9 thoughts on “Top 5 PPC Fails

  1. Sigurd

    Can you point me to where you have knowledge of google expecting a 9% CTR in top 3 from? I cannot find it in the Larry Kim article you link to.
    I often see a much higher CTR in top 3 without reaching max QS – but perhaps 9% CTR is enough for the average QS of 5?

  2. Timothy Davis

    My top three:
    3. All keywords being broad matched, not even modified broad, and the negative list being either empty or lacking in comparison to the bid portfolio.
    2. The ads either not being utm tagged for GA, let alone tagged for another analytics program (e.g. Omniture or Coremetrics), or auto tagging not being turned on. In essence, there are no insights into how the account is performing from an onsite perspective.
    1. And last but definitely not least has a theme to it – 1 campaign, 1 ad group, 1 ad but 1000s of keywords; of course the ad only relates to ~3% of those keywords.

    Yours listed above are definitely big-ins though!

  3. DavidOgletree

    9% can be quite high for some terms. I have several terms that reference tow industries. Two people type in same keyword and are looking for two very different things. This lowers my CTR quite a bit. Those terms can be as low as 2% when the account is at 4.6%.

    One of the biggest mistakes I see is too low of a budget. Adwords is serious business. You can’t throw pennies at it and hope to achieve anything. If you budget $50 a day and your clicks average $5 your only going to get ten clicks and your account is dead for the rest of the day. Those people are the ones that always tell me Adwords sucks and is a scam.

    One thing I always do is set my account to show ads as fast as possible. Your time stats are not going to be very useful if your ads are showing randomly throughout the day.

    Another thing I just learned is that Geotargeting works best opting out than opting in. Your not going to get all of a city if you just pick a city. You have to select the state and the city then exclude the rest of the state.

      1. DavidOgletree

        If you target just a city or metro area your not getting everybody in that area. Not sure if this is a bug or a feature but the only way to get everybody in a city is to also target the state. You then have to exclude out the rest of the state or just reduce the bid for the state. This is called opt out geo targeting.

        Just in case some don’t know you can bid on a state and the cities in it. When you have more than one area targeted Google uses the most local of the bids. Say I bid -50% in Texas and have Houston at 0% or +5% Google will ignore the -50% for people in Houston and use the Houston bid. If I then add a bid at the zip level then people in that zip code will get the bid modifier for that zip code and ignore the city and state bids. This also means that the stats you see for the state do not include the sub bids below that.

        1. Ben

          So say you want to target Houston, you are saying you target Houston and Texas…and then exclude any DMA in Texas (that isn’t Houston)? It seem to me like you wouldn’t be able to exclude EVERYTHING besides Houston though.

          1. DavidOgletree

            You will spend a little outside of Houston but it won’t be much. I chose to just lower bid in rest of Texas because I want business in all TX but the CPA outside of my target cities is just too high at normal bids. I have TX set to -65%.

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