Signs of PPC Mismanagement: How Do You Know Your PPC Program Is Being Mismanaged

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If your pay per click campaign isn’t meeting your lead-generation needs, it’s time to identify the weak spots. You can revamp and renew your PPC program after a comprehensive audit. But what are the telltale signs of PPC Mismanagement?

Even if you are not a PPC professional, there are telltale signs that are indicative of a campaign gone wrong. You do, however, need to be careful not to jump into conclusions. These few signs of PPC mismanagement are some of the helpful indicators.

Incorrect Audience Targeting is one of the Signs of PPC Mismanagement

It is surprising how often you will come across campaigns with incorrect or zero targetings. When this aspect of PPC is misunderstood or overlooked, it leaves you vulnerable to errant clicks outside your target area.  You’ll end up miserably losing out on clicks that are more likely to convert.

Identifying and then excluding those specific areas that don’t convert will give you much better value for money. Audience targeting alone has the potential to double or even triple your conversion production.

Not every marketing plan yields the desired results within the projected time. However, knowing when to halt an ineffective marketing tactic is crucial. Simply branding a campaign with words that sound right won’t work without the correct audience targeting.

Below is a list of the must-haves of audience targeting.

  • Choose a campaign and set your target audience
  • Select appropriate geo-locations
  • Review the locations to ensure geographic accuracy
  • Ensure your reach extends to people in your targeted locations
  • Exclude those audiences outside your selected geographical locations
Structure and Relevance

Signs of PPC mismanagement may not be very evident. This is until you thoroughly examine the account in the context of your company, its vision, and its goals. Relevance is critical to a successful campaign as it brings together all the other optimization features. When the PPC strategy doesn’t support your goals, your campaign loses relevance.

A great campaign will additionally have a well-structured ad group and keyword segmentation.  This structured segmentation should adequately reflect your services and products. To remain relevant, these ad groups require optimization for only those services and items that align with your target.

Incorrect keyword grouping is responsible for poor PPC execution and isn’t very difficult to spot. Ideally, keywords in any one ad group shouldn’t be too many. While there may be some exceptions to this rule, even those must be able to relate to each other tightly.

A decline in Click-through Rates

According to research conducted the average click-through rates segmented by industry, shows an average of 1.91%. If you are falling below that zone, it is not a good sign. A below-average percentage score means your ads are performing poorly, and it’s time to identify signs of PPC mismanagement and expand what you’re doing.

Lower click-through rates usually equate to a lower quality score. And, the lower the quality score, obviously the more you’re paying per click. You are, therefore, losing money that you should otherwise be used to bolster your campaigns.

Incorrect Extensions and Metrics

Nothing is as bad as a PPC mistake that isn’t only obvious to those with access to the account but everyone else as well. Mismatched ad extensions and locations can be disastrous. Imagine a dental practice with three different locations; Detroit, Washington, and Los Angeles, with incompatible extensions.

In a scenario such as the one above, you might find that ads targeted for the geographic location of Detroit have extensions with information on the practice in Los Angeles and vice versa. An incorrect extension can be costly.

Another common mistake leading to the mismanagement of a PPC program is the reliance on less critical metrics. When misleading conclusions become proof of the program’s success, the result will be a much less successful campaign.

For example, equating the number of page visits to the number of conversions in leads generation is misleading. The fact that there are numerous visits to a page doesn’t necessarily mean you are getting conversions.

Change History

Google has a handy feature that continually monitors account activity and any changes made to it over time. A Properly managed account will show frequent periods of movement or optimization listed in chronological order. A poorly managed account will show little to no activity.

With the change history tool, not only will you be able to see changes made, but you will also see what type of change it was. Change history is often one of the best starting points to establish whether or not there is a mismanagement of your program.

Neglected Post-click Elements

Even where a PPC account is seemingly perfect and click-through rates are optimal, if the set up of post-click elements isn’t accurate, it could spell trouble. Landing pages, in particular, must be accurately in place, complete with a link to the home page.

For example, the PPC accounts of a business that sells high end personalized goods and services must have a landing page that is in keeping with client expectations. If it was to have a landing page consisting of low-quality imagery, no reviews, or testimonials, chances are a potential client wouldn’t buy.

Overreliance on Google Ads Scoring is one of the signs of PPC management

Google has recently been pushing its built-in optimization score as a sure-fire way to analyze PPC campaigns. While it does come in handy as a quick way to get a feel of how your account is faring, the tool can be misleading.

Most experts now agree that a maximum 100% score on Google’s scoring matrix is not in the best interests of most companies. Campaigns that appear to be running smoothly on the surface may, in reality, be facing challenges.

PPC account managers should, therefore, resist the temptation to use Google ad scoring as a definitive guide but rather as a means to gain insights and recommendations.

Final Thoughts

The mismanagement of a PPC program can cost a company thousands of dollars and even cripple its campaign. However, identifying signs of PPC mismanagement, and fixing the errors outlined above can turn a poorly performing around.

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