Pay per click (PPC) is arguably the most powerful advertising tool of all, and an excellent way of driving traffic and creating new customers – but only if it is done right. There are many elements that go in to making PPC a success and, unfortunately, many people are denied the rewards due to mistakes in their campaigns.
Here are the top ten PPC mistakes that you will want to avoid:
- Putting all of your eggs in one basket
One of the most common errors for companies that are new to PPC is putting all eggs into one basket. Creating one campaign, with one ad group will only get you so far. There is no limit on the number of campaigns or groups that you can have, so if you sell multiple items, make sure that you create multiple campaigns.
- Too many keywords in one ad group
Far too often, people will choose to use a large number of keywords in one ad group rather than dividing them up and creating separate groups. Each ad group should have its own theme with no more than 30 keywords related closely to the product.
- Not using geo-targeting
It doesn’t matter if you run a small business or a multinational corporation, if you are not geo-targeting then you are wasting your time and money. Major search engines are now very much focussed on local search and it is important to target the areas that have the maximum return on investment (ROI).
- Not using match types
AdWords is made up of four match types: broad, modified broad, exact, and phrase. However, many newbies fail to recognise the benefits of the different keyword types and simply stick to broad, thus preventing themselves from reaching a targeted audience. Phrase and modified broad are excellent for attracting a target audience, while exact is often necessary for improving conversions. Embrace every match type.
- Not using negative keywords
Negative keywords are as important as keywords; however, many marketers fail to utilise them. Creating negative keywords, especially after the campaign has been running for a while, will be essential in ensuring resource-draining keywords are filtered out of campaigns.
- Not tracking conversions
Without tracking conversions, it is impossible to know how a campaign is performing. Despite this, a large number of businesses are happy to let an account run blind. Conversion tracking provides you with data that can be used to understand and improve campaigns.
- Not using specific landing pages
A visitor clicking on an ad should have to do as little work as possible to find what they are looking for, so sending them to your homepage will not help your conversion rate. Instead, you should always control the experience tightly by utilising specific landing pages.
- Only using AdWords
Google AdWords is the biggest and best PPC platform on the market, but it’s not the only one. Sticking purely to AdWords can limit your exposure. Paid Ads from Facebook, DirectAds from LinkedIn, and Adbrite are all worthy alternatives and should be explored.
- Not using site exclusion
A lot of time and money is spent removing high-click, low return partner sites from display networks manually. Site exclusions can do this automatically.
- Not testing ads
Jumping straight into a campaign before testing ads often results in poor performance. It is important to use testing as a way to determine the words and phrases that are best received by your target audience.
Successful PPC takes time and effort; understanding these mistakes and employing the solutions in your own campaigns will help you thrive where many others fail.