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Advertising & Marketing

5 Common Keyword Mistakes in PPC Campaigns – and How to Fix Them

It’s tempting to pick the first keyword that comes to mind and put yourself in the searcher’s shoes. But your perspective as an entrepreneur or marketer is a bit skewed. It will be harder for you to find the right keywords for your audience when searching for products and services because you know all the terminology.

No keyword research required. You can use dozens of tools and apps – many of them free – to find the most frequently used search terms related to your business. For example, the Google AdWords Keyword Tool is a popular keyword tool and is free if you are not an advertiser.

2. Choose only popular keywords

If you choose keywords based on popularity alone, you will face a lot of competition. More competition means higher bid prices and bigger PPC budgets. There are dozens of long-tail keywords that may be more specific to your business. They may not get as many clicks because they are not visible to as many applicants, but your conversion rates will be higher.

You’re looking for the sweet spot – the perfect balance between competition and search volume. Competition means that these search terms perform well and lead to clicks and results, or other advertisers stop targeting them. Search volume means that many Internet users are searching for a term. In some cases, keywords and key phrases that are very specific and get very few search results can be very profitable for a niche business.

3. Choose keywords that are too broad

It goes hand in hand with choosing the most popular keywords. There are probably hundreds of partial search keywords that are very popular with advertisers. Big names, big online retailers that can compete with these deals.

One of the most common mistakes new PPC advertisers make is choosing partial match keywords that describe their business but contain many other smaller subcategories. Think of a ski resort as “skiing” in a specific area. There are hundreds of other companies that optimize “skiing”, from ski lodges to ski retailers in remote areas. A prospect might click on your ad and find that it’s not really related to what they’re looking for.

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4. Do not use geo-targeting (if available)

If your PPC platform allows geo-targeting, you should take advantage of it. It makes sense that many companies believe that they are relevant everywhere and are not limited by national borders. And that may be true. However, you can target your campaign where your audience is large. For example, if you sell high quality products or services, you may want to target more affluent locations. If you’re a US business and don’t want the challenges of operating overseas, you can limit your ads to US users.

You can also target areas where you have already established brand awareness. If you do business primarily in the general area, your name is likely to be recognizable in the greater metropolitan area.

5. Ignore your reviews

Your analytics application – whether you use Google’s free analytics or something else – provides a lot of information about how well your keywords are performing. Use it for that. There’s no point in creating a PPC campaign and launching it when you see your ad dollars dwindling.

Unless you’re working with a PPC Agency or consultant, you should expect some changes after launching your campaign. Experts who have run PPC campaigns are better able to research and target the right keywords, while beginners sometimes need training to refine their campaigns.

If you’re a beginner,

Check your stats regularly. If you have ads that aren’t working, keywords that aren’t performing, or if you’re getting a lot of clicks but no results, it’s time to make a change. Fortunately, there are many resources online that offer advice on keyword targeting and ad copy for almost any industry.

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