Pay-per-click advertising, or PPC for short, can be an expensive marketing strategy. Yet, if you consistently monitor the spend and performance of your campaigns, then you can mitigate any issues that arise. Of course, you need to know what to look for to do this — so here are 5 signs you need to adjust your PPC campaign to stay on track with your goals.

1. Your Costs Are High, but Your Clicks Are Low.

Ideally, as your PPC campaign continues to run over time, you want the cost-per-click (CPC) to become lower. CPC is the amount it costs you every time someone clicks on your ad, and it’s measured by the total spend divided by the total clicks on your ad. The more people who click on your ad, the lower the CPC. Note the average clickthrough rate (CTR) is about 2 percent. 



The reasons your ads aren’t getting many clicks could be wide-ranging, from incorrect audience targeting to poorly written ad copy. Here’s a primer on audience targeting and writing effective ad copy for your PPC campaigns.

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2. Your Conversion Rates Are Low.   

The average conversion rate for paid advertising is 2.35 percent, a remarkably low number. Of course, average conversion rates vary by industry, so it’s a good idea to compare yours with an industry-related data point. If you find the conversion rates on your PPC ads are too low, then it’s a sign you need to adjust your PPC campaign.



To increase your conversion rates, you may need to take a closer look at your PPC landing pages. Does the language align with your ad? Is the page simple to use? Can your visitors understand what you want them to do, quickly and easily?

3. You Have Too Many Ads and Keywords.

It’s best practice to write a few ads per ad group, but when you have too many it can sacrifice your campaign’s performance. The same goes for keywords. Ideally, you want to aim for no more than 7-10 ads and no more than 15 keywords per ad group. Keeping to these amounts also makes your PPC campaigns more manageable, and that can help you maintain your budget at the same time.

4. You Forgot to Include Negative Keywords.

Whenever you’re creating a paid advertising campaign, you want to add the best keywords – and that includes negative keywords, or keywords you don’t want included in your campaign. Negative keywords are important because they tell the ad platform not to show your ad for those keywords, which means you can avoid paying for clicks that won’t amount to conversions. You avoid wasted ad spend by including negative keywords.

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5. Your Bounce Rate Is Too High.

Since the next step after clicking on an ad is to go to a landing page, you want to pay attention to the bounce rate. Bounce rate measures how much time a visitor spends on your landing page; so, the higher the bounce rate, the less time they spend. When your bounce rate is too high, it’s a sign that you need to adjust your PPC campaign. For example, you may need to amend your ad copy, so it relates better to the landing page. That way, users can see a real connection between the ad they clicked and the destination, which makes it more likely they will convert.

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Now that you understand the signs your PPC campaign needs attention, you can check to see if any of these are standing in your way to better performance. If you feel like you’ve addressed everything but are still having issues, then here’s what to do when PPC best practices fail. Also, to learn more about how to run successful PPC campaigns, check out Simplilearn’s Advanced Pay Per Click (PPC) Certification Training.

About the Author

Rob SandersRob Sanders

Rob Sanders is a digital marketing veteran with over 20 years of experience. During that time, Rob has helped a wide range of companies utilize new and emerging technologies to increase sales and profitability. As founder of RSO Consulting, Rob helps clients maximize their digital marketing efforts via SEO, SEM, SMO, and Web Analytics. He is responsible for many facets of the web analytics value chain, from identifying business goals and objectives to developing strategies and translating those into Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). Rob also teaches digital marketing and analytics classes throughout the U.S. and abroad. As a contributor for Simplilearn, Rob creates expert thought leadership content on a variety of digital marketing and analytics topics.

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