PPC Mistakes – Even the Pros Make

Posted on March 12, 2013

PPC MistakesYou’ve heard the saying, “Everyone makes mistakes”, and it rings true regardless of whether or not you’ve seen others do it. There’s just something encouraging about knowing that even the pros will screw up from time to time, and as far as learning goes, mistakes have plenty to teach.

Here are a few of the bigger mistakes that pros have made, and how best to avoid them:

1. Budget Mistakes
The classic typo. When uploading new PPC ad campaigns into Adwords, check to make sure that the budget has exactly the right number of 0’s at the end. Veteran PPC managers can often recall numerous instances where a staffer accidentally added one too many zeros at the end of the expected budget for that ad campaign, putting them well out of budget for the next month. In some instances, the mistake was caught quickly, and in others not so much.

The best way to avoid this is to have someone double-check and sign off on the work before setting up the ad campaign.

2. Bidding Mistakes
Another variant of the whole “typo” error. Every PPC manager has made a bidding mistake at some point during their careers, its pretty much impossible not to. If you ask around, there are plenty of instances where a manager accidentally raises a bid from 2 dollars to 22 dollars per keyword, racking up thousands of dollars in unwanted charges.

So how do you avoid these mistakes? They can’t be avoided completely, but one good way to mitigate them is to use an offline editor like AdWords Editor or Bing Ads Editor. These two programs allow you to review your changes before they go live, and if you don’t catch any mistakes here, make it a point to check on them the day after they’ve gone live. If any mistakes HAVE been made, you can limit the amount of damage it does.

3. Network Targeting Mistakes
Network Targeting MistakesWhen setting up an ad campaign, many novice PPC managers make the mistake of not changing the default settings in Adwords, causing them to target more networks than they originally intended to. By default, Google has it set to, “All Countries and Languages” and, “All Networks”, and depending on your campaign it may, or may not be the right settings for you.

Make sure that all your managers with access to these settings know and understand what they do and how they work, and that they need to check them before AND after any ad campaigns go live. Additionally, you can set up a report for each campaign, and have it sent to your email once the campaign goes live. That way, any discrepancies can be identified and fixed.

Mistakes happen all the time, and while its important that staffers be careful when setting up their ad campaigns, its also important that they know how to minimize the damage these mistakes cause. Hopefully by learning from the pros missteps, you can avoid your own.