Top PPC Advertising Mistakes
By Shari L.S. Worthington
We've seen it all when it comes to pay per click (PPC) advertising. Clients have come to us with campaigns that include thousands of unorganized, non-optimized keywords; that rely on expensive, generic phrases; that have uncapped budgets and way too many broad phrase matches which, ultimately, line Google's pockets more than anything else.
So here's a quick list of some of the bigger gotchas when it comes to PPC campaigns:
- Don't ignore the quality of the ad. Google recently changed its PPCs. Instead of a straight bid system, your ad rank now depends on bid price AND the quality of your ad AND the quality of your ad's landing page. They use a 1-10 ranking system where 10 is best. Aim to get your Quality Score for each keyword into the 8, 9, 10 range. Skip the generic ads and go for meaty. For instance:
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The first ad is a waste of money. There is no differentiation, no substance, no offers. The second ad format will always do better, both for clicks and conversions.
- Don't flood your account with keywords. Many search engines now have automated systems that will insert additional keywords into your ad campaign, based on their judgment as to which phrases are similar. The problem is that their suggestions are often generic phrases that are too expensive or too irrelevant to justify. Peruse their "suggestion" lists, but make your own decisions. Then make sure you create small, themed campaigns that tightly focus ads and landing pages on the chosen keywords so you keep your Quality Score high.
- Watch your account settings. It's way too easy to waste money with PPCs. When running A/B ad testing, make sure you change the campaign settings to "equal rotation" vs "optimize ads." You need to take the first crack at analyzing ad data re clicks and conversions. Then, after you've run a few A/B tests, let the search engine's optimization algorithm do its work.
- A higher ranking does not necessarily translate into more conversions. In fact, we've seen cases where the #1 and #2 PPC positions are mostly window-shoppers (e.g. students and/or faculty with no budget). So make sure you test the response rates for a variety of positions in the top 4 or 5. And make sure you look at the quality of the resulting leads, as well.
According to a recent MarketingSherpa survey, everything matters when you're creating your PPC program. Marketers ranked the impact of each ad element on ROI:
|Landing Page Copy
|Registration or Purchase
|Landing Page Images
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