PPC ads can bring in high volumes of qualified leads – when done correctly. The problem is, it is easy for beginners to make the kind of mistakes that can blow their PPC budgets or have them targeting the wrong customers.
Here are a few of the most common blunders businesses make with their PPC campaigns – so you can avoid making them:
Failing to use geographic targeting
You can end up wasting a lot of your ad budget by targeting areas that aren’t likely to yield any business for you. For example, for most small businesses with physical storefronts, you can reasonably expect to get most of your business from within a 30-mile or less radius from where your business is located.
Likewise, if your company specializes in selling luxury or high-end services, you will profit more by targeting higher income areas.
Failing to use site exclusion
If you find that you are getting a high number of clicks coming from certain sites and those clicks never seem to follow through, that means the visitors coming from those sites are not a good fit for your business. In this case, you are better off removing these sites from your display network. This tip alone can save you a lot of money.
Failing to understand match types
Match types handle keywords differently, and this can give your ads much more power when used correctly. An Exact Match is the easiest to understand. It will only trigger ads when the exact keyword is used.
Phrase Match is slightly more forgiving. It will trigger ads that include minor variations like plurals or when the keyword is included in a phrase.
Broad Match will trigger ads for a much larger range of keywords and include many more variations. Sometimes the variations may only loosely match your keywords.
Each match type bid price is worth a different amount, with Broad Match being the least expensive.
Failing to use negative keywords
Believe it or not, negative keywords can save your ad budget. If your chosen keywords naturally come up in similar searches that are not appropriate to your offer, you can exclude certain modifiers.
For example, if your keyword is “Trenton legal services” and you want people to pay you for your legal services, you don’t want your ad to be shown when people search for “free Trenton legal services.”
Failing to go beyond Adwords
Google may have the market dominated by a factor of more than 2 to 1, but there are some great opportunities for PPC waiting for you just beyond the Adwords border. MSN, for example, offers businesses a way to get set up quickly. Much less costly CPCs and cost per conversions help sweeten the deal even further. Bing offers another great opportunity to reach a unique audience of searchers.
Failing to narrow your keyword focus
You want your ads to reach the widest audience possible. That’s understandable. But failing to narrow your focus will only garner you more clicks, not more sales. That’s an expensive lesson that no one wants you to have to go through.
Results always improve when you figure out who you are targeting, and then find the keywords that are specific to that ideal customer. A vegetarian caterer doesn’t need to target everyone looking for a caterer. They will get better results if they narrow themselves to people searching for “vegetarian caterers.”
Failing to send prospects to a targeted landing page
If your ad sends people straight to your website’s home page (or any other general internal page on your website), you will miss out on the opportunity to convert most of those leads.
Your best bet is to send visitors to a landing page (these are pages with no sidebar or navigation bars = no distractions) where you can capture their email addresses. Offering visitors a free gift for opting in to your list is a popular way to get people into your database.