If you’ve ever tried Pay Per Click (PPC) then you probably fall into one of two camps. You either think it’s the best thing since sliced bread or it’s a total waste of money.
But like anything, PPC success depends on being able to come up with a good strategy and really execute it.
The unfortunate thing is most brands struggle with this, especially at first and end up wasting tons of money on PPC. And more often than not, it’s probably cash that’s really needed to be re-invested in the brand, not thrown down the drain because of a few mistakes.
So, even though PPC can be tricky, there is still a light at the end of the tunnel here. Chances are, you’re making some very simple (and common) mistakes that are draining most of your resources.
Fix them, and you’re going to see your fortunes, and your PPC results suddenly start turning around.
Here, we’re going to look at a few of the biggest pay per click mistakes you’re probably making that is causing you to waste a lot of your businesses hard earned cash.
Reason #1 – Ignoring Mobile
Ever get that sinking feeling like something is missing when you realize you don’t have your phone with you? That’s how important our devices have become to us, and more and more people are using their mobile phones and tablets as their primary way to search online.
So what does that have to do with PPC?
Well, quite a bit actually. Because more people (i.e. your customers) are on their phones, you need to be creating PPC campaigns that are for mobile devices.
Unfortunately, most brands aren’t doing this. They are just creating advertisements geared for desktop and just pushing them over to mobile whenever they need them. This is a huge and costly mistake.
The fact of the matter is, most desktop campaigns simply don’t translate well on mobile devices; they look off, don’t display well, aren’t responsive, and worst of all, can be difficult or frustrating to click. All that leads to a reduced conversion rate, not a good thing.
Reason #2 – Ad Copy Problems
You might have done everything right, set the correct parameters for your campaign, got the budget set, have the right audience targeted, and yet poor advertising copy can ruin everything.
After all, if your ad doesn’t make people interested in clicking, well there’s really not point, right?
There are several problems that brands make with their PPC when it comes to copy.
First, they simply have poor copy. That means copy that doesn’t really compel the viewer and drive them to take action. Think about how you can immediately attract the attention and curiosity of your target audience with your copy, speak to pain points or frustrations, for example.
The other big issue when it comes to copy is “copy copy” that is most ads in a niche or category all look pretty much the same. Makes it pretty hard to stand out!
Creating great ad copy relies on several elements working together. The bottom line though is to focus on benefits more than features and include a call to action whether that is to ‘call’ you or to ‘get’ something.
You’d be surprised at how just a minor tweak in wording can translate to big results.
Reason #3 – Poor Keyword Choice
Picking the right keywords are the name of the game when it comes to being successful with pay per click advertising. And yet too many brands are making some simple keyword mistakes that can be pretty easy fixes.
The first is having too many keywords.
Before you even think about doing any more keyword research take a deep dive into what you currently have running in your campaigns.
Chances are you’re going to notice that a handful of keywords are doing most of the heavy lifting, while the rest aren’t doing much (if any) in the way of sales. Start by cutting the keywords that aren’t bringing you in anything and move forward.
Now, while you’re already taking a look at your current set of keywords, do you have any branded keywords? These are keywords that include the name of your brand in them.
If you think it’s pointless, think again. Branded keywords are usually quite cheap comparatively when it comes to bidding, and they tend to have a higher conversion rate.
Another important area is to identify negative keywords. Negative keywords can prevent your ads being shown for non relevant searches. The trouble is that you need to get stuck in and review your campaigns continually to identify them. But by doing so you will dramatically increase your PPC return on investment.
Reason #4 – No Landing Page
Ok, so you’ve addressed mobile, you’ve fixed your keywords and your ads and you’re getting the clicks.
But you’re still not converting. Why is that?
Could it be that you’re sending clicks to your home page rather than to a specific landing page. A landing page is a page created specifically to welcome PPC visitors and it serves one purpose: to get your visitors to take a specific action.
That action could be to fill in a form to receive a report or to phone you. If you are a local business then the chances are you want visitors to phone you so your phone number is shown prominently.
If you are offering B2B services then maybe you want to get visitors to access a free report so that you start to build an email list and have them added to an autoresponder sequence.
There are no hard and fast rules when it comes to creating great landing pages but the important point is to minimise distractions. That is the problem with sending people to your home page – there are just too many options to distract them. By using a landing page you dramatically increase the chances that someone will contact you.
But don’t worry about being an expert web designer. These days there are loads of great tools that you can use to build your own landing pages.
Reason #5 – Lack Of Basic Testing
Here’s a question for you:
How often do you test your conversion funnel?
Now, this might seem somewhat obvious, but as often happens a simple mistake like this can end up causing big problems down the line.
In order to make sure your conversion funnel is working properly you need to test it before you do anything else. All too often this step is skipped because people assume that it’s set up correctly and they are good to go.
But what happens if something isn’t set up correctly along the way?
Well, it means that you could have end up spending quite a bit of money sending potential customers to a site that is broken, or re-directed, or a shopping cart that doesn’t work. That results in a lot more than a few missed opportunities.
So, before you even begin to set up your pay per click campaign for any conversion funnel, make sure you test it to ensure everything is working the way it should and your analytics are running correctly. It also never hurts to do a quick test every few months just to be on the safe side.
Again, simple stuff but it can make all the difference.
Reason #6 – No Overall Strategy
It might be really exciting to get an ad campaign up and running as quickly as possible to start making some money.
Except of course, for one thing: without a good strategy it can totally backfire in a big way.
So, don’t jump into any PPC campaign without first having a defined strategy. And that goes beyond things like goals and budgets, even though those are important too.
The biggest thing to start with a successful strategy is to define who you are trying to reach, your target audience. If you miss on this crucial point, then you’re going to waste a ton of money and get no results.
Start first by understanding who your audience truly is, and what your ideal outcome is going to be. From there, work backwards in creating a conversion funnel that is going to speak to them every step of the way.
If you want people to phone you then your strategy needs to focus on this and you need to be able to measure this by using tracking numbers so you can measure results against strategy.
If the aim is to get email sign ups then again focus in on the content you are going to offer in exchange for an email address.
Once you know your strategy then everything else becomes clearer: your keywords, your ads, your landing pages and your calls to action.
PPC can deliver a continual stream of motivated buyers. To maximise your chances, be sure to avoid some fundamental mistakes.
Remember that people are increasingly searching on mobiles. Your landing pages need to be mobile friendly.
Your ad copy is vital. Test different options to see which gives the best result. Focus on Benefits and features and make sure you have a call to action.
Keywords are at the heart of any PPC campaign. Start by stripping away the poor performers. You need to spend time reviewing them and identifying and removing negative keywords too to improve the effectiveness of your campaigns.
Stop sending PPC traffic to your home page. Instead send them to focused landing pages where there is only one action they can perform whether that’s to phone you or get them onto an email list.
Don’t forget to test your funnels from time to time. Things change and maybe you forget to update a landing page or a phone number. From time to time just do a quick check all the eay through.
Finally, you will get best results if you start with the end in mind. Understand what it is you want to achieve and be sure to measure your progress towards your goals.
So are you using PPC? What is your experience and have you got any other suggestions you can share with us. Leave a comment below and we’ll get back to you.