The Top 5 Paid Advertising Mistakes to Avoid in Your Next Campaign

Avoiding these common paid advertising mistakes can instantly elevate the value that your next campaign can offer your business. Read on to learn what to do and what not to do with paid advertising.


Creating effective paid advertising campaigns takes a surprising amount of forethought and strategic planning. Before you open Google Ads or any other paid advertising platform, you at least need to have specific goals in mind for the campaign, KPIs set, and have your budget strategy built out.

If you’re just starting out building a paid advertising campaign or have done it a few times, here are five mistakes to avoid so that your next campaign is your best campaign yet.

1. Neglecting research

Especially if you’re new to paid advertising campaigns, you don’t know what you don’t know. Doing your research in the following categories can instantly elevate the effectiveness of your whole campaign:

  • Identify high-volume keywords
  • Determine your ideal audience
  • Competitor analysis
  • Choose the right bidding strategy

Taking the time to find the right keywords, defining your audience, seeing what your competitors are up to, and picking the most effective bidding strategy will result in a strategic and valuable campaign.

Skimping on any or all of those areas can create a campaign that’s unfocused, not budget-friendly, and out of touch with what paid advertising strategies currently work for your industry.

Once you’ve thoroughly researched and implemented your chosen strategy, not only will you see a big ROI, you’ll have the internal confidence that your paid advertising campaign is working hard for your business.

 2. Disconnected landing page or website

Choosing the right landing page or website page to connect to your ads is an art in itself. Here are a few questions to ask yourself when picking the best link for your ads:

  • Does the landing page’s messaging align with the ad’s messaging?
  • Is the webpage secure?
  • Are there strong CTAs strategically placed on the page?
  • Is the landing page mobile friendly?
  • Does the website have a fast load speed?
  • Is the design current and user friendly?

Your ads’ click-through rate is an important metric, however if you’re not seeing matching conversion rates, the landing page or webpage that your ads are connected to may be to blame. If your webpage is “out of touch” and sends a different message than what the ad is promoting, users are more likely to bounce because it didn’t deliver what they were expecting from the ad.

Making sure that the webpage’s messaging matches the ads messaging and that all of the other elements that make an effective website are in place, will result in a stronger paid advertising campaigns and more valuable conversions.   

3. Relying on default settings and smart campaigns

Whichever paid advertising platform you’re using to build out your business’s campaign, there are often default settings in place that you could miss if you don’t know to look for them. Google Ads also offers a Smart Campaign type that expedites the build process and makes certain decisions for you based on your goals for the campaign.

The truth is that often, these default settings and Smart Campaigns work in the platform’s favor and not necessarily the advertiser’s favor. Since search engines and social media platforms make a large amount of their revenue from ads, you run the risk of spending much more than is necessary to meet your business’s paid advertising goals.

These settings could also shrink your ads’ potential reach, limit the amount or type of creative variations, and not offer more specific strategies that a seasoned paid advertiser would know to use.  

No matter your experience with paid advertising campaigns, educating yourself on best practices for each advertising platform or hiring an expert to handle it for you can save time, money, and bring in quality business.

4. Focusing too much on budget and not enough on conversions

Budget can either be an empowering resource or a limiting resource for your business’s paid advertising campaign. For every company, part of the game is reaping the most business from the least amount of resources. While we don’t suggest throwing out that principle entirely, it’s important to remember that conversions are the goal.

Remember that a conversion is a real life person taking real life interest in your business; That interest can lead to sales and potentially a lifelong customer. Focusing too much on staying within budget or cutting ad spend without first identifying the true cost of a valuable conversion can lead to an ineffective campaign.

If you know how valuable a conversion and a potential lifelong customer are to your business, being more flexible with your paid advertising budget won’t seem like too large of a sacrifice. Doing the math and determining exactly how much a conversion costs your paid advertising campaign can offer you peace of mind and another level of precision and strategy to your campaign. 

5. Not accounting for ad fatigue with creative  

Ad fatigue is when an online user becomes so familiar with an ad that they don’t pay attention to it anymore. Customers can also start to have a negative association with the brand if they start to find the ad annoying. This is why running the same ad for months and months on end isn’t recommended. At some point, the ad will reach its peak effectiveness and keeping it running becomes a waste of valuable ad spend.                                                               

Creating multiple ads within the same campaign with different copy, images and CTAs can help elongate your ads’ effectiveness and postpone ad fatigue! Taking advantage of responsive ad formats, which mix and match headlines, descriptions and creative, is another way to protect against ad fatigue. You can also check out options like adding a frequency cap to your ads, which prevent a certain user from seeing an ad a specified number of times in a specified window of time.

Planning out different paid advertising campaigns for the year will ensure that your business will stay fresh and top of mind for online users and gives you a chance to promote different aspects of what your business offers throughout the year.

Final Thoughts

Simply avoiding these five common paid advertising mistakes can significantly strengthen your business’s next campaign. Paid advertising is a powerful tool for bringing in new business, however, it’s important that it’s done correctly to maximize benefits and reduce unnecessary spend and work.

RevLocal creates personalized paid advertising campaigns and digital marketing strategies for small businesses and multi-location brands. If you’re considering hiring a digital marketing expert for your business, RevLocal can handle it all. To learn more about what we do and who we are, visit our website or contact us for a free consultation.

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