11 legitimately scary PPC stats every advertiser should know (+ survival tips)

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Every October, my friends and I meet throughout the month to watch horror movies before Halloween. But even though it’s cool to be afraid in fun times, it’s not cool to be afraid when using a PPC account.

And unfortunately, there are some really worrying statistics that give us advertisers a reason for being. So, in the spirit of Halloween, I’m sharing with you 11 Really Scary Statistics Every PPC Advertiser Should Know, and Why You Should Be Concerned.

But do not worry ! I’m going to turn these scary stats into not-so-scary tips that will save you from a PPC nightmare.

1. 94% of people ignore search ads

You read correctly. 94% of searchers hover directly over your search ads and on organic results. On top of that, 41% of paid clicks only go to the first three ads on the page. This means your ad copy and your ad ranking is more important than ever.

What do you need to do

  • First, make sure you test your ad copy regularly. The responsive Search ad format helps with this, but it’s still important to perform A / B testing. The right copy will have a higher click-through rate, which will improve your ad ranking. This will increase your chances of being part of the percentage of ads that to do attract clicks and make the people who typically jump to organic results stop in their tracks.
  • And most importantly, make sure your ads pack a punch with eye-catching and compelling ad copy! Here’s how:

(It also goes without saying that you should also have a strong organic presence in the SERPs.)

2.96% of iOS users have turned off app tracking

Just thinking about the infamous iOS14 update last year that would give users this option was scary. Now that the update has rolled out, it’s even scarier to know that 96% of iPhone users in the US have actually unsubscribed!

Scary statistics of ppc: screenshot of application tracking transparency

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The scary thing about this is that it makes the Facebook pixel much less efficient, leading to inaccurate tracking data, which disrupts conversion tracking and targeting. Worse yet, audience sizes are shrinking, resulting in increased CPMs.

What do you need to do

To work around this problem, make sure to:

3.80% of advertisers rely on third-party cookies

Most paid advertising strategies are built around the third-party cookie. These cookies capture behavioral data that allows you to see how your clicker ads arrived on your site, what they did on your site, and what they did afterwards, which is essential for conversion tracking. and retargeting audiences. Cookies also allow platforms like Google and Facebook to offer new audiences to target based on interests.

With the possible depreciation of third-party cookies, reporting and targeting because 80% of advertisers know it won’t be anymore. Google, Facebook, publisher sites, and other platforms are offering new tools and technologies to help advertisers navigate this shift, but you should get ready now.

Here is what you need to do

  • Strengthen your first party data collection. Create lead magnets and build your email list with creative calls to action.
  • Set up the Google Ads tag on your site to track proprietary data, even if you’ve set up tracking through an import. Go to Tools and Settings> Shared Library> Audience Manager> Audience Sources.
  • For Facebook, implement the Conversions API as mentioned above.
  • Familiarize yourself with Google FLoC, which in itself is scary.

4.60% of consumers intentionally provide false information on a form

Bad news for your lead qualification efforts. In addition to this high percentage of form falsifiers, 81% of people have also abandoned at least one form online, and most will not come back to fill it out.

scary statistics of ppc: false information in the form

What do you need to do

5. There are ad blockers on over 615 million devices worldwide.

Due to the growing number of devices with built-in VPNs or blockers, that number of 615 million is very likely to continue to rise.

What do you need to do

Unfortunately, there really is no way around ad blockers. However, a multi-channel strategy can make up for your losses by capturing your audience elsewhere. For example, OTT ads cannot be ignored or blocked by ad blockers.

Scary ppc stats: ad blocker example

6. 40% of advertisers say their PPC budget is less than what they want.

Chances are, you’ve held this position at some point in your PPC budgeting journey. With the ever-changing demands of digital advertising, advertisers are feeling the heat. 40% of them say that it is becoming increasingly difficult to maintain a competitive budget in such a highly saturated space.

What do you need to do

While it is not possible for most to slap your budget more, you can still use tricks to stretch your budget further. Depending on your needs, you may need to:

Scary ppc stats: monthly ad budget

For more help on PPC budgeting, go to the following:

7. Only 10% of advertisers optimize their Google Ads accounts every week

In addition, 20% of account managers do nothing on their accounts in a single month. The bad news with this one? You could be part of that statistic! The good news? Your competition could be too

What do you need to do

  • Keep an eye on your account and make changes regularly to avoid unwanted surprises.
  • Get into a PPC routine and be sure to check your account regularly. To get started, try to schedule a few minutes per week, per month, and per quarter to check specific areas of your account.

Scary ppc stats: account activity vs monthly expense chart

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Don’t know what to optimize? Find out in a minute with our free Google Ads performance scorer.

8. Online ads are the least diverse type of media in the United States.

Only 9% of people say digital ads are the most diverse media encounter they’ve ever had. In comparison, network television ranked much higher at 43%. In addition, 54% of people do not feel culturally represented in online advertising. From all angles, PPC clearly lacks diversity in a major way.

Scary ppc stats: lack of diversity in online ads

What do you need to do

People are drawn to the brands that represent them, not just their weak spots and lifestyle, but also their cultural background. As advertisers, we can make impactful change by implementing accessibility and inclusiveness in our advertising. Plus, the more diverse your ads, the more people you can connect and attract. To do this:

inclusive ppc ad copy example

9. 96% of consumers don’t trust ads

Remember earlier how I mentioned that paid ad space is heavily saturated? We may have even made ourselves dirty according to this statistic.

Paid advertising has been on the rise for a long time, so much so that people are becoming oblivious to it. And with 96% of consumers not trusting ads, advertisers need to work harder to prove their credibility.

What do you need to do

  • A great way to start is by providing social proof. When you make a claim in an ad, people aren’t going to just take your word for it. However, they will trust the word of a friend, family member, or other consumer. This is why online reviews and reputation management are so important when serving paid ads.
  • Another tactic is to include credibility “stamps” in your ads when possible. For example, you can include “NASSM Certified” or “Family Owned” in your ad copy.

Scary PPC Stats: Landing Page Credibility Badge Example

  • You can also include partnership awards and badges on your landing pages. Additionally, try opting for whatever attributes are available to you, such as belonging to a woman, black, or veteran to get that more personal and trustworthy touch.

10. 67% of people say that once a brand loses its trust, there is no way to regain it

In addition to people who are more skeptical of your ads, 67% of consumers will permanently lose trust in a brand once that trust is broken, whether due to false claims, damaged goods or services, bad customer experience or unintentional error.

meme sandlot forever

What do you need to do

Don’t lose their confidence, of course! But how can you do this?

Scary statistics of ppc: negative review response example

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11. “Nearby” searches increased by 100% between 2019 and 2020

This statistic is only frightening if you are a national or online brand. The large increase, of course, is due to lockdowns from the pandemic, but chances are that “nearby” searches will continue to increase. We can use this statistic as a clue to understand today’s spending habits.

spooky statistics of ppc: searches nearby

What do you need to do

Don’t fall victim to these frightening statistics

Leave the screams to horror movies and prevent your account’s performance from catching you off guard. Realizing these shocking data points is the first step in prevention. As I always say, friends don’t let their friends run bad PPC ads. So, to recap, here are my tips for avoiding being part of these scary PPC stats:

  1. Always be tweaking and testing your ad copy so that your ads don’t get ignored.
  2. Use the Facebook conversions API to avoid data loss from iOS14 app tracking transparency.
  3. Start collecting first party data and try the Facebook Conversion API.
  4. Keep your forms concise and use master forms to avoid false form filling.
  5. Take advantage of a multi-channel strategy to manage ad blockers.
  6. Get creative with your bidding and targeting to avoid budget shortfalls.
  7. Get into a PPC routine and stick to it to get your account optimized.
  8. Adapt your ads to everyone in your target audience so that they feel better represented.
  9. Use social proof, partnerships and unique identifiers to prove your credibility.
  10. Maintain brand consistency to protect against loss of trust (forever!).
  11. Always approach PPC from a local perspective on a small scale to track consumption trends


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