When you’re looking to build a strong reach for your company’s website, it goes without saying that attracting high quality traffic is absolutely key. You want people that are looking for exactly the products, services, or information you’re offering – people that will potentially become loyal customers. Pay-per-click advertising represents a smart, potentially effective way to do that.
Pay-per-click advertising can also be quite cost-effective in comparison to the alternatives. However, that’s only the case if your campaign is well strategized and carefully managed. If that’s not the case, you could wind up losing far more money than you make.
Here we’ll discuss some all too common PPC mistakes that can really damage your budget, as well as address how they can be successfully avoided. How many of the following mistakes does your company make when it comes to your current pay-per-click campaign?
- You’re using your PPC ads to send your visitors to your home page.
Pay-per-click ads work best when they’re well targeted to reach specific customers looking for unique merchandise, services, or information. For instance, they might be designed to appeal to locals in your area or potential customers that are in the market for a very specific model or color of a certain type of merchandise. You don’t want to do the hard work of determining the right marketing focus, deciding on the perfect keywords, and drafting a perfect ad, only to frustrate the customer by sending them to your home page.
The attention span of the average web surfer isn’t terribly long. That said, you don’t want to take a customer that clicked on an ad for a specific model laptop, dump him at your home page, and force him to find the item on his own from there. Link him to the exact page where he can purchase the laptop he was interested in. If you don’t, you can rest assured that the competition will.
- You’re not bothering to split-test your advertising text.
Smart PPC advertisers don’t just draft an ad, run it, and hope for the best. They split-test their ads by creating multiple versions of an idea they think will work – one version for each of their PPC ad groups. (Most major platforms will allow you to do this, so take advantage.)
From there, pay careful attention to which style, approach, and wording generates the most clicks from interested, engaged customers. Don’t just focus on the number of clicks, either. You’ll want to make absolutely sure that you determine how many of those clicks are converting.
- You’re only targeting broad keywords and search phrases.
This is perhaps the most common rookie mistake of all, so it’s also potentially one of the costliest. Broad match keywords are returned to a search engine user whenever your targeted key phrase is entered either completely or partially. Many, many companies and businesspeople focus completely or mostly on these because they have such a high potential for coming up in a search.
In most of those cases, they should be focusing on relevant niche terms instead. Imagine, for example, that you run a tattoo parlor in Seattle, and you’re looking to get more customers in the door. Sure, more people might see your ad if you target the phrase “tattoo parlor,” but you’d reach more customers that will consider your shop if you target “Seattle tattoo parlor,” instead.
Also, it’s important to realize that the broader the key phrase, the more competitive it’s going to be. The more competitive the key phrase, the higher you’re going to have to bid in order to stand a chance of winning. In other words, considering only broad target phrases can find you spending a small fortune to attract tons of traffic that stands a lower chance of converting.
- You haven’t taken any advantage of negative keywords.
One way to successfully take advantage of broad match-generated traffic is to make sure your PPC campaign includes negative keywords. A negative keyword is a word or phrase that prevents your ads from displaying in conjunction with certain search terms. For example, imagine you want to advertise your San Francisco pizzeria to customers, but not to San Francisco residents potentially looking for restaurant work. The word “jobs” could be added as a negative keyword to prevent this.
Negative keywords allow you to avoid paying for possible clicks that are highly unlikely to convert to a sale or registration. (A person looking to apply for a job as a waiter at a pizzeria is unlikely to decide to order a pizza instead.) This can add up to a lot of money saved, especially over the long term.
- You’re completely new to PPC advertising, but haven’t consulted an expert.
It goes without saying that PPC is a fantastic way to generate lots of high quality traffic for your website. However, it’s important to realize that it seems deceptively simple. In truth, a PPC campaign needs to have a solid strategy in place in order to be guaranteed successful, and that requires experience. Otherwise, you’re simply guessing at what will work best and very likely making many costly mistakes in the process.
Bringing in a professional PPC company to help you manage your campaign will work to your advantage when it comes to building your clientele, making money, and managing your budget wisely. Experts will know what works and what doesn’t when it comes to businesses in your niche. They know because they’ve done it before, and they can do it again.
A PPC campaign that’s strategized properly right from day one stands a better chance at being successful. It will yield faster, more dramatic results. It will help you build your search engine quality score, as well, which will save you even more money over time. Make the smart choice and look into professional PPC services today! You’ll be infinitely glad you did.
About the Author
Ronald Dod is a partner and CEO of Visiture, LLC. After founding Grey Umbrella Marketing, an internet marketing agency which focuses on Search Engine Optimization for eCommerce businesses, he merged with Visiture to create a full service search marketing offering for eCommerce businesses. His passion is helping eCommerce business owners and marketing professionals navigate the search marketing landscape and use data to make more effective decisions to drive new traffic and conversions. He holds a Masters in the Science of Marketing from Florida State University and is certified in Google Adwords & Analytics.