The last thing you want is for your PPC ad to be slapped with the tag of EPIC FAIL! It could happen to anyone, especially if you’re new to creating and running a successful PPC campaign. Mistakes can happen because you didn’t realize they were there. There have been some really epic fails, right from bad keywords, crappy headlines to nonsensical ad copy.

In 2014, Google banned over 214,000 individuals and companies and pulled down more than 524 million advertisements. This is the last thing that you want to happen to your own PPC campaign.

Here’s a look at some of the worst PPC ads, and yes, their definitely epic fails. You wanna know what they did so you don’t do the same!

  1. DKI Going Wrongppc fails

Dynamic keyword insertion or DKI is a strategic way to get your PPC ad to show as an exact match for a variety of terms. It can help your PPC ad achieve a high Click-through-rate (CTR) as the online user will see an ad with exactly the same query he typed in. It’s a smart way to show that your ad has credibility and will answer the query directly.

However, if you’re not careful it could go wrong.


Nobody’s going to click on blue text with curly brackets and techie jargon. Always preview your ads when you create them so that syntax does not appear on it. Every week, check your dashboard and ensure that none of your ads appear like this.

2. Don’t Click on My Adf96f00d7e70cd0940b6da8d8cc8cf5ec

Everything is wrong with the meta-description of this ad. Rather than specifying on what the business offers (limos and coaches), the ad showcases a warning statement – “Not serving prom or school dancing”. Understandably, the business is trying to increase the number of potential customers visiting the site. However, this meta-description reeks with negativity and no one is going to click on it. The meta-description is completely one sided and fails to provide information that a potential customer will want.


3. Watch the Spelling f96f03e79341657e31b8415577b1befd

This is an ad copy I saw some time ago:

The moment the reader is going to read ‘hudreds’, his eyes are going to skip over the ad completely. Silly mistakes like these gives a business a bad name if you can’t even get a simple spelling right.


4. I’m the Best

This is the kind of ad that so many PPC campaigns run over, and over, and over.

So many businesses prefer to have a PPC ad that directly proclaims the business as the best. The problem is that a user is going to roll his eyes and think – “Yeah, right”. That’s what happens when every second business claims to offer the best.

Don’t say what you offer is the best. Rather, let your PPC ad say what is different from the rest – maybe the good customer service, the stringent standards, etc.

Add to that, if you didn’t notice it, this ad should have read “Best lobster and seafood”. It’s a mistake that gives the ad a silly read.

  1. 5. Nonsensical Ad

This is one I saw about a year ago:

No Match Computers
All your computer check need

Whether you read it from left to right, or right to left, this is an ad that just doesn’t make any sense. Rather, it screams – ‘SPAAAAAM!’ to a user. Check your copy and ensure the words are arranged correctly.

6. What am I supposed to do?

A good ad always directs the user to a click on the link. A passive ad is just pointless. For example:

SEEK Accountants
Seek has over 5,000 jobs

A user will go across this ad with a meh. It doesn’t suggestion anything and it provides no information about the service offered. It needs to be changed to something more convincing and informative, like:

SEEK is on the hunt for accountants
Over 5,000 jobs opportunities available!

7. Wrong Audience


Showcasing an ad to an irrelevant audience is like going to the theatre for an English movie only to realize you’re watching the exact same movie in FRENCH! A user will just skip over such an ad because it contains the wrong keywords.

Final Tips

Here are some tips to ensure you don’t make mistakes in your PPC campaign.

  1. Check grammar, spellings and sentence structure.
  2. Always preview your ads so you know how they’ll look like when they’re live.
  3. Ensure you have selected the right keywords in place.
  4. Regularly check your ad to ensure that it is showing the right copy to the right search query.

Making such mistakes is a waste of time, money and effort. Think of these four points as a small checklist to before you let your PPC campaign live.