Insights

Why Most Companies Are Blowing Their Google Ads and PPC Budget

15/11/2021 | Digital Marketing | 3 minutes

Google Ads and other Pay Per Click (PPC) campaigns are an incredible way to get your brand in front of the right people. But there are oh so many ways it can go awry. Even the biggest and the best are regularly caught out, wasting their money. And it’s no wonder. Covering all the bases – all at once and all the time – is a lot for internal teams to manage. Google doesn’t tell you when you’re spending your money inefficiently, so you blissfully go on spending, even when the budget is bleeding out.

The challenge with PPC ads is that everyone can sign up, put their money in and contribute to Google’s annual earnings. While there are many articles like this one to help fill in knowledge gaps, there is no self-service solution that ensures every pound is wisely spent. Thus, many of those pounds are probably being wasted. Here’s how:

Keywords are wrong

We know, we know. Everyone knows about keywords. Keywords are where most companies will spend their time, do the greatest amount of research and have the most confidence that they’ve got this one in the bag. But keywords aren’t set and forgotten. They need to be regularly reviewed, trends need to be considered and updates will need to be made. Mistakes can always be made and getting keywords right means some trial and error. If you’re not trialling, analysing and iterating, you’re not setting yourself up for the best results.

Search terms reports aren’t being utilised

While Google may not tell you exactly where to patch your leaks, it does give you a great number of tools to support your efforts if you know how to use them effectively. One such tool is the search terms report, found under “keywords”, then “search terms” from the navigation menu. This report reveals data on the search terms that have been used successfully to trigger impressions and clicks. If this report is not informing your campaigns, your ad spend is being wasted.

Placement settings aren’t properly considered

One of our favourite examples of a placement fail is when the Qantas Airlines team didn’t think to turn off news sites for their ad placements immediately after appearing in the news under less than positive circumstances — they had to make an emergency landing. As a result, readers of this very bad PR piece for Qantas were also served an advertisement by Qantas suggesting they book a flight with them.

Naturally, that wasn’t a good time to propose a flight. All eyeballs on that ad, on that page, wasted the ad budget for Qantas. This is something that very few companies would think about in the midst of a PR crisis, but failing to think about where your ads are placed, depending on what is happening in the world and in your company, can cost you greatly.

Account structure is poor

The account structure is the foundation of your Google Ads campaign. If the foundations aren’t strong, the results are going to fall flat. Every step must be carefully considered, starting at the campaign level and building up to the ad group, keyword selection, ad copy and ad extensions. But remember, if anything changes in one part of this structure, the whole structure needs to be reviewed and altered. This is where many cracks begin to form in the foundation.

Conversion tracking is inaccurately set up

Tracking is perhaps the most important element to set up correctly on a PPC campaign. If actions aren’t properly tracked, your ability to measure ROI is lost, and you can bet all your ad budget that money is being wasted. While Google provides this tool, it’s only as useful as you make it. Customisation is essential for accurately measuring the unique CTAs that fit your goals. Make a mistake here, and the whole way in which you measure success is off track.

Plus, everything else

On top of all of that, the ad quality, keyword match types, user experience, and engagement post-ad click are all additional ways we see money wasted. Every action taken causes reactions in other categories. If this is not known comprehensively amongst the team managing the ad spend, you need someone else to manage it.

We may as well say it blatantly: You need experts for this one. But thankfully, all the money wasted right now will pay for that expertise. And then some.

We manage £100,000’s of ad budget every month. We’ve seen it all and can step in to reignite ad success, no matter the current state.

With a team of PPC specialists working with such significant budgets, it’s fair to say we’re experts in our field. We know all the subtle little ways companies unknowingly blow their budgets, and as a PPC Agency based in Oxford, we’re equipped to help repair the leaks quickly.

For PPC campaigns that genuinely get the maximum results available, you want to work with the team at Urban Element. Contact us today to learn how we can patch your leaks and get your ROI rising high.

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