Posted by James Lee on 24th November 2010

Benefiting From Your PPC Mistakes

We all make them. The keywords we didn’t research properly that proceeded to generate completely irrelevant clicks, the adgroups we left disorganized because we couldn’t be bothered to fix them, the keywords that should have been paused long ago. However, tired old cliches aside, mistakes can be highly instructive. Just make them early, learn from them fast, and don’t make them again. Easier said than done? OK, maybe a little. But here are some ways to make the most of your PPC management mistakes.

1) Not acting immediately = more data. While there are some cases in which not being prompt about fixing issues can be very expensive, there are other times in which an extra month or two of data can help you decide what action to take on keywords, adgroups, and ad copies. Sometimes what seem like problems fix themselves; other times they’ll call for drastic action. More impression, CTR, bounce, and time on site data means being able to make an informed decision. You’ll appreciate the extra data when it comes to bigger things like spendy (but important) keywords, landing pages, and account structure.

2) Find new negatives to add from your search queries. We’ve been doing this for a while, and we’re still surprised at the queries that our ads get matched to. While there are some good tools to use to predict negatives (we like Wordstream’s keyword tool), you won’t be able to catch them all without allowing your keywords to run for a bit. And if you skimped a little on the keyword¬†research, it’s never too late to add negatives to refine your queries.

3) Learn from them. The consequences of your mistakes can be pretty pricy, especially on a platform that spends as quickly as PPC. Once you’ve figured out how to fix your mistakes¬†and just how much of a difference it makes, you’ll never make the same mistake again. And while it’s an expensive way to learn, it’s also an extremely effective one.

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