PPC campaigns can be a great boon to your business, but that doesn’t mean that they are entirely foolproof. There are many ways for your PPC campaigns to take a turn for the worse, and a single PPC disaster might waste your budget, turn off prospective customers, or set your advertising work back months. Here are 5 steps that you can take to prevent unexpected bumps in the road from derailing your PPC campaigns.

1. Back Up Your Account

AdWords is a very reliable platform, but no system is 100% foolproof. Technical glitches and human error can both cause your campaigns (in part or as a whole) to be lost, potentially requiring days or weeks of work to rebuild. To ensure that no campaign is ever beyond recovery, we suggest regularly backing up your entire AdWords account, including any paused or deleted keywords. Keeping an up-to-date backup of your entire account allows you to easily restore your campaign no matter what happens.

To create a backup of your AdWords account, simply select “Export Backup (AEA)” from the “File” menu. We suggest using the default AEA file format, but you will also have the option to export to other formats, including ZIP, CSV, HTML or AES.

2. Stay Current on AdWords Policy

Google has a vested interest in keeping their advertising space a safe, audience-friendly one. According to Google’s AdWords policies statement, “When we find content that violates these requirements, we may block it from appearing, and in cases of repeated or egregious violations, we may stop you from advertising with us.” If your ads violate the standards set by Google for content, format, destination or intent, your campaigns may be suspended or removed.

Review what kinds of content AdWords prohibits and restricts to make sure you don’t make any accidental errors that may result in your ads being taken offline. While knowing everything about AdWords policy may feel daunting, familiarizing yourself with the key principles at the very least can help you from unintentionally violating the most important of Google’s policies.

3. Do Your Keyword Research

Your choice of keywords can make or break your campaigns. Many of the most obvious, general keywords may seem like a good fit initially — such as “New York lawyers” or “family legal services” — can be extremely expensive. They also aren’t guaranteed to provide you with great results. But well-targeted keywords will help you serve ads to the best audience possible. Be sure to do enough research that you can build your keyword lists (don’t forget long tail ones!) as effectively as possible.

An experienced PPC campaign manager can help you identify the best keywords for your needs and leverage them efficiently. Working with a PPC professional can help you hone in on a keyword strategy that will maximize results and stay within your budget.

4. Use Negative Keywords

Failing to use negative keywords effectively can be disastrous for your campaigns. In some cases, negative keywords can mean that your ads are served to people who aren’t interested in your services — someone searching for “auto insurance jobs” is not likely a great fit a business trying to sell auto insurance, and thus will waste your ads on an ill-fitting audience. In more extreme cases, failing to use negative keywords could potentially cause you to lose credibility. For example, if your ads for hotels show up as display ads on a news article about a recent hotel bombing, your audience may be offended or have the perception that you are taking advantage of a tragedy.

Anticipating these inappropriate advertising scenarios and using negative keywords to avoid them is critical to maintaining the overall success of your campaigns. Maintaining a curated list of negative keywords helps to ensure that your ad spend is used as efficiently as possible. Check out this post for our list of recommended negative keywords.

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5. A/B Test All the Time

A/B tests are a powerful tool in the advertiser’s toolbox. Frequently testing can help boost your campaign conversion rates and help you discover optimal ways for reaching your audience. Testing continuously is also one of the best ways to safeguard your campaigns against disaster. By its nature, A/B testing prevents you from “putting all your eggs in one basket,” so you’re less likely to botch your entire campaign.

A/B testing also requires you to constantly monitor and tweak your campaigns. The key benefit of A/B testing is that it puts your focus on actively improving and adjusting your campaigns, rather than simply letting them run. As a result, you’ll be more likely to catch issues as they arise and prevent them from doing too much damage.

Avoid PPC Disaster and Gain Peace of Mind with a PPC Manager

Working with an expert PPC manager to drive high-performing PPC campaigns is a great way to get the most out of your AdWords campaigns. Our PPC managers at Webrageous are experienced working with a wide range of campaigns, and can equip your campaigns to weather any challenge they may come up against. Contact us today to learn more about how Webrageous can give you more peace of mind for your digital PPC efforts.

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