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Why Did Your Previous Pay-Per-Click Advertising Attempts Fail?

Why Did Your Previous Pay-Per-Click Advertising Attempts Fail?

Some of the clients we talk to here at Smart WSI Marketing are hesitant to invest in pay-per-click advertising services, usually for one of two reasons. They’ve either tried it themselves, or they’ve worked with another agency, and it’s failed terribly.

We understand. A bad PPC experience can leave anyone reluctant to give it another go. But one of the most rewarding aspects of what we do is demonstrating to our clients the potential of pay-per-click advertising services and why it can be one of the smartest investments they make. Let’s look at several of the most common ways we see PPC campaigns fail and how you can avoid a similar fate. Call us today for a consultation!

Common Pay Per Click Advertising Mistakes

For people outside the digital marketing industry, pay-per-click advertising services can seem confusing and costly. How to structure campaigns, bidding strategies, and ad content is often filled with conflicting advice, increasing the odds of missing business objectives.

Do any of these scenarios sound like what you’ve previously experienced with pay-per-click advertising services?

Running Multiple Campaigns Without Proper Analysis

Most marketers run campaigns on multiple platforms, so they’re likely analyzing each one separately. While each PPC platform is its own ecosystem, you should still be looking at the bigger picture of how all your PPC campaigns affect one another.

For instance, you might be getting limited clicks on an Instagram account, but a campaign you’re running on Google is getting far more click-throughs. It’s easy to assume the Instagram ad isn’t working, but what if it was the catalyst for the lead finally clicking on your Google ad? Looking at the big picture can increase ROI and keep you focused on driving traffic and sales.

No Messaging Continuity

Sometimes pay-per-click advertising services write ad copy that includes a promotion, but when someone clicks through to the landing page, they can’t find any information about it. This can result in quick site abandonment and the probability you’ve lost the lead for good. Always keep the entire customer journey in mind when designing campaigns and make it easy for people to perform the desired action once they click the ad.

Run-of-the-Mill Landing Pages

It’s a classic mistake we see a lot. A lot of effort goes into creating campaign ads while the landing page content looks and reads like an afterthought. Each of your PPC campaigns should point to a well-designed, fast-loading landing page whose content resonates enough to get people to share their information.

Not Closing the Loop on ROI

“Closing the loop” refers to connecting marketing with sales, so revenue is automatically matched to marketing activity to measure and optimize for better results. Many businesses tend to make campaign effectiveness decisions based on metrics like clicks, impressions, and conversions. But looking at the actual revenue generated by your PPC campaigns helps you spend money in the right areas.

No One’s Finding Your Ads

Everyone wants ads that attract and engage, but you can actually get too creative with your messaging! Sometimes content writers get caught up in buzzwords and key phrases no one’s searching for, so they have no idea you have the solution to their problem. One of the primary drivers of success with pay-per-click advertising services is having an audience that’s looking for what you offer. Clear and concise messaging with the right keywords is the solution to attracting more leads.


It’s challenging for anyone, including marketers, to select the best keywords to attract and engage customers. It requires thinking like your customers, understanding what makes a good keyword or phrase, and tying everything together to increase conversions and sales. Working with the right pay-per-click advertising service helps you reach more interested customers with relevant content and offers, waste less time, and spend less money while still gaining an advantage over the competition.

Ignoring Your Customer’s Journey

With PPC ads, the desired action from customers is sales. Along the way, it’s critical to look at a customer’s broader customer journey because the immediate ROI might not come from a click but instead reveal their intent to engage and purchase at a later date.

Not Setting PPC Goals

Google’s planning tools offer a wealth of information, but you should supplement it with relevant and useful third-party tools that help you set expectations on what pay-per-click advertising services can do and will drive in terms of results.

Treating PPC Campaigns as Set-and-Forget

This is a simple mistake many companies make. However, checking in on your campaigns regularly is essential to analyze performance, particularly at the beginning. By tracking performance, you gain insight into whether the campaign’s costing you more or less per click than you initially hoped for.

Poor Account Structure

This is one of the most common issues we see and one that we love to help get right. A good example of poor account structure is when all the chosen keywords are combined into one campaign in one ad group, with one ad representing the whole lot. Other common examples include:

  • Sending all traffic to your website’s homepage.
  • Running one ad per ad group.
  • Using duplicate keywords in competing ad groups and campaigns.

The most common example of poor structure we see, though, is probably not fielding user intent. PPC ads are used to show Google and other search engines your company is the most relevant destination online for what customers are looking for. The better this intent is mapped you’re your account structure, the better you can expect it to perform.

Scaling Too Quickly

When things are going well with a campaign, it would seem to make sense to increase your ad budget. But scaling up too rapidly can actually kill momentum and have a negative impact on your ROI. Most PPC experts agree that a better approach is to increase your budget by about 20% daily and scale slowly and deliberately.

Casting a Too-Wide Net

You’ve probably heard the saying, “think big but act locally.” Don’t be in a rush to gain tons of new clients with pay-per-click advertising services. It’s an expensive and impractical technique that’s not nearly as effective as targeting your local audiences.

A Vague Main Value Proposition

Some marketers believe this is the biggest reason many PPC campaigns fail. Not clearly stating the main value proposition, such as a discount or short-lived promotion, means you’re not letting customers know the core value you’re offering to improve their lives or workflows.

Boost Your Pay-Per-Click Advertising Service Results

PPC advertising is without question a valuable strategy for businesses that want to increase traffic and boost their bottom line. But it also requires careful consideration, planning, and execution to avoid wasting precious time and money.

Pay-per-click advertising services make it easy to reach your target audiences, and the best way to ensure they’re done right is to work with a local digital marketing agency that knows how to maximize your PPC investment and help you attain your goals. It takes a lot of experience, organization, and know-how to optimize PPC ads, and most businesses don’t have the resources to manage PPC campaigns themselves.

If your previous PPC ad campaigns didn’t perform as well as you hoped or expected, Smart WSI Marketing can help you create compelling and effective ads that get seen by the right audiences who want precisely what you offer. To learn more, contact us today.

Lynne team member
Lynne Motkoski, Digital Marketing Strategist
Specialty: Digital Marketing Strategies
Education: MA Communications & Technology, BComm [U Alberta]
Author: The Online Marketing Handbook for Busy Entrepreneurs (coming soon)

Lynne is known for her strategic approach to marketing communications, technologies, and lead generation. She has a passion for education, keeping up with current marketing trends and practices, and helping clients keep ahead of their competition.

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