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We're Just Going to Say It: Your PPC Budget Can Be Better Spent (Here's How, Why, and Where It Should Be)

If you're spending money on PPC without understanding why, you're throwing dollars down the drain. Here's how to do it right, and where you can allocate your marketing budget for the biggest impact.

5 mins read time
Wendi Williams
Wendi Williams

Aug 17, 2021

You've got to spend money to make it.

You know it, we know it. Everyone does. But spending money won't guarantee results by itself. You've got to spend it right.

So how exactly might expenditure on PPC fit into your marketing budget? You're going to want to know the answer before you spend a single marketing dollar.

Too many brands have fallen into the trap of thinking they are owed some results just because they did some PPC.

It doesn't quite work like that. PPC is very much a you-get-what-you-give thing. Put another way, garbage in, garbage out!

So while having a large PPC budget is definitely a plus, don't spend it until you understand how to do it right.

In this article, we discuss some of these common mistakes, show you how to avoid them, and give you some tips on the PPC best practices that can help you make the most of your budget regardless of its size. Plus, we'll tell you other marketing channels that deserve some more love, and will yield bigger long-term results and sustained growth, like content marketing.


Making Money with PPC: The Top 3 Mistakes to Avoid and What to Do Instead

Making money with PPC advertising can be tricky. Every single dollar of your budget counts and a single mistake can have drastic effects.

Here are three common mistakes that may be draining your PPC budget or causing you to waste it on the wrong tactics: 

Poor Tracking

If you are not tracking key PPC metrics, you will never know what exactly is working and what tactics are simply throwing away your marketing budget.

Inadequate tracking is shockingly common. According to a report by Hubspot, a mere 53 percent of companies track their marketing ROI. And this is despite the fact that businesses that meticulously track their inbound marketing are 17 times more likely to experience a positive ROI. 


Several analytics tools are available to help you track various PPC metrics. Google Ads, for instance, has a conversion tracking option that lets you keep track of how many clicks result in sales. Other great options are Salesforce and Marketo. While setting these tools up might take some time and patience, the potential results are well worth it. 

Poor Keyword Strategy

The results of an audit of over 2,000 Google Ads accounts showed that, on average, an account generated all of its sales from just 9 percent of its keywords. What that means is, out of every 10 words these accounts were bidding on, only one was actually producing results. The remaining nine were simply eating up a huge chunk of their budgets. 

This unfortunate situation happens because most companies do not have a strong PPC keyword strategy in place. They bid on too many keywords hoping that some end up working, but many end up being irrelevant to their target audience, which then leads to low CTR and clicks that are unlikely to convert. If you are making this mistake, your non-performing keywords may be causing you to lose up to 61 percent of your ad expenditure. 


Google Ads is great at helping you find non-performing keywords. On your “All campaigns” dashboard, you would see a “Keywords” tab. Click on it and then find the “Details” drop-down menu. You will then be shown the “Search terms” options from which you can create filters for certain metrics. One easy option is to set up a search based on a particular conversion rate, such as more than 1 percent. 

Doing this will show you poor-performing keywords that can be eliminated. Then, the part of your budget that was being wasted on these keywords can be spent on the high-performing keywords instead. 

Ineffective Ad Targeting

While your ad might be successfully attracting traffic to your site, without proper targeting, the people that end up on your site might not be interested in what you have to offer. When your ads are getting clicks but not driving conversions, your return on investment will be low. In other words, the money you spent on the campaign ends up wasted. This is why understanding your target audience and tailoring your ads to them is crucial.


Before you start any campaign, take some time to conduct target audience research and build unique buyer personas based on their interests, habits, and needs.  Understanding your target audience allows you to choose better keywords, create more impactful copy, and pick the right platform to place your ads on. 

PPC Best Practices to Maximize Your Budget  

In addition to the methods outlined above, here are some PPC best practices that can help you reach your budget’s full potential: 

Build a Strong Landing Page

Getting a potential customer to click on an ad is just the first step of a successful PPC campaign. The next question is, where do they end up after they click? Your ad shouldn’t be leading users straight to your sales page.

With ads being thrown in their faces every time they are online, customers have gotten less responsive to them. They are very unlikely to respond to an ad at the very first exposure.

So what you need is an effective lead nurturing strategy. This starts with a strong landing page that offers your visitor an irresistible lead magnet that would convince them to give you their contact information. 

It is important to remember that most PPC platforms have strict guidelines for landing pages. Be sure to read through and follow them to avoid suspension of your account. 

Consider Other Tactics

Using the growth marketing approach, combine your PPC campaigns with other methods like SEO, email, and content marketing. PPC ads should not be the only marketing tactic you use. While they can draw customers in, email and content marketing can help you build a strong relationship with them. This contributes immensely to them becoming paying customers. 

Making Money with PPC: The Bottom Line

The key to making money with PPC is spending money wisely. Proper research on keywords and your target audience will help you figure out what you should be focusing your budget on. And, setting up proper analytics helps you find out which tactics are actually profitable.

That said, PPC, on its own, will only yield short-term results. But in combination with the other methods, it can yield long-term sustainable effects, letting you reap the full potential of your PPC budget.

The real long-term result you're looking for comes from having an all-encompassing growth marketing strategy. Like we said, to make money, you're going to need to spend it first, and there are few better ways to spend your marketing budget than by hiring a growth marketing agency that knows what they're doing. 


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Wendi Williams

After beginning her career in broadcast media, Wendi spent the next decade writing for clients in a variety of industries, including healthcare, business and tech. She’s been writing since she was 8 years old, and more than 30 years later, doesn’t foresee slowing down anytime soon. Her passion is using words to bring brands to life, and telling their stories in unique and engaging ways. She shares a life of wonder, curiosity and exploration with her husband, two children and pet lizard.

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