PPC Best Practices We Love to Hate & Hate to Love

When it comes to Valentine’s Day candy, I have a love-hate relationship with the colorful candy hearts pictured above.

On one hand, I love that they remind me of childhood and the fun parties that we would have in elementary school. They’re also so pretty and festive.

On the other hand, I hate that they taste like chalk. Maybe their absence this year will make my heart grow fonder of them when they return next year.

During my years in PPC, I’ve found that there are a lot of best practices just like that; there are things that I love in one light but hate in another. (Cue “Every Rose Has Its Thorns” by Poison).

Testing New Ad Formats

What We Love: There have been some awesome ad formats that have been rolled out in beta lately, like Google’s dynamic search ads. These new formats are always really cool and have a lot to offer.

What We Hate: As with many betas and new products, there are usually a lot of bugs. This makes it difficult to actually get to use the new ad formats and leads to wasted time (especially when they don’t perform well).

Breaking Out Facebook Ad Placements

What We Love: Breaking out Facebook ad placements gives you more granularity, control and visibility into what’s going on and working the best.

What We Hate: Keeping placements together in one ad set allows the Facebook system to work so much better and will likely deliver better results, which is definitely a trade-off for not breaking everything out.

Bow Down to Automation

What We Love: Automation is here to stay. There are many things in PPC that are so much easier with a little automation. (We have written many posts on automation).

What We Hate: Just because it’s here to stay doesn’t mean we have to automate everything in all of our accounts. For some clients, automated bidding strategies are just a no-go. We believe a touch of automation is a good thing, but the “set it and forget it” mentality is not.

Quality Score

What We Love: This metric is important when examining the health of your account and understanding how Google views your keywords, landing pages and ads.

What We Hate: As important as this metric is, it’s not a KPI for your business. Bethany Bey wrote about this in her post, Quality Score is Not a KPI, back in 2016, but everything she said rings true. “Remember, Quality Score is based on Google’s preferences, not yours and not your customers.”

Text Ad Character Limits

What We Love: The limits have been increasing over the years, which can be good. However, anyone who has been in PPC for a bit knows the battle of fitting everything you need to say in a 25 character headline and a 35 character description.

What We Hate: Just because the characters are there doesn’t mean you should always use them! We like testing short copy, too. Longer ads don’t always produce the best results.

Adding Every Ad Extension Available

What We Love: Ad extensions are a great way to offer more information to users and to have more dominance on the SERPs.

What We Hate: But that doesn’t mean that every extension is right for every advertiser. For example, if you’re an e-commerce advertiser, you don’t need a call extension if your business doesn’t have anyone to follow up on calls. Extensions are supposed to offer users additional useful information about your business. It’s okay to leave out extensions that don’t jive with your business type.

What PPC best practices do you love to hate or hate to love? We’d love to hear in the comments below!