Paid Media

3 Easy Fixes to Improve PPC Performance

Over the years I've reviewed hundreds of PPC accounts and I consistently see the same problems leading to a lot of wasted spend. Wordstream recently conducted a study that suggested companies are wasting as much as 25% of their PPC spend. A large majority of accounts we've reviewed are wasting far more than that. Here are some fixes to the most common errors we see.

1. Disable the display network

This is one of the first things we do. Google used to have the display network enabled by default for new campaigns – honestly they still might, I'm not even sure, we just disable it regardless.

The display network is complicated and unless you've spend 20+ hours optimizing it, your display spend is, in all likelihood, completely wasted.

To do well on the display network you really need to put in the time and money to build excellent copy and creatives, and find the placements, interests, keywords, etc that convert. This takes a long time and a good bit of expertise.

If you're managing PPC in-house, I generally recommend disabling the display network completely unless you have an expert in-house that can manage it. Even then, make sure you separate display and search campaigns, carefully define KPIs/conversions, and track them properly.

2. Remove broad match keywords

Broad match keywords are typically too broad to drive results directly, so they should only be used in 2 circumstances:

  1. You need keyword research – You want to find other keywords to add to your account. Broad match will trigger your ads for related keywords. Using the search query report you can find related keywords people are searching that are triggering your ads. Use that to find new positive/negative keywords and plan new ad groups.
  2. You already have a lot of negative keywords and are trying to increase volume.

In most cases, your account will perform better if you swap your broad match terms for phrase and exact match.

Add the broad match back in later if you decide you need more volume and you've got plenty of negative keywords to ensure you don't get too many irrelevant impressions.

3. Create more specific ad groups

Most accounts we see have too few ad groups covering too broad a range of keywords in each ad group. If you break those keywords out into tightly targeted ad groups, you'll get higher click through rates and better quality scores.

For example, a new client of ours, an auto glass company, had 1 ad group and a handful of ads covering all their keywords. One of the things we did that resulted in a dramatic performance improvement was to break those keywords into more tightly targeted ad groups. Instead of having "windshield repair" and "windshield replacement" in the same ad group, we broke those out into their own ad groups and created ads targeting each.

Google and Bing make it far too easy to setup a poorly optimized campaign. These three fixes can help improve your campaigns dramatically. In fact, we've seen as much as a 60% CPA reduction over 3 months using just these three tips.

John Crenshaw
John Crenshaw
UFO company founder. 15+ years experience in performance marketing.
Never miss an update
Get more training, case studies and ideas delivered directly to your inbox.
* We never share your personal info.
View our Privacy Policy.
Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
Let’s make something great together
Let’s talk.

Get in touch and we’ll setup a quick call to discuss your needs, what we do, and figure out if we’re a good fit.

Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.