• Trinetra Initiative

Four Incredible Lessons to Learn from PPC Failure

There is something in life that is purely unavoidable that fails at some point in a person's PPC failure.

In fact, almost all marketers when it comes to PPC marketing will often face it.

But these mistakes can lead you to learn a lot about PPC marketing.

As we wisely say, failure is the cornerstone of success. So when we talk about failure, we must always be aware that it will ultimately lead to success.

Here's a case study where the definition of success means making profitable opportunities available through Google Ads.

Google PPC


The client for this case study is from the health and beauty industry niche that requires large PPC budgets as it includes many national brands. We were aware of this fact before starting any engagement.

We also knew that there would be keywords, products, and categories that would not be profitable at all.

We also found that if we could find a few profitable areas, we could find a profitable route to your marketing channel.

In this case study, we focus on acquiring new customers and exclude existing customers. To do this, we import a list of customer matches into Google Ads.

Keyword targeting was done to test Shopping ads and text ads. The load-per-click test budget was $ 1,500. The test must be done in the fourth quarter of 2018 to take advantage of the shopping season.

The result

Advertising began in the first half of October after activating the product feed in Google Merchant Center. This required completing the keyword research, creating the account structure, and writing the ad copy.

Our top keywords and products had high search volume, which meant we had enough traffic to meet our budgets. The main thing when choosing the best possible keywords that will make the conversation rates high.

After spending $ 1,000 on clicks and getting roughly the same income, we gave up on the experience. The 1: 1 return on investment was far from attractive to the company, even considering the lifetime value of customers.

See what's wrong

There were many difficulties during the trip, but none were fatal enough to complete our trip completely, but they could interfere with the ongoing process.

Here are some problems we encountered:

Changed Google's policy on customer matching lists.

Google's new policy was that an account had to have a lifetime expense in excess of $ 50,000 to benefit from customer matching, so we couldn't effectively exclude existing customers as expected.

Our product feed has expired

During testing, we lost a few days of ad traffic and the product feed provider did not automatically stop the feed.

Credit card is declined

Credit card declined

This is usually the case for new advertisers and we are not sure if this is due to Google or the card companies. However, this led to the rejection of the card and therefore the blocking of the account.

Conversion rates below expectations

Before testing, the website had a website-wide conversion rate of over 4%. We predicted that PPC traffic would not reach this level, but contrary to our expectations, we got a 2% conversion rate.

The biggest factor we could identify as a problem was the conversion rate, and the math didn't click.

$ 1.25 CPC / 2% conversion rate = $ 62.50 cost per conversion.

It was financially unsustainable as it had an average contract value of around $ 61. The budget also didn't get enough traffic and testing to improve conversion rates.

We were at the top of the page, but that meant our visibility would be below the scanner when we lowered our bids. If you are on a budget, you have to get everything right from the start and hope that luck will work too.

How can a PPC failure lead to success?

As mentioned at the beginning of the article, in this case study, success was defined as finding profitable opportunities in Google Ads. By definition, this case study was a complete failure.

I believe that experiments and tests are mistakes if we don't learn from them. After completing this case study, we learned a few things:

Establish a baseline

Through this case study, we learned that CPC Shopping ads and all of our top categories require at least $ 1.25 to $ 1.40 to get noticed. There wouldn't be much visibility, but we'll be at the top of the page.

Our best campaign had a conversion rate of 3.25%, but 2% across the entire account. Even though the best-case scenario existed for us with the lowest CPC and the highest conversion rate, we had a cost / conversion of around $ 38.50.

However, this was still not enough to satisfy our customers.

Be prepared with what products are selling and what keywords are selling.

While there weren't many conversions at this budget level, we knew which products were being sold through Shopping ads and which keywords were leading to in-text ads.

We also learned the keywords that couldn't generate sales and were just as useful.

Current search query data

For future sales, the company now has actual data from actual inquiries entered by actual people and customers.

Estimates and guesses are included with the keyword research tools. And this data will help us better for future tests.

Proven ad copy

We provide two main messages in our ad text.

One post was intended to convey third-party validation of product quality and was prominently used in advertising copy as an award winner.

A message was supposed to convey the discounts and contain the percentage of discounts that new customers could get by signing up for the newsletter.

The message used for the awards ceremony became the winner. This information can now be used on different channels.

We also found that the discount message was not working, indicating that the discount was not high enough.


Failure is difficult for everyone and is most painful when an experience itself fails the first time.

However, failure could teach us a lot and provide us with valuable information that will certainly affect our future efforts, as well as our efforts in other channels and business areas.

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