5 Common Pay-Per-Click (PPC) Advertising Mistakes

Life As A Digital Marketer

As a digital marketer in this day and age, it is unlikely you won’t come across some type of PPC advertising campaign at least once in your career. Especially for people beginning their marketing journeys, setting up PPC ad campaigns can be quite daunting. Luckily for us, there is no shortage of online resources to help light the way.

Here are some of the top five mistakes marketers make when setting up their PPC ad campaigns:

Mistake 1: Going Forward Without A Clear Strategy

Marketing without a strategy is the same as yelling at a crowd of people hoping that everyone will hear you. Without a clear and well-defined PPC ad strategy, how will you know if your ads are actually working? Define clear goals and objectives as key performance indicators. Understand your audiences, keywords, budgets and different platforms to advertise on. Before committing to any PPC ad campaigns, make sure you have a plan!

Mistake 2: Setting Too Small Of A Budget

Before committing to a set of ads, try testing out your audience and creative concepts.

Avoid thinking too small with your PPC ad campaign budget. If you’re are setting up your ad campaign for the first time, the lack of information could have you thinking small when it comes to cash so you can minimize your losses if it doesn’t work out. In PPC advertising, this is not the case. You need to provide enough of a budget for the campaign to be able to big on your target keywords and acquire clicks. Without this data, it will be difficult for you to determine the validity of your campaign and make effective decisions to drive conversion. Gaining insight into which audiences, creative, or keywords are more effective will allow for you to prioritize your resources into better-performing campaigns.

Mistake 3: Neglecting Your Landing Page Quality

The fundamental purpose of an ad is to direct people to a specific landing page. We all talk about bounce rates on our website but consider what a high bounce rate could mean for your ads. If your landing page lacks value for the person interested in clicking your ads, you might as well be throwing your money away.

There are many factors can lead to a bad user experience on a poorly designed landing page, but here are a few considerations:

  • Slow page loading speeds
  • Bad UI/UX
  • Copy that can’t convert
  • Too much unnecessary copy
  • No clear call-to-action

Put yourself in the shoes of your customers and ensure their experience after clicking on your ad is a positive one. Try A/B testing your ads with different variations of landing pages to see which performs better. The more data you can collect during this process, the better-informed decisions you and your team will be able to make about your campaigns.

Mistake 4: Not Enough Focus On Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

A PPC ad campaign can keep driving traffic to your website, at a cost. If your entire lead generation strategy is dependent on PPC, it can be very expensive in the long run. Your sales are directly correlated to how much money you allocate to your advertising budget. We recommend diversifying your marketing strategy as much as possible so that you aren’t dependent on only one avenue for generating leads.

We are huge believers in the power of SEO and if done correctly, it can enhance your exposure and search results. Combining effective SEO strategies with your PPC ad strategy can drive more traffic to your website and more conversions.

Mistake 5: Not Knowing The Different Keyword Match Types

Avoid wasting valuable time and resources on ads that aren’t using the correct keyword match type. When researching keywords for your PPC ad strategy, keep in mind that there are three keyword match types that can impact the performance of your PPC ad campaign. The match types you choose for your PPC ad strategy will depend on the intent of your ad campaign.

Broad Match

Broad Match: keywords or phrases that are somewhat related to your keyword.

Broad Match keywords would be ideal for reaching wider audiences for a campaign targeted towards brand awareness. They can also be ideal for gathering larger amounts of data about your ad performance earlier in the campaign. The more data you have about your ads, the better you can gauge which ads are performing and make well-informed decisions.

Exact Match

Exact Match: the exact keyword or phrase

Exact Match type gives you the most control in your keyword bidding strategy. Your ads can show on searches that have the same meaning/intent as your keyword. These keywords can reduce the number of search results your ads will show up for and can be beneficial for niche projects and services.

Phrase Match

Phrase Match: keywords or phrases that are close variations of the searched phrase

Phrase match keywords are used when the order of words in a search term can indicate a different search intention. These ads are more likely to show on searches that include your product or service. Your ads can show on searches that include the meaning of your keyword. User search can be a more specific form of the meaning, but your ads can still show on those search results.

These keywords can provide both the flexibility as Broad Match keywords and a certain degree of control like exact match keywords. Results can include more searches than using exact match, but fewer searches than using a broad match. Phrase match keywords have both a degree of flexibility and control. 

Google keyword match type examples

Examples of broad, exact and phrase keyword match types from Google.


Market analysis and keyword research are a marketer’s best friends. The better informed you are about your keyword strategy, industry, competitors, and target audience, the more effective your PPC ad campaigns will be. Keep these mistakes in mind when formulating or revisiting your advertising strategies in the future.

We wish you the best of luck in your marketing endeavours. Happy advertising!

👋 Hey Sitecore Enthusiasts!

Sign up to our bi-weekly newsletter for a bite-sized curation of valuable insight from the Sitecore community.

What’s in it for you?

  • Stay up-to-date with the latest Sitecore news
  • New to Sitecore? Learn tips and tricks to help you navigate this powerful tool
  • Sitecore pro? Expand your skill set and discover troubleshooting tips
  • Browse open careers and opportunities
  • Get a chance to be featured in upcoming editions
  • Learn our secret handshake
  • And more!
Sitecore Snack a newsletter by Fishtank Consulting

Meet Theresa Gutierrez

Sitecore Strategist | Sitecore Strategy MVP

⛳ 🌮👩🏻‍💻

Theresa, aka 'T', is a high-energy marketing creative with 8+ years of experience across various industries. She's passionate about delivering strategy and design, with a focus on Sitecore SaaS technologies. T is an avid golfer and loving dog momma, appeased only by delicious food and a bevy of something bubbly. Cheers!

Connect with Theresa