How to Turn Ineffective PPC Campaigns into True Triumph

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Sometimes internet marketing feels a lot like sitting on a raft in the middle of the ocean, hoping to be found. It’s always a challenge to attract visitors to your site and the products you’re selling. But just as with traditional marketing, online advertising is a great way to make that happen. It gives you a reach that you can’t get any other way, and it allows for incredible targeted marketing opportunities.

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To make the most of their online advertising dollars, pay-per-click, (PPC) campaigns are one of the most common models used by businesses today. PPC is an ad model where businesses pay the advertising for each click their ad generates.  This a more cost-effective system than paying for an ad that may or may not even be seen. But like any complicated system, knowing it’s broken is one thing; knowing how to fix it is another.
Here are some tips for breathing new life into your PPC campaigns.

Don’t pull the plug

If you’re not getting good results from your PPC efforts, it might be tempting to make a complete overhaul, scrapping the campaign rather than looking at the individual elements. But if you take the time to analyze different aspects of you campaign, you might be able to not only salvage your current campaign, but learn useful ways to get ahead in your future PPC work too. Take the time to dive into the details. If you need a fresh perspective on things, outsource your audit to avoid natural blind spots that come from evaluating your own work.

Don’t Pick At It: It Needs time

Just like your mom told you after your knees scabbed over – don’t try to check things out too soon. If you have recently started or changed your strategy, or if a new team is managing your PPC, give things some time. After a few weeks you can make another assessment that is based on complete, accurate information.

Check your Keywords

Take a look at the keywords you have been using, including an evaluation of your bids. If they are too high or too low, they may not be helping you to achieve your goals. In addition, make sure you’re using the right mix of keywords. Broad match keywords will drive more traffic to your site, but your conversions will be lower. Exact match keywords will get less traffic, but with an improved conversion rate. Phrase match keywords are more balanced.

Check your Quality Score

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Google assigns ads a quality score based on your ability to serve customers’ needs. The score includes factors like your ad text, the quality and relevance of your landing page, and the keyword relevance. The better your score is, the lower your cost per click, and therefore the higher your ROI. It’s in your best interest, then, to make your ads the best they can be. Improving your score can take time, but you can begin by pulling reports to analyze. Then, after implementing changes, return a few weeks later to check on your progress.

Are your Ads Correct?

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One simple step you can take to improve your PPC campaign is to just look at the ads themselves with a critical eye. Is the text on the ads spelled correctly? Does it look professional? Poorly worded or badly designed ads won’t perform well, even if the right keywords are in place. Also, make sure the actual offers you are advertising are still current.

Configure your Analytics

The first step here is to simply determine if you have an analytics account. If you don’t, get one! The insights you can gain are invaluable. Ensure that your analytics account is attached to the account set up for paid searches, and that you have established metrics to track the performance of your ads. You should be regularly pulling reports to check on a variety of factors, from bounce rate to just how long users are spending on your website. As you look at how well your ads are converting, you can also see whether adding new keywords might be a good strategic move.

PPC campaigns are an excellent way to make the most of your marketing funds. But if your campaign isn’t achieving the result you want, don’t be afraid to dig in and make changes. Then, give it the time required to see if it pays off. Following these simple steps can help you turn your campaign around and make it a triumph!


Image credits: Screenshot taken 11/26/2016 of, Wikimedia Commons, Wikimedia Commons, Wikimedia Commons

Chris Kilbourn

Chris Kilbourn

Director of Marketing at Eleventh Avenue
Chris Kilbourn is a Director of Marketing @ Eleventh Avenue, a premium handpicked boutique marketplace.In past lives, he was a professional rockstar (seriously), and he built and sold 2 successful companies from the ground up. Now, he produces and DJs EDM music and obsesses over customer acquisition.You can connect with him via email at
Chris Kilbourn
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  • Avirat

    Hi Chris,

    Thanks for your explanation. I would like to put up one of my client as an example. I’m working for a website which is dedicated for WaterFront Properties in USA. Now, the real estate market goes down during the year end, and the water property business really is tough during this period as most of the states which have water bodies are cold and there is a very subtle amount of states which are warm. I was looking for an adwords campaign which would give us some profit, but I’m confused with the keywords strategy. I’m really not getting the perfect mix of keywords for a campaign which can help my client gain some conversions. Would appreciate your comments on this.


    • Chris Kilbourn

      Hey Avirat,

      I’m glad you enjoyed the article.
      I recommend finding a PPC management firm or learning from the great resources on the Fit Marketing and SEJ blogs.



  • James Halloran

    Very good thoughts, Chris!

    I definitely agree with your thoughts on poorly designed PPC campaigns. In fact, I was just reading an article about how frequently AT&T tests their PPC ads. Through testing, they found out the ads with faces in them got more clickthroughs. That’s something you only learn from careful, patient testing. (And much like you stated in your article, it takes time to see these things develop.)

    Anyway, thanks for sharing this article! Very resourceful.

    • Chris Kilbourn

      Hey James,

      Thank you for your input! A lot of Inc 500 companies test their ads heavily and it’s amazing to see their case studies.

      Is there anything you’d like me to include in my future articles?


      • James Halloran

        Would you happen to know anything about native advertising/ advertorials? I’d like to hear your thoughts on that if I could, especially since that practice is changing very rapidly with the FTC.

  • Sarmista Aun

    Hi Chris,
    Google Analytics is really an effective tool for tracking campaign success. Ad copy must be appealing enough to draw visitors attention. Thanks for sharing the way out. It’s really helpful.