5 common mistakes in paid advertising

"Why doesn't my ad show up when I search for my service? How much would be the minimum to spend on this campaign?" If you are tormented by such questions when it comes to paid advertising, read on to find out about the solution!
Published 27/07/2021

While click-based (PPC) campaigns are no longer considered such wizardry as 10 years ago, they still raise more questions than other digital marketing tools. There is, of course, nothing wrong with that: it’s no coincidence that there are specialists working on PPC campaigns since every single online platform has its characteristics. There are, however, a number of recurring questions and issues to discuss if you’re thinking of launching PPC campaigns to promote your business.

1) Winning a war without a strategy – the lack of conscious planning

As with any marketing activity, communication strategy forms a solid foundation for PPC campaigns that we can build upon. When planning paid advertisement, many make the mistake of thinking on a campaign level, even though you’d be better off in every respect if you outlined the basics: what are your goals in the long, medium, and short term? Who would you like to address with your product or service, and what are the most important metrics by which you aim to measure the success of your marketing activity? It also pays off to have a rough idea of the milestones of the year in advance. On an important note, PPC campaigns are no substitute for a well-thought-out and carefully structured marketing strategy. These are “merely” well-founded, highly effective tools to support your goals.

2) Is it too much or too little? – budget issues

It’s not easy to set up an optimal advertisement budget. You may be right to ask: is it even possible to spend too much? Well, to specify: if spent badly, even a lower amount can lead to a major loss. We’ve seen examples of a brand awareness PPC campaign launched with a giant budget that ended up being rather irritating than effective. (We could start a long argument about whether an irritating advertisement is also an effective one, and indeed, everybody got to know this specific brand, including the cousin of our neighbors’ dog. Yet we wonder how likable they’ve become?)

As a basic principle, one has to adjust the budget according to the goals desired and the market’s requirements. When planning each PPC activity, we look at how much search volume there is for the provided keywords and how tough the competition is to appear in search engine rankings. Ideally, we decide about the most effective budget for paid ads based on the factors above.

What if your budget is lower? Don’t panic! Some strategies can succeed even if you spend less. In such cases, the point is not to go beyond your means and don’t shred your budget over all existing platforms and forms of advertisement. Here, conscious planning and the thorough knowledge of your target audience play an even more important role.

3) Gosh, I’m advertising! – panic reactions

So your search campaign eventually took off, you are more than excited to see results – and yet, your ad does not show up when you google your keywords. Don’t worry! This can have multiple reasons, and it doesn’t mean your campaign isn’t working well. For one, Google’s search ads work based on an auction model: this means that with every search, you compete with the rest of the advertisers.

In this case, others might have offered more in a particular auction, therefore the system displays their ad and not yours. Another reason could be that you searched for the keywords multiple times, but never clicked the ads: this is recognized by Google’s algorithm, and after a while, it does not display campaigns, assuming the user will not click on them.

Besides these, an ad might simply not show up when the campaign’s daily budget is already exhausted. Keep in mind, it’s no coincidence that we measure the success of ads with the tools specifically designed for this purpose! Moreover, we don’t recommend searching for your own keywords and depriving an actual customer of the chance to click your ad.

So a week had passed, you’re still dissatisfied with results and would prefer to just quit everything? Instead of radical measures, just step back and take the appropriate point of view: PPC campaigns need time to bring about the desired results.

Take into account that it takes a couple of weeks for artificial intelligence to learn which users are the most interested in your product or service, and who are the most likely to click your ad. The length of this process largely depends on your budget: the more times a platform can display your ads, the sooner it will learn to optimize them based on the users. If you quit your campaign on a whim, the budget spent will be money thrown out the window. The learning phase restarts when you relaunch the campaign, meaning that a valuable bunch of information will be lost.

4) Beauty is relative – the lack of testing

We all have our different tastes and preferences – we like different foods, we furnish our flats differently, and consume different content. Think of how a clickbait title attracts many while it pushes others away, and various pictures in the museum can also evoke different reactions from us. We consider ourselves our first point of reference, but in the case of paid ads, this would be a mistake: you are not your target group, your customers are. Produce a variety of creative content and check which one works best for each target group! At times, you’ll be surprised.

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5) The pot calling the kettle black – disregarding external circumstances

In the case of PPC campaigns, it’s extremely important to know that ads are not the only factor of success. Brand awareness is incredibly important as well: in fact, it’s a must, something you can’t escape. You have to build trust to bring your message across and for your business to be considered a credible player on the market. Think of how a good sentence has no significance if you never heard of the person saying it!

Besides brand awareness, the success of paid ads requires an appropriate technical background. If you decide to use digital marketing to promote your business, first invest in a modern and technically up-to-date website with a pleasant design! This will surely pay off since the number of conversions (such as forms filled out, downloads and transactions) highly depends on a well-functioning website or landing page. Last but not least, don’t forget about fixing the basics of your SEO!

We know this may seem too much…

…but great news, we’re here to help! Now you know what to be aware of and what tasks await you before launching a plethora of PPC campaigns. Feel free to contact us with any questions that start with “how”, so that together we can create the optimal strategy for your brand!


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