10 Experts Share Their Top PPC Pet Peeves
The world of PPC advertising is constantly changing and evolving, and those changes can often create new frustrations for those in the industry. Whether you’re new to the world of PPC or are a long-time advocate, there’s surely something that you run into on a regular basis that annoys you. We asked 10 of the top industry experts what their PPC pet peeves are – everything from sending traffic to an inappropriate page, to the lack of bid modifier options, to vanity metrics made the list.
Davis Baker, PPC Team Lead at Forthea Interactive
“I’ve got a laundry list of PPC pet peeves, but I think the biggest one at the moment is when clients don’t have a clear business objective with paid search. It makes it extremely difficult to really gauge the effectiveness of the campaigns and create strategies for moving forward.”
Melissa Mackey, Search Supervisor at Gyro
“There are many pet peeves, but probably my biggest pet peeve is sending traffic to the website homepage. The homepage is almost never the best landing page for PPC – it’s designed to be everything to everyone, and rarely answers the question the searcher asked in their query. Instead of using the homepage, you should use a page that specifically answers the user’s query.”
David Szetela, Vice President of Search Marketing Operations at Bruce Clay, Inc.
“My biggest pet peeve: Google’s lack of bid modifiers for Tablets. Almost every advertiser wastes money on Tablet ads, since conversion rates are usually lower and CPAs are usually higher. By default ads must run on Tablet devices – there’s no way to turn off ad service.
Simply allowing advertisers to apply a -100% bid modifier for Tablet traffic would fix the problem. Why not do this, Google?”
Damon Gochneaur, Founder at Aspiro Digital Marketing Agency
“My biggest PPC pet peeve would have to be the companies whom I run across that don’t use dedicated landing pages with custom call tracking numbers. Beyond lowering your CPC, your CPAs and being a better user experience, custom landing pages and call tracking numbers also give you a more accurate picture of what your traffic is doing and I’ve yet to run into a client where utilizing both didn’t yield significant insights and performance increases.”
Larry Kim, Founder at WordStream
“My biggest PPC Pet Peeve is rising CPCs. Every penny increase in CPC is a 1 penny decrease in ROI. Beyond that, I think we as PPC marketers sometimes suffer from a bit of confirmation bias. We often over-value direct response marketing (since that’s a big part of what we do) and sometimes undervalue indirect conversions – like advertising to build your brand, and go after people who aren’t already searching for your stuff. In reality, both are quite important.”
Soren Ryherd, President at Working Planet
“My biggest PPC peeve is when people still try for the most eyeballs regardless of cost. I wish people would just do the math! If you know your customer value and conversion rates you should have some idea of the boundaries for what to spend on the media. These are not difficult things to at least ballpark, and can dramatically increase the chances of success with a PPC campaign.”
Natalie Barreda, Senior Client Manager at Point It
“This is a hard one. There are a bunch of different things that drive me crazy while working in PPC (like bad account structure, lackluster ad copy, misuse of keyword targeting, etc.), however the one thing that drives me the craziest is leaving money on the table – and one of the ways SO many advertisers leave money on the table is by not bidding on their own brand.
First of all, you can control the messaging the searcher is seeing vs. what they see in a SEO listing. Secondly, you can make use of ad extensions to direct folks to other parts of the site, speak to features of your product(s), or highlight reviews or even allow searchers to call you.
But the number one reason it drives me crazy when folks don’t bid on their own terms is that if you don’t, your competitors likely will. For example, over the holidays one of my clients made nearly 70% of their multi-million dollar revenue off of their brand campaigns. So if you don’t want to make those extra million dollars, by all means don’t bid on your terms. If you like making money, BID ON YOUR TERMS.”
Brad Geddes, Author, Speaker, Founder of Adalysis and Certified Knowledge.
“Any absolute drives me crazy. Never use broad match, always use every match types, always delete long tail keywords, never use anything but modified broad match, always delete low quality score keywords, and the list goes on.
PPC is a complex game of time, money, and fees (in-house salary, agency fees, optimization tools). If ‘revenue’ is not part of your strategy – you’ve lost. Every single absolute has at least one exception and most have many exceptions. There’s a reason why ‘it depends’ is the most common ending to any PPC blog post. It does depend – it depends on time, resources, and ultimately – how you can increase profits.
Any absolute statement is going to be wrong for someone and someone is going to read very bad advice, and sometimes, even act upon that advice, which can ruin their account. Absolute statements in the PPC world should be banished.”
John Gagnon, Bing Advertising Evangelist at Microsoft
“My biggest PPC pet peeve: forgetting about the basics. Lately, I’ve seen a lot of folks spend so much time on complicated bid strategies and attempts to tackle attribution, but don’t have their landing pages optimized or their digital campaigns tagged correctly!”
Keegan Brown, Digital Advertising Analyst at Vertical Measures
“For me, it’s when clients focus on vanity metrics, such as traffic volume, impressions, and other industry-specific benchmarks. Our optimization strategy is focused on bottom line results relating to lead volume, cost-per-lead, and return on ad spend. Sometimes clients can get lost in the vanity metrics while not focusing on the overall business goals or objectives the campaigns are trying to accomplish.”
About Jen Carpenter
Jen grew up in Western New York, where she received a degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from St. Bonaventure University, and later relocated to Phoenix in 2009. She has worked with a variety of businesses doing content writing, SEO, and PPC advertising. In her free time, Jen likes to travel, go to concerts, and hang out with her pets (two dogs, a cat, and a lizard).
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