The Top 10 PPC Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

By Kostas Giannoukaris


PPC or Pay-Per-Click has proven to be one of the highest return on investment (ROI) channels.

One advantage is that businesses just pay Google when their advertisements are clicked (CPC) and not when they are simply just shown in Google (brand awareness for free). Also, the clicks you receive will be relevant to your business, as these ads will be shown just to the people you want to attract, qualifying your leads through PPC. 

With PPC with Google Adwords you can get in front of a very specific audience, in a very specific area, at a very specific time in the day, who is typing a specific search term related to your business… or anything you could imagine! If set up and managed well, your PPC campaign can be a great supplement to your SEO strategy. However, many companies fail on very basic concepts of PPC management, wasting budget on PPC campaigns that don’t work.


Our search and PPC team at The B2B Marketing Lab are very passionate about PPC done properly, and have experience in setting up and managing PPC campaigns at a variety of different sizes. This blog has been put together with the aim of helping companies improve their PPC campaigns and avoid common PPC mistakes. Here are the top 10 PPC mistakes that we frequently see when auditing companies’ Google Adwords PPC Campaigns, as well as some suggestions on how to avoid these mistakes.


Top 10 PPC Mistakes

1. You have set up your campaign as "Search Network with Display Select" and are not optimising for display at all.

Depending on your goals you should choose between "Search Network Only" or "Display Network Only" to be able to optimise the campaigns easily and more efficiently.

2. Your campaigns are running 24 hours a day and 7 days per week.

You should choose "All Features" in campaign settings instead of standard settings. "All Features" will allow flexibility to run the campaigns only on days and times that are more effective to you. Analyse your reports to find the days and times when your ads convert best. 

3. Your campaigns have auto-bidding activated.

Auto-bidding is a good choice at the beginning of a campaign, but turning the campaign to manual bidding is required to reduce cost per click and maximise clicks.

4. Your campaigns are targeting the website's homepage or the same page all the time.

You should have different landing pages for the different campaigns that you have on your account to improve chances of conversion and lead generation and to make an efficient spend in budget.

5. Your landing page doesn’t match what you promised on the ad copy.

Landing pages should be relevant to what you promise on your ads. Don’t disappoint your visitors, as Google will give a bad quality score to your keywords and in consequence your ads will show less often, in lower positions and will be more expensive.

6. You don’t have enough ad copy to cover all of your keywords.

Make sure your ad copy is fresh and updated often. You should also have many ads that cover all of your keywords to allow optimisation for clicks. (AdWords optimises the campaign for clicks by gradually showing the most appealing ads)

7. You are targeting branded keywords (i.e: the name of your company) or one term keywords (i.e: lead)

Make sure you don’t spend a pound on keywords for which you are already ranking for on the first position organically. Many companies target their brand name. This money should support the keywords you’re struggling to rank for, not the ones you already rank for free. 

An example of this is ASOS, the online fashion store: ASOS ranks 1st organically for the term “asos”. They don’t need to pay for this term because they are already the first ones in the results!

Google Search Paid Results

Make sure you have long tail keywords in your campaigns to bring relevant traffic to your website. For example "lead" is not the same keyword as "lead generation", which isn’t the same keyword as "lead generation UK".

8. You are not excluding keywords that drive irrelevant traffic to your campaign (negative keyword addition)

Add negative keywords to avoid receiving clicks for irrelevant search queries and wasting money on clicks that are unlikely to bring any value to the business.

9. You haven’t checked if your keywords have search volumes in the area you are planning to run your campaign on.

Before running your campaign you should double check that every keyword on your entire list has search volume in the area you are going to run your campaign on. You can use the Keyword Planner Tool to find good keywords with search volumes.

10. You don’t update your keyword list regularly and are not changing keyword-matching types.

Try to use different match types to improve your keyword quality score and discover more keywords that you have not thought about.


These tips are some basic rules that we frequently find are ignored by organisations, but definitely improve PPC Performance. If you have any additional questions do not hesitate in contacting us. Let’s be friends!

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by Kostas Giannoukaris

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