Over at Search Engine Guide, Jennifer Laycock has pointed out 5 common paid search mistakes that can make your campaigns sink. She talks about common mistakes like engaging in bidding wars to be in the #1 position for ‘power’ reasons. She also points out having too many keywords with only one ad, focusing on budget and not ROI, sending all traffic to your homepage and not separating content from search. In this post I’d like to append to this list of 5 additional common mistakes one can make when managing their PPC Account.

Beginning where Jennifer left off…

6. Not Spending Enough Time on Your Ad Text: Jennifer talks about segmenting your ad groups better so your ads can be more targeted to the user’s search query. But what about the ad text itself? Your ad text is one of the most important aspects of your PPC account. A big mistake is when people focus more on their keyword bids than their ad text of an ad group. Be sure to include one or more of your keywords within your ad text and include a call-to-action. A good call-to-action will guide the customer in the right direction once they enter your site. For more information on Calls-to-Action in ad text please click here.

7. Not having a Relevant Landing Page. A big part of Google and Yahoo’s! new search algorithms is their implementation of the quality score. A good quality score, will lower your minimum bids and increase your ad rank position. The landing page is one of the most important elements of determining your overall quality score. There are many factors that can go into making a relevant landing page in order to improve your quality score. Here you can read about the top 3 components that Google Adwords focuses on when determining your account quality score.

8. Not Checking Up on Your Competition. You shouldn’t stalk your competition but checking up on them from time to time can help your campaigns. By checking on your competition you can see how your product or services differ, and then you can highlight that in your ad text. You can read more about how one can leverage their competitions strengths and weaknesses to your own advantage.

9. Not Using Negative Keywords. Qualifying traffic is one of the most difficult obstacles I’ve encountered while managing PPC campaigns. It’s most important to the customer however that the traffic you drive to their site is qualified, and not people who are just browsing. Driving more qualified traffic should decrease your spend and your cost per conversion while increasing your ROI. Negative keywords can help weed out unwanted or expensive traffic that aren’t yet ready to convert. Here is a great post on using negative keywords to weed out your unwanted or unqualified traffic to your site.

10. Only Using General Keywords and No Long Tail Keywords. A general keyword can be defined as an open term that doesn’t relate to a specific item or service. Typically, general keywords are one or two word phrases like, keyboards or shoes; these general keywords can be very expensive and typically don’t convert as well as the longer tail keywords. Long tail keywords are keywords that drive a smaller amount of traffic but are more specific and targeted. For example, women’s red shoes would be considered a long tail keyword since it’s targeted a specific item. The best practice today is to segment your general keywords with lower bids, and set your long-tail keywords in a separate ad group with higher bids. To learn more on segmenting your general keywords from your long-tail keywords click here.

If you’re like me, learning from other people’s mistakes is a great way to prevent yourself from making them too. If you follow these 10 tips, (Jennifer’s and mine), they should help you manage your ppc campaigns more effectively and in turn, you should see higher ROI as a result!