Pay Per Click advertising is one of the fastest, easiest to implement forms of advertising in existence. You could set up an advertising campaign through PPC within less than an hour and have it up and running regardless of whether your budget is 30 dollars or 300,000 dollars. Best of all, per dollar spent there is no other known method of advertising that will give you more eyeball exposure.
Another benefit of PPC is the sheer speed with which you can measure results; while SEO may take weeks to show any results, PPC will let you know within just a few hours if your campaign has been well received or not.
Now, in order to make sure that you get off to a good start so that your reception is actually good, let’s go over some of the most important PPC mistakes to avoid.
1. Overly Broad Scope
PPC marketing is all about niches if you want it to be cost effective and this means focusing on a specific niche instead of catering to all-comers. Keywords are competitively priced based on their popularity in the bidding system the Google operated with its Adwords program; because of this, using keywords that are aimed at an overly broad market will force you to compete with far more other bidders.
This over-broadening of your scope can also apply to where you place your ads. In many ad networks, including Google’s, you’re allowed to pick websites and even regions where your ads are placed on display; since you’re billed for every set number of clicks on these ads, spreading them over too large an area can dilute the click value of your campaign and give you low sales conversions for your clicks.
Instead, pick a more narrowly defined niche and focus your ads at the places or search terms (keywords) that are most likely to impact your target audience for that particular niche.
2. Incomplete Keyword Research
This mistake is related to that of having an overly broad scope; by not choosing the deeper, more specialized long term keywords for your target market and focusing on generalized terms that apply to too many people, you’ll lose out on higher converting, targeted click throughs that get sales more frequently.
Instead, what you need to do is target more specific words and phrases that fit your product, service or website in general as closely as possible. These will attract the audience that is most likely to be interested in what you’re offering and this in turn will create better click throughs and higher sales percentages. Go for long tail keywords (words at the tail end of the popularity spectrum ie: instead of “flowers” bid on “exotic wedding flowers”) Not only will your advertising be more likely to be effective, the words you bid on will also be cheaper per click.
3. Failing to Have an Overall Strategy
Your PPC campaign needs a researched strategy for the long run before it even gets off the ground. If you do otherwise, you dramatically increase your risks of flailing about in the wrong direction and simply wasting money without measurable success.
A solid PPC strategy needs to consider the exact details of your niche, the best target market to aim at, the keywords that best apply to this market and the kind of landing page content that will have the most effect on your customers. You should also plan your monthly budget, ideal metrics and have a specific goal set out by which you can measure whether you should continue with the campaign or not.
4. Not Tracking all your Metrics
Metrics are the health indicators of your PPC campaign and you need to track them precisely if you want to make the right adjustments that will keep your spending below your gains. Remember, PPC isn’t about general publicity; it’s about creating ad generated sales that give you more than you spent in return. Use the metrics to make sure this is happening.
Important metrics to consider are click through rate, bounce rate, audience characteristics and most important of all, your sales conversion percentage as a ratio of how much you’re spending.
5. Failing to Split Test
Your PPC campaign can go wrong in all sorts of ways, some of them not easily noticeable unless you’ve been shown an alternate and even better result. This is why you need to split test your campaign as part of your general experimentation and management of your PPC ads. Test at least two separate groups of ads, each group written with a different style but used on the same keywords. Also, try creating ads for two different kinds of landing pages to see which works better at converting click through rates into sales.
Another option is to split test your ads based on different geographical locations or ad impression methods to see which gives you better results.
6. Neglecting your Landing Page
And speaking of landing pages; split testing is a very good way of testing to see if your ad landing page is well designed or not. This is possibly the single most important part of your entire campaign and if you’ve written it in a way that’s out of tune with your audience, you could suffer unnecessarily with low sales conversions and high bounce rates.