5 Common PPC Practices To Avoid In 2021

5 Common PPC Practices To Avoid In 2021

While the platforms and best practices that we search for and often mimic are supposed to be created by professionals who know what they’re doing, there are many times when these practices hurt more than help. Do you rely on big data, your ad platform, or your peers to make decisions on how to create the most effective PPC campaigns?

Rather than looking to third parties for how to build a campaign, advertisers should focus on their own data and metrics. No two businesses will have the same optimal approach to building a PPC campaign.

Ness Marketing will show you six popular marketing tropes and why they shouldn’t be blindly applied.

1. Applying Fully Automated Bidding

Advertisers have long known that they can target specific audiences using search advertising. But advertisers also know that relying on manual bidding can be risky. Some advertisers are embracing artificial intelligence (AI) as a way to automate their bidding decisions. The theory is that AI systems can learn what works best without bidding against competitors or relying on a human’s intuition. But AI isn’t perfect. As with other aspects of online marketing, there are pros and cons to relying on machine intelligence.


  • It is more reliable than a human. While humans can make budgeting mistakes, AI doesn’t.
  • AI can target specific audiences. Just as with search ads, AI systems can target specific audiences.
  • These systems can learn which audiences respond to which ads. AI systems can learn which ads perform the best for particular audiences and adjust bidding accordingly.


  • AI systems don’t respond to emotions. Emotional appeals, such as humor, can be powerful drivers of clicks and conversions. AI systems can’t figure out how to target those ads.
  • These systems don’t respond to brand. AI systems can’t target ads for brands, either.
  • AI systems don’t respond to price. Systems can’t target ads based on price.
  • Most AI systems aren’t perfect. Even the best AI systems can’t match a human’s intuition. AI systems need to continually learn and adjust their strategies.

You should make sure you’ve set up your conversion tracking correctly. If you’ve had issues in the past with tracking pixels, don’t try using bid strategies based on conversion performance. Testing changes to your account’s maximum cost-per-click or bid can result in underperformance or overperformance. But, it’s impossible to know which is worse without the proper time to collect data.

2. Focusing On Broad Match

Broad match is automatic. So, if you are new to PPC, make sure to be aware of the benefits of having specific, tight match. If you leave it to pop-up suggestions, you may miss out on them.

However, if you let Google Ads or Microsoft Advertising match your broad keywords to unrelated search terms, your ads could show in a lot of undesirable places.

When you’ve maxed out your reach with exact keywords and still have budget to test, broad match can be worth trying for discovering potential new queries. Watch out for irrelevant keywords that you may want to exclude as negative keywords.

3. Including Search Partners

There are a number of ways to have your ad show up. One way is through Search Partners, which are other sites that have partnered with these respective platforms to include their search results. Both Google and Microsoft automatically show your ads on other sites.

Your search partners can vary widely in performance, and sometimes those performance spikes can vary widely. If your budget is limited, you may want to start off without a search partner.

Considering you have a budget, test search partners, but check your results. You should track how many conversions you receive per visitor from each search engine and the cost of those leads from each source. Also,the quality of those leads matters a lot.

4. Integrating Search and Display Campaigns Together

When you create a campaign, you’ll have to choose between search and display networks. It’s important to know how much traffic is coming from search and display and whether you can leverage one to drive the other.

Search is concerned with consumers’ immediate intent. Display is concerned with attracting an audience based on demographics, context, or topic.

Therefore, it’s best to run search and display campaigns separately.

5. Auto Accepting Recommendations

Hundreds of new keywords are created. Broad match words added where you didn’t intend to use that match type. Campaigns targeting more people than you intended to reach.

While using Google, it doesn’t necessarily know your site better than you do, so don’t just blindly implement some of their suggestions.

While there are some aspects of our account you can look at on your own, it’s best to take the time to fully review suggestions before making any changes to avoid potential problems later.


You can use these best practices in your PPC campaigns if they fit the specific needs of the campaign.

If you’re planning to test a recommendation, make sure to have a clear plan in place to help you understand the results. This includes how to set up a baseline for PPC performance to determine whether or not the practice was worthwhile.

You can read more about Pay-Per-Click on our other blogs.

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