21 PPC Mistakes Eroding Your Budget

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Pay per click advertising is an online marketing strategy designed to help businesses gain more revenue from online advertisements. By carefully organizing your ad groups and using keyword targeting, businesses can keep costs for their click down. This takes a relatively moderate amount of skill and with some training and experimentation pay per click (PPC) advertising could be successful. If you’re currently working with Google AdWords but not getting much of a return on your investment, you may be overlooking some key features in your ads or the AdWords system. PPC campaigns can be a wasted effort if the campaign isn’t well managed.

1.Unfocused keywords
A common mistake marketing teams make is choosing keywords that match the product or service on their site in a broader sense. Casting a wide net is not the best method in this case. Turning your advertising attention to long tail keywords instead of general search words will refine your audience to those who are searching for a specific product. These visitors are ready to make a purchase and if your ad is found, this could generate a more profitable lead. Following through on a few more details after they click on your ad will ensure the lead turns into a conversion, which is the goal of your AdWords campaign.

2. Disregarding negative keywords
Many AdWords campaigns do not utilize every tool Google provides to create perfectly crafted ads that target specific searches. Adding negative keywords to ads will exclude a search that is irrelevant to your business, therefore saving you money. Carefully decide which keywords you would like to leave out, as you will be excluding certain searches from displaying your ads.

3.Untested ads
Many campaigns are costing precious marketing dollars because they were live before being tested. Google professionals encourage A/B and other statistical tests that looks at the effectiveness of an AdWords campaign. Do not make any marketing campaign live before testing its efficacy. This is going to save your campaign time and money by choosing only the most successful ads before they start costing you money.

4. Ad extensions
Once your ad moves up in ranking, ad extensions may become available. These extra, free links to multiple links on your website, will allow easier navigation straight from the google search page. Once you’ve ranked higher on Google search results, you’ll want to take advantage of those extensions to better optimize your ads for higher conversion rates.

5.Landing pages
When you are focusing your ad dollars on specific products or services, you want to make sure your links follow through on those specifics. You may be losing leads because all of your links redirect back to your website’s homepage. While this may be best practice for some ads, specific landing pages for specific ads will help people find what they are searching for faster, making your ad more efficient and a potential conversion generator.

6.Advertising Copy
Inexperienced marketing departments may not put much thought into the limited wording they have available on Google AdWords. The content can contain your most important keywords, making it even more valuable real estate for keyword matching. Construct clever, descriptive copy that is specific to each ad group it is meant to target. Research how your competition is advertising and come up with unique ads that are specific to your business’s benefits. Learn from your competition but do not mimic them.

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7.Seasonal Copy
While the language you use in your advertisements is important, you’ll also want to take advantage of special buzzwords that receive attention throughout the year. Using phrases like “summer blowout” and “holiday special” can draw interest during key buying periods throughout the year. Ignoring the use of this copy could hurt your lead generation and be wasting your marketing budget.

8. Listing your phone number
Putting your business’s phone number in your Google AdWords campaign is simply wasting space. This is an ineffective use of copy space and won’t have leads clamoring to dial your number. Come up with concise, effective messaging and place your phone number in the ad extension or setup some call only campaigns.

9.Ad groups
Ad groups are a way of categorizing keyword and ads. If you are not organizing your PPC account with some sort of hierarchy, you may be paying too much for ads that aren’t converting visitors. You want to create consistency with the ad text and landing pages, as well as integrating new keyword groups that connect to ad text and landing pages.

10. Neglecting the landing page
If you haven’t already caught on, everything from your ad copy to the keywords associated to your landing page needs to be streamlined for each specific adgroup. It is best practice to redirect your lead to a page on your website that is directly associated with the keyword they found your ad with. A huge mistake some businesses make is setting their landing page to their homepage. If your website content is strong enough, you should want to make a user’s search as easy as possible. Decide which ad groups should redirect to each page on your website and then test the efficacy of that route.

11. Location targeting
Demographics should be the starting point for any marketing campaign. Location is essential in PPC marketing since 59% of Google searches use location as part of their queries. Mentioning your state in an ad can increase your CTR and in turn help lower your cost per click. Most users are interested in looking for local businesses and you could be missing out on your local market if your Google ads don’t show up in local searches.

12. Display Networks
The display network is a collection of destinations that show AdWords ads besides just the Google search page. This will help you reach people with specific interests that pertain to your business. The real estate of display networks can be highly valuable in generating leads and conversions for your campaigns. You can choose specific topics on the display network to classify where your ads should be shown. Display networks will help your adwords conversion rates by showing up on other pages besides Google search results.

13. Focusing on #1
While being is first place is usually a signifier of having the most success, PPC do not follow this rule. There are other, more important metrics to focus on, such as cost per click (CPC) and your quality score. Some marketers suggest that shooting for third place is the best position to find your ad as it appears at the top left column of a Google search page. Focusing on conversion rates and your cost per click is more important in the online ad business.

14. Branded keywords
Bidding on your own branded keywords will be some of the most inexpensive ads to purchase, with almost always a positive return on investment (ROI). While your branded keywords will not be able to be the focal point of your AdWords campaign, they are an important marketing niche to capitalize on. Bid on your company name and any other owned names before your competition does.

15.Affiliate control
If you’re a branded business, you may be at risk of paying for advertising your affiliates are hosting while they reap the rewards. Your affiliated businesses could be bidding on your business as a keyword and collecting revenue for displaying an ad before your natural search result. Before incorporating any affiliated businesses, make sure they won’t be partaking in any dishonest keyword hosting.

16.Web Analytics Software
Not taking advantage of the software Google Analytics provides is a major budget waster. If you are not looking at the collected data and adjusting your marketing tactics you are doing a major disservice to your business.

17. Optimizing campaign settings
When setting up your bidding schedule, you’ll want to optimize based on how well certain keywords perform throughout the week. Use bid modifiers to increase or decrease the CPA of certain campaigns and track the goals of your ads. You can reduce your CPA on slow days or boost your bids on high performance days. This can be further broken down by specific hours in the day.

18. Responsive campaigns
Mobile media now accountable for 51% of all time spent with digital media. Still though, mobile ad spending is not adapting to this growth. It is imperative that your ad landing pages are mobile responsive, as well as your entire website. Capitalizing on the mobile trend could give you a great advantage over your competitors, as 34% of online searches come from mobile devices.

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19.Click-through-rates
A widely debated topic about PPC ads is the click-through-rate (CTR). Generally, it is good to have high CTRs until it’s not. If you have an ad running for a keyword that is irrelevant to your business or is too expensive to turn a profit, you’ll be wasting marketing dollars where your numbers may be showing success. This is where having efficient ad groups and keywords come in handy.

20. Confusing click-through-rate and conversion rate
Click through rate is the number of clicks that your ad receives divided by the number of times your ad is shown expressed as a percentage. Conversion rate is calculated by taking your conversions and dividing them by the number of total ad clicks. Conversions generate revenue, click through rates simply gauge how many times someone actually took the bait and clicked on your ad. Some ads have a high CTR but do not generate many conversions. Knowing when to adjust the ad-to-conversion process or retire an ad completely will help you save money on your marketing budget.

21. Remarketing
To have effective PPC campaigns, they will need to be closely monitored and revised. Always be open to adjustments and remarketing. Knowing when to throw out poor-performing keywords and campaigns is the key to remarketing and creating your best performing ads. If you are not willing to keep up with your AdWords campaign you will continue to waste marketing dollars on useless pay per click ads.

Over to you…

What is one change you have made that had a significant impact on your PPC campaign?

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