PPC Optimization: Most Common Issues and Tips From an Expert

Pay-per-click (PPC) marketing is one of the most popular forms of advertising. Google Ads, or any other PPC ads, operate on the PPC model, where users bid on keywords and pay for each click on their advertisements. Learn more about PPC optimization and how to run a PPC campaign.

Dominyka Vaičiūnaitė

Oct 29 2021 10 min read

Table of Contents

    Whatagraph’s PPC specialist Tomas Kibirkštis was generous enough to share some details about his job. He provided solutions to the most common issues encountered while creating PPC campaigns and PPC optimization strategies.

    Tomas also offered some quick tips to optimize your PPC and maximize PPC performance. Continue reading to learn about Whatagraph's PPC optimization and how he manages occurring obstacles. 

    PPC optimization tips

    Focus on the right metrics

    Many people complain about the high cost per click (CPC) and cost per mile (CPM), poor reach, and impressions number. Yet, when asked about their goals, you’d usually hear something irrelevant like ‘sales’. Naturally, another question pops up - why do you care about high CPC price if the primary metric, in this case, should be sales volume and spend. 

    When it comes to ‘the right metrics’, we can't give you guidance because depending on the industry, company, and goals, you should be tracking different ones. ‘When focused on the wrong metrics, 97% of inbound marketing campaigns fail’. 

    If you use Google Ads for PPC, make sure to keep an eye on industry benchmarks.

    PPC Google benchmarks

    Build solid account structure

    Before you run PPC campaigns or start optimizing, you need to create a well-structured account. Even though it will most likely change and evolve over time, it is a place where you control your ads.

    Depending on the platform, it used to be extra beneficial to segment Google Ads or Facebook accounts. For example, PPC specialists used to create separate ad groups (the name was “Single Keyword Ad Group” ("KAG)) for each keyword separately. Now it is recommended to consolidate accounts.

    To summarize it:

    • Research keywords. Consider what your audience is searching for. Make a list of the specific keywords & topics you’d like to rank for and create basic categories;
    • Create ad groups. Google suggests having no more than 30 keywords per ad group, and then two to three ads per ad group that are using the keywords within that ad text;
    • Determine PPC budget. To be even more specific, keyword budget. Define how much the keyword is going to cost for every click (CPC);
    • Campaigns. These are typically overarching groups that define product type, location, audience, and so on.

    Advice: It is also common to determine negative keywords. Create a negative keyword list that you don’t want traffic any from.

    Test your ads the right way

    As Tomas said, people have already learned how to perform an A/B test. Which is crucial before you make any PPC campaign-related decisions. He just isn’t sure if they are doing it correctly.

    Here is how Whatagraph's PPC expert tests PPC ads:

    • He picks one variable to test at a time;
    • Then he gives PPC ads (Amazon Ads, Google Ads or Facebook Ads) some time to run to get the best picture of the PPC campaign strategy;
    • To analyze which variable performs better, Tomas is using PPC reporting template to then gather relevant data & metrics for future references.

    PPC reporting template

    2 PPC optimization examples

    Snickers is a prime example of a properly constructed account structure. They conducted research on Google's most misspelled words and bid on them. Of course, since their brand slogan is "You're not you when you're hungry," this works perfectly. What was the outcome of this campaign? 558,559 ad impressions and 5874 website clicks were generated by the Google Ads campaign.

    PPC optimization examples

    Samsung's PPC Google Ads campaign is another example of a successful PPC Google Ads campaign. When Samsung released the S6, Apple released launched the 6S. To capitalize on this event, Samsung hijacked and trolled the iPhone company by bidding on every iPhone 6s search with the phrase 'oops... did you mean S6?' The outcome was pretty amazing. They received a total of 1316% CTR!

    PPC Google campaignWhat you can take away from these two examples is that when it comes to creating PPC campaigns, experimenting and staying relevant are essential. As much as you need to know about your target audience, you also need to think about current trends, competitor product launches (and how to capitalize on them), and ways to surprise your audience (just like in the examples).

    PPC issues

    The algorithm is constantly changing

    And you can't predict how it will change in the future. The largest platforms are developing their own algorithms that use thousands of signals to determine who should see the ad. The main disadvantage of it is that bidding algorithms and suggestions encourage higher spending. This is a significant problem paid media managers have to face. As Tomas said, it took years for him to understand the algorithm and how it worked.

    'One week, specific PPC campaigns get so many conversions, low CPC, the results are great... Next week the same PPC campaign can bring the opposite, worst results' - Tomas Kibirkštis.

    Advice from Tomas: Don't panic. Keep an eye on long-term trends rather than short-term jumps.

    Broken landing pages

    This can happen on any website. Companies rebrand, change the appearance of their blogs, redesign their websites, and apply new SEO strategies. As a result, it's natural and typical for landing pages to be misplaced or erased.

    A single landing page can prevent your ad copy from appearing, while redirection can lower the quality scores, resulting in higher CPCs. Furthermore, both of these can lead to tracking issues with Google Ads and Google Analytics.

    Solution: Ad scripts should be implemented. You'll need to set up the sYou'llheets and copy the scripts to do so:

    1. Broken URLs ad script;
    2. Redirecting URLs ad script.

    Bottom line

    You may still need to measure them, depending on your metrics and key performance indicators. Whether it's ad rank, conversion rates, ad clicks, we've got you covered. Without an analytics tool, PPC optimization is impossible. For an overview of your PPC campaign's results, use PPC reporting template. Consolidate all of your pay-per-click advertising channels onto a single page.

    Published on Oct 29 2021

    Dominyka is a copywriter who uses simple words to explain tough ideas. Her content is inspired by the good old brand “For Dummies.” Anyone can read and learn all things marketing with her.

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