Top 5 PPC Mistakes You’re Probably Making
Looking through a prospective clients’s pay-per-click account can sometimes be like looking at a set of financial statements prepared by someone who is embezzling funds. While it might not be noticeable to the average user, it’s clear that small mistakes and errors are adding up to cost the advertiser thousands of dollars per month. Unlike embezzlement, this loss of funds is not intentional, but that doesn’t change the fact that you are burning money. Inefficient campaigns make you pay more with every click and it can add up very quickly. You might think that this kind of mistake is hard to make, but it is much more common than you might think. If you set up your AdWords account yourself and don’t have lots of experience under your belt, there’s a pretty good chance that you are making at least 1 major mistake right now. In an effort to help stop these mistakes, here is my list of the top 5 pay-per-click mistakes (and how to avoid them).
#1 – Using Incorrect Account Settings
Google makes it seem extremely easy to setup a campaign and start making money! While the account settings are not overly-complicated, even the smallest of errors can end up making a huge impact on both conversion rates and overall ad spend. Essentially, when you are starting a campaign, you choose a small set of keywords, create some enticing ad copy, set a daily budget for clicks, and let it rip. While the basics are easy to conquer, there are some important less known settings that many people simply ignore. For example, you many want to only show your ads in a certain geographical location. If you get most of your business in a 20 mile radius, it’s not logical to run your ad in a large area . If you happen to run the ad statewide, you are simply burning money when someone 60+ miles clicks on your ad. There is a very small chance that click turns into a conversion. Make sure you go through the campaign settings with a fine-toothed comb!
#2 – Focusing on Traffic and Not Conversions
While getting more traffic to website is assuredly a good thing, there is a major difference between increased traffic and actual conversions. Having a new visitor is a chance to make a sale or generate a lead, but unqualified traffic has an extremely low conversion rate that can end up costing your campaign thousands. It might be fun to bid on a high volume keyword that brings tons of traffic to your site, but it would be more efficient to find either less expensive or more targeted keywords that will increase your chances of that sale or lead. Instead of worrying about how many clicks you got to your website, set up and focus on conversions. Google Adwords allows you to track conversions for both phone calls and the submission of sign up forms. By integrating conversion tracking from the beginning, you can actually see what works and prioritize similar keywords and dump the ones that are costing you big time. Setting up conversion tracking isn’t necessarily easy, which is why most people doing their own PPC and many agencies simply just skip and ignore it. By making sales and leads your overall priority, you will find that your paid search advertising dollars are being spent more efficiently!
#3 – Mobile User Experience is Poor
There is no more hiding from the rise in popularity in mobile searches. Now, over 60% of all online searches are conducted with a mobile phone. This is common knowledge for those who know the basics, but it’s shocking to see websites with a poor mobile experience wasting thousands of dollars on ads. Given that 60% are mobile searches, you would think the mobile version of the website would be tested for ease of use including loading speed, ease of filling out a contact form, easy to click phone #’s, etc. Instead, many people advertising on Google simply send you to their old homepage that isn’t responsive or mobile friendly. When I see this I cringe, but also smile knowing that my clients will never make that mistake. Can you imagine spending $20-$100 per click and assuming the visitor wants to fill out a 20 field contact form? Correcting this issue will certainly require making internal changes on the backend or creating custom landing pages. While this might not be easy, it certainly beats the alternative of throwing money away every month.
#4 – Not Creating Landing Pages For Ads
I hinted at this in the previous mistake, but I can’t understate the importance of landing pages. Most people tend to think if they pick the correct keywords and write a semi-decent ad that everything will take care of itself and they will make bank $$$$. Unfortunately, that just is not the case anymore. More and more people are using and bidding on keywords which drives up the prices, especially the best keywords that tend to convert. In an effort to increase the relevance of the page, the conversion of the page, and optimize it for a better “quality score” on Google, the best possible solution is a custom landing page. The landing page will have a clear message tailored to partner with the ad you are running. It will also leave the user less options to browse around the site, but more options to either call or fill out a form. It’s a proven strategy and it’s not even close. Don’t be lazy and ignore landing pages, you don’t like burning money do you?
#5 – Advertising on The Google AdWords Platform Only
So far, I’ve only discussed mistakes that are made on the Google Ads Platform, but it’s also important to diversify your paid search advertising budget. It can be very dangerous focusing all your efforts into 1 company and only 1 source of sales and lead generation. Google has been known to change it’s policies and it could possibly make it substantially more expensive or unprofitable in the future. Bing is very similar to adwords but there tends to be slightly less competition and lower prices. I wouldn’t rely on Bing entirely, but it’s a good compliment to Google for getting additional targeted traffic. Recently, I have found both Facebook and Youtube ads to be highly successful and powerful. No, the traffic isn’t nearly as targeted as Google or Bing, but the prices are just a fraction of the cost and it’s really a great opportunity for branding as well. Even if you are having great success with Google currently or in the past, you should not be afraid to give some of the other platforms a try!