3 Silly Mistakes you Might be Making When Optimising your PPC Campaign

In PPC, The Digital Marketing Blog by Eloi2 Comments

Optimising Pay Per Click accounts for KPIs can be a challenging task. Whether it be increasing traffic for the same budget, increasing the amount of leads generated by a campaign, or simply reducing the cost per lead of a given campaign, keyword and ad optimisation is a very important part of any SEM campaign that you should be undertaking on a (very) regular basis.


Now that’s a big mistake! (via flickr)

In order to “help advertisers present the most relevant ads to searchers”, Google has a wide range of reports and metrics that are the basis of any optimisation work. However, tired eyes and keyword blindness can lead you to include keywords in your PPC campaign that you never would have used had you had a double caramel latte from Toast by the Coast.

1. The Dynamic Keyword Insertion mistake:

One of the most common mistakes I see when surfing SERPs is Dynamic Keyword Insertion mistakes – I haven’t got any screenshots here, but I can’t even count the number of times I have seen an ad displayed on a SERP with the headline:

{keyword-Product} or {kw:Product} or even KeyWord:{Product}

While it’s fairly funny for a Paid Search Marketer to see this, it does mean that the client has got bad management services who do not know what they are doing, as they are losing money, quality score, and brand recognition.

So once, again, the right way to use DKI if you are bidding on the keyword mortgages is:


Here mortgages will be the text displayed if the user’s search is over 25 characters long.

2. The (silly) Keyword mistake:

Including the keyword “keyword” is definitely a very silly mistake:

Bidding on “keyword”

These are PPC results for the search term “keyword”

This mistake probably comes from the fact that PPC managers export keyword lists from Adwords into Excel. Once this is done, they can sort keywords by whatever metric you wish, and decide to re-upload the best ones. Accidentally selecting the top line of the Excel spreadsheet can cause you to include the keyword “keyword” into your campaign, like in the examples above.

3. The Search Query Report mistake:

When optimising for conversions, you always want to find longtail keywords, as they usually convert much better. To do so, you can run a search query report to see exactly what searches led to conversions. You can then select these queries, and upload them to your campaign.

Unfortunately, Google does like to keep us in the dark sometimes, and the Search Query Report often churns up results saying “x(number) other unique queries” – meaning there are x other queries that Google will not allow you to see.

And just like the “silly keyword mistake” above, selecting a block of keywords in Excel can lead to you including “23 other unique queries” to your campaign’s keyword list – which will lower your CTR as your ad will not be relevant, which in turn will lead you to paying more per click as your Quality Score worsens.

In the example below, Barclays have done this mistake and have managed to brilliantly amplify it with the Dynamic Keyword Insertion tool:

Barclays’ PPC management…

Easy mistakes to make, but they can all impact on your Pay Per Click campaign by artificially inflating the CPCs, lowering CTRs and, of course, looking dumb -brand awareness.

As Kelvin would say “C’mon people, ‘fess up!”

And as I would say “would you like a Search Engine Marketing proposal with your coffee?…”


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