Last Updated on December 8, 2013
Pay-per-click (PPC) online advertising campaigns through Google AdWords can draw traffic into your site immediately and with measurable volume. The ads ignite instant movement to your site and can hand your brand valuable lead-generation opportunities, under the best-case scenarios.
At the very least, the geographically optimal customers searching the keywords you target most will see your brand’s name, contact information and a brief description right above Google’s prized organic search engine result page (SERP) listings. For all of this, you only pay a fee when visitors actually click your ad. Your price per click gradually falls as higher volumes of visitors use the ad to reach your site.
Simple as it is, certain mistakes can still torpedo a PPC campaign and divert your brand from rewarding immediate traffic. Don’t fret too long if you’ve maybe already made a few. Even entrepreneurs that run highly profitable campaigns have learned these lessons the hard way through some accidental trial and error. That being said, let us help you avoid them before you have a chance to make them.
- AVOID YOUR HOME PAGE
Hey, come back here and hear us out.
If the crux of your PPC campaign focuses on a single, specific product, then ask yourself this question: as important as brand loyalty and recognition are to you, what good are you doing your campaign’s return on investment (ROI) if clicking the ad takes the customer somewhere other than your specific page for ordering the product?
Your potential customer must then click through your site just to find the product and purchase it. Another question: what kind of first impression have you made if your link doesn’t provide the most convenient possible access to what the customer needs? Target the specific landing page with your ad as specifically as possible.
- AVOID THE CONTACT PAGE, TOO
Simply put, when your customers need to contact you, they’ll seek out this page. This might generate a few e-mail list opt-ins. It might even see a few customers submit lead-generation forms. For the most part, this misdirection only annoys would-be customers. More than likely, bait-and-switch linking to a contact page only make a brand look untrustworthy.
What’s worse, Google AdWords guidelines explicitly frown upon requiring contact info in exchange free-of-charge information.
- DON’T FORGET TO SPLIT-TEST YOUR TEXT
How often do you dive straight into using anything without first running it through a few paces, both to reveal any bugs and to familiarize yourself with the ins and outs? Treat your PPC ads accordingly.
Testing multiple versions of any ad clearly illustrates which words and phrases produce conversions and click-through traffic most efficiently. Depending upon the PPC platform, you may get a clearly laid-out display that sketches the optimal variation. This doesn’t always do you any favors; randomly displayed ad variations generate the most telling data. Your PPC engine’s “Help” section should fill you in on the steps to activating this setting, if it isn’t already a default.
- TOO MUCH STOCK IN “BROAD MATCH”
Remember: in today’s SEO, relevance means everything – even in PPC.
It makes no difference that “broad match” keyword ads increase your traffic potential. It doesn’t even matter that it focuses on the greatest possible traffic potential by zeroing your ad on the highest volume of keyword searches. You’re forsaking the most vital real estate – focusing on hitching your ad to the highest-relevance searches – for wasting your ad on less relevant keywords that are individually each less likely to produce significant traffic.
It’s an inefficient use of your budget.
- IGNORING THE “PLUS” IN NEGATIVES
Welcome to the PPC permutation of “addition by subtraction.” Ignore this thorough advantage you could give to your campaign at your peril.
Negative keywords keep your ad from wastefully appearing attached to irrelevant keywords. Are you running an ad for a collision-repair auto body shop? List “oil changes” as a negative keyword that prevents a broad-match appearance where your ad isn’t likely to generate much interest. Separating the most influential negative keywords takes time. That being said, this meticulous process ultimately reins in relevancy while preserving broad-match traffic potential.
Well, there endeth that lesson. The class isn’t dismissed, though. Now that you know what not to do, treat yourself to learning five easy steps that can elevate your campaign.