Startup PPC Tips – Learn From These Common Mistakes

PPC marketing can be an incredibly powerful tool for business growth. Many companies utilize it to drive more traffic, increase sales and build brand awareness. But because training or hiring someone to do the job can be expensive, startups on a tight budget often take the “Let’s Push Some Buttons And See What Happens” approach. More often than not, this ends up wasting valuable funds with no tangible results. In order to have a PPC campaign become a profitable investment, using every dollar wisely and developing a solid strategy is vital.

We have witnessed many startups making the same mistakes with their PPC marketing simply because they weren’t informed enough going into it. To help you avoid these rookie mistakes, we have gathered a list of the PPC areas that startups commonly make mistakes in, and some tips on what you can learn from them.





  • Advertising on the wrong platforms.
  • Testing too many platforms all at once.
  • Not allocating enough budget for each platform.

What you can learn:

  • Pick 2-3 platforms and test them for at least 2-4 weeks with a minimum budget of $1000 per platform.
  • Consider testing even platforms you might not expect to perform well. We learned that even B2B businesses can do with PPC well on social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram.
  • Focus on the platforms that get the most conversions.





  • Overbidding on keywords right out of the gate, without knowing if they work yet.
  • Using a broad keyword match type and having ads show up in the wrong searches.
  • Not using negative keywords and burning money on clicks from people who aren’t interested.

What you can learn:

  • Use only highly relevant keywords.
  • Use an exact keyword match type or a broad match modifier.
  • When it comes to bids, it’s best to start conservative. Place a low bid, especially if you are on a tight budget. Start increasing the bid amounts once you have a list of keywords that have proven themselves to be effective.
  • Include a list of negative keywords that will exclude your ad from searches irrelevant to your offer.




  • Wasting money by not reaching the audience that is most likely to be interested in your ad.
  • Selecting a loose audience targeting.
  • Not taking advantage of AdWords and Facebook algorithms and data from existing customers.

What you can learn:

  • Create custom audiences. These allow you to pick the desired age range, gender, location and interests of the population you want your ad to be seen by.
  • Utilize the lookalike audiences/similar audiences features on Facebook and AdWords, which let you find people similar to your current customers to display your ad to.



  • Not tweaking campaigns once they’re set up.
  • Incorrect tracking of conversions, or none at all.

What you can learn:

  • Keep a close eye on your campaign performance. There are many little tricks that can not only increase your click-through-rates, but also save you money.
  • Consider dayparting: Having your campaigns run only during specific hours and days of the week to target an audience more effectively.
  • Track your conversions. Many businesses make the mistake to measure success based on clicks, but it’s the conversions that count.
  • Let only your top performing ads run. Use engagement metrics and bounce rates to pause underperforming ads early.

Landing pages


  • Directing traffic onto a low converting landing page.
  • Not aligning ad offer and landing page copy.
  • Having a weak CTA.
  • Creating landing pages that aren’t mobile responsive.

What you can learn:

  • Landing pages must match the promise of your ad. If someone clicks on your ad because they found your offer interesting, but your landing page doesn’t directly follow up on your its message, they will get confused and leave.
  • For best results, set up different landing pages tailored specifically to each of your ad campaigns.
  • Your CTA should be visible, ideally in a high contrast colour. It should appear multiple times if you have a long landing page.
  • Make your CTA wording short, simple and action-oriented. Describe what will happen once the button is clicked, such as “Start your free trial” or “Get your free pass”, rather than “submit” or “click here”.
  • Don’t forget to make your landing pages mobile friendly.

In conclusion, having your keywords set up the right way, a thoughtfully tailored audience, strong landing pages and smart optimizations will help in making your PPC efforts more effective. We hope these tips will get you on to the right track for startup success!

Need help with your PPC management? Search & Gather is a digital marketing agency that specializes in PPC. Don’t hesitate to contact us if you are looking for affordable help with Paid Search, Paid Social, or Online Conversion.

2 thoughts on “Startup PPC Tips – Learn From These Common Mistakes”

  1. Hi Lilian,

    Indeed a great article about startup mistakes. You really had shared the major mistakes done in the startups these days and It will be great If you could avoid doing these mistakes.

    Most of the young people are now getting into startups but I have seen a lot of them not maintaining the quality of their team members. For a successful startup, It is always important to have a strong and dedicated team and should never avoid the any regular mistakes done by any of the team member.

    I am glad that you have covered this topic in a detailed manner and Thanks for sharing it with us.

Leave a Comment