5 Common Causes Why Your Last PPC Campaign Failed

PPC advertising can quickly generate targeted leads, boost conversion rates, and ultimately grow your business.

Yet, a lot of businesses make the usual mistakes that stop them from making a significant ROI from their PPC spending. For example, as soon as they start to notice their marketing funds getting wasted, they’ll then have a nervous breakdown and stop making any further investment.

But, you see, it’s not that difficult to gain huge ROI from your PPC campaigns because you now closely understand your buyer’s intent while targeting keywords into your ads.

There are many online businesses that spend tens of thousands of dollars every month on pay-per-click (or PPC) campaigns (not mentioning millions of spendings on AdWords). But, still, they’re unable to tap into their market – just because they commit the same mistakes that could be easily and quickly corrected.

In this guide, I’ll share with you a detailed case study that illustrates this point later in this post.

Here’s how you can fix those common mistakes that are stopping you from reaching the true potential from you PPC spendings. After fixing these problems, you’ll be able to plan your PPC spending more confidently.

So, let’s get started, shall we?


1. Getting preoccupied with cost-per-lead (CPL)

Are you the type that constantly obsesses over the cost-per-lead (CPL), because you think that’s how you’ll know whether your PPC ads are working or not, then you’re mistaken.

This is because, over the past few years, PPC best practices have been slowly moving from optimising your ads for clicks to optimising your ads for conversions.

Even though CPL signals PPC success, it doesn’t actually guarantee you any results. No wonder why so many PPC campaigns with remarkable CPL failed because they didn’t link textpull enough profits at the end.

Of course, CPL may improve your campaigns, but if the campaign isn’t profitable in the first place, it’s still is useless.

Here’s a simple solution: Rather than obsessing about CPL, pay attention to profitability. In order to do this, you’ll have to align your PPC campaign to your bottom line. That means you should keep an eye on keywords that drive the best (and lowest) cost-per-sale, and which ad copy delivers the highest ROIs.

Rather than obsessing about CPL, pay attention to profitability. (Image source: Neil Patel)


The best way to do this is use Marketo, Salesforce, Infusionsoft. The time and effort you put into will have a profound effect on your bottom line, and how you run PPC campaigns in the future.


2. Using poorly written PPC ad copy that doesn’t tie well with your landing pages.

You get less than a split second to grab you prospects attention and make them click on your search ad. If your ad fails to clearly describe the value of your offer, then your PPC ad will get lost in the murky depths of Google search result pages.

In other words, it’s absolutely crucial to make your USP as compelling as you can in those limited 25 characters – which is your headline.

Make your USP as compelling as you can in those limited 25 characters (Image source: Patrick Barnaby)


In addition, you’ll have to know what your searcher’s intent is. Then, present your offer in a way that’ll appeal to that intent, like this:

Someone searching for “help get rid of acne” would definitely get enticed by the title “Dealing with Acne?” (Image source: Niel Patel)

The above ad copy works wonders because it appeals directly to the needs of your potential customers.


One more thing, though.

Don’t oversell just in order to get more clicks. For example, if your ad says it’ll offer‘free invoice software’ then don’t mention $59 product that comes with a 30-day free trial offer on your landing page. You’ll only make your users angry.

Don’t oversell in order to get more clicks!(Image source: Neil Patel)


Matching your ad headline exactly with you landing page. (Image source: Crazy Engage)


Did you know that 55% of your total visitors spend less than 15 seconds on any page on your website?

It’s crucial part of any search engine marketing strategy. Your visitors know why they came to your site and then keep on staying there, not leave immediately.

The best and probably the only way to match your headline with your message are to carefully use relevant keywords, ad copy, and landing pages to ONE intent per ad group.

Google suggests that you use up to “10 to 20 keywords” in an ad group, but we recommend using only 5 similar keywords. Why? Because this will make sure your ads aren’t displayed for wrong intentions and thus remain relevant.

Google suggests you use up to 10-20 keywords in an ad group (Image source: LunaMetrics)


For best results, you want to do some work and set up a single keyword ad groups for better organisation. Once you’re organised, focus on making your ad copy and landing pages highly relevant to give a superb customer experience for your target visitors as well as to gain a higher quality score.

By making their message match with each other, Disruptive Advertising generated over 50% conversion rates for their clients.


3. Not tracking your phone calls effectively

For a lot of businesses – particularly when they’re running campaigns to generate leads – phone calls are very important source of leads and sales.

A lot of businesses understand the significance of generating leads to their business. In addition, there are handy tools such as Google’s call forwarding feature to receive calls from potential customers.

Despite all this, most businesses don’t keep track of their calls effectively. As a result, they can’t really tell which source are producing sales for them, which also means they won’t have a clue which PPC campaigns are bringing in more revenues.


So, how do you keep track of your calls effectively?

It’s easy. You can place a piece of code on your website that automatically changes the onsite phone with a call forwarding number. Or, you can place your call forwarding number in your PPC ad copy call extensions. This will help you know which PPC campaign generated which calls through your website.

To keep track of which keywords, PPC ads, and calls leads to real sales, you can use platforms such as Five9 or Call Tracking Metrics. The best part about these tools is that it seamlessly integrates with your CRM. I understand it’s a little bit of extra work for you, but simply setting up this type of call tracking method can dramatically increase your PPC results.

To keep track of which keywords, PPC ads, and calls leads to real sales, you can use platforms such as Five9 or Call
Tracking Metrics (Image source: CallTrackingMetrics)


4. Your small budget limits the viewability of your ads

If you’re just starting out with PPC marketing, then you lack data about your conversion rates. So, it might be difficult or you to move into the new territory. So, you do what most other marketers do – set a low budget and see how things go.

What you’ll get?

Nothing. Your ads will stop appearing by tomorrow morning and you won’t have received a single phone call by then.

Here’s the solution: Instead of cutting down your cost, face your internal fears head on and increase your initial spending just to test your search marketing strategy. Why? Without testing, you cannot get a sense of your best keywords, your ad copy, and your landing pages. As a result, you won’t accurately know the true significance of your conversion rates.

So, in order to check the full potential of your ads, bid high, maintain a high-quality score, display in a higher ad position, and generate more clicks to your ads.

Once you figure out the most profitable search ads, then head towards the ROI-focused route.

Bid high, maintain a high-quality score, display in a higher ad position, and generate more clicks to your ads. (Image source: WordStream)


In case you don’t have a big budget for ad spending, you can try these tactics shared by WhiteSharkMedia.


5. Sending all your traffic to your home page

Search engine users are doing ONE thing they care about only: searching for a particular piece of information on the web.

And what does your home page have?

A web page (landing page) that is created around that particular search phrase (Image source: Moz)


Does it have lots of information about the company, or talks broadly about the product or service, and nothing particularly about any search terms?

If you send all your visitors to your homepage through your ads but make them spend a loooong time finding the information they’re actually interested in, then you’ll immediately see the bounce rate on your website spike up.

Instead, you should be sending your traffic to:


A web page (landing page) that is created around that particular search phrase.

To boost conversions, you can do ONE thing: monitor your conversion rates by looking at both keywords and landing page.

This way, if you notice a spike in bounce rates and drop in conversion rates, you can either optimise your landing page for better conversions or send the traffic to a completely different page and see what happens.


I highly suggest that you log in to your Google PPC account and see if you can spot any of these problems. If you find any, please fix them.

Did I miss any other basic reasons why one’s PPC campaigns might fail? If I did, please share your ideas below in the comment box.