shown for.

Is this all a bit much to digest right now? Let us help with your PPC campaigns – get in touch today.

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Jodie Beach