What Not to Do When Managing PPC Campaigns

A few weeks ago I read a short and sweet article from the Yahoo! Search Marketing Blog about “what not to do” with your PPC account.  They covered some of the basics like not bidding on keywords for which your site doesn’t have content for, don’t write misleading ad copy, don’t submit irrelevant landing page URLs and on top of all of that – don’t send your PPC traffic to low quality or unacceptable landing page content.

While that was a good start to a “what not to do” list, I think that there are plenty of other pitfalls everyone should know to avoid!  Without further ado, here’s four additional “what not to do” statements:

DON’T Use Narrow Minded Match Types

A lot of PPC beginners load their accounts with nothing but Broad Match keywords (or Advanced Match for Yahoo!).  Sure, broad match can give you a jump start on driving traffic.  The issue is you are giving the search engines free license to match user search queries to your keyword.  This can leave you open for unqualified traffic, low click-through rates and low conversion rates.

For Google specifically, you can actually perform keyword research based on Broad, Phrase or Exact match types.  This can give you a pretty good idea of which match types of your keywords to load into your ad groups.  I’m not advocating that you stop using Broad Match altogether, just that you should diversify your match type-ness.

DON’T Employ Auto-Optimization of Ad Texts

Both Google and Yahoo! offer the ability to automatically optimize your ad text testing.  If this isn’t a “what not to do” candidate, I don’t know what is!  In short, allowing the search engines to auto-optimize your ads takes away your ability to perform statistically valid ad text tests (true A/B tests).  When you choose to have G or Y rotate your ads evenly, you ensure that the data presented is a solid comparison of each ad’s performance.

DON’T Write Boring, Generic Ads

Boring ads don’t entice visitors to click-through to your website.  Generic ads typically aren’t all that relevant, and likely don’t include your ad group’s keywords.  This is PPC 101 people!  My advice again and again is write ad texts that are benefit driven, contain a clear call-to-action and CONTAIN YOUR KEYWORD(s)!

DON’T Set It And Forget It

The minutia of PPC is great for nerds like us, but sometimes the simplest ideas are the most important.  Whatever you do, don’t create a splendiferous PPC campaign that rocks, and then assume that it will continue to rock as long as you pay the invoice on time.  This is a poor, naive strategy.  PPC campaigns are living, breathing entities that require care and attention from you – the account’s manager.  If you “set it and forget it,” you will only set yourself up for failure.

DON’T Read This Blog Post and NOT Comment!

There are countless other “what not to do” statements for managing PPC campaigns.  I’d love to hear everyone’s favorite “what not to do” statement.  Leave me a comment!