You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you might even kiss your money good bye. Google AdWords is one of the most remarkable advertising vehicles in the history of marketing. No matter how simple 95 characters seems to be, there is no denying the complexity of executing well. Of course, the fact that not all the rules or all the data are presented well doesn’t make it any easier. What amazes me is how most people don’t take full control over what they do control.

My associates and I have been doing several Pay Per Click (PPC) audits for clients the last few weeks and consistently we find companies have many of the same core issues:

1. Account structure – remember that they are called ad groups not keyword groups. Too many companies groups keywords together that don’t belong together; they don’t realize you can’t create an ad that is relevant for each of the keywords in the group and this can become a bigger issue if the right match types aren’t properly used.

2. Keyword, Ad and Landing Page Quality & Relevance – because the structure is off, and companies don’t maintain their campaigns well enough, the ads become irrelevant for the search queries that trigger the ads based on the keywords that were chosen. If the ads are off, I can guarantee that the landing pages are off.

3. Looking at the wrong data – It surprises me how reports are distributed and used. If all members of your team aren’t all looking at the right data you can’t make the right decisions to get the most out of your campaigns.  You can’t be making business optimization decisions if you don’t have the right data and innumeracy leads many ‘data-driven’ executives to bad decisions. They forget that statistics lie and liars use statistics.

Please don’t forget to control what you can.

The first step is understanding the PPC searcher’s buying journey and managing and optimizing the parts you can. Why aren’t you regularly optimizing your PPC campaigns from keyword management, to account structuring, to improved ads to testing and improving your landing pages? Is it lack of knowledge? Lack of resources? Lack of direction?

Why would you want to continue the drama and not enjoy lots of happy endings?