On the surface, PPC sounds like a miracle cure to all your marketing troubles. You draft an ad, the people who are already searching for a business like yours see it, and you pay according to how many people actually click on it. However, like any facet of marketing, there’s a right way and a wrong way to apply your PPC ads. Here are a few common mistakes which you need to avoid when taking your first steps in PPC.
Thinking Too Competitively
A lot of people, particularly business owners, are naturally competitive, and when it comes to PPC this often translates as the want to get the number 1 spot on a given SERP. Although this may sound good, it’s not necessarily the best way to approach your PPC campaign. If you lock yourself into a bidding war for the top spot on your SERP, then you’re going to find yourself overspending very quickly. With Google’s current ad layout, it’s a good idea to reduce your average position, and therefore save money for a greater click volume. While there’s certainly value in high ranking, lower bids and lower positions can often end up getting you more clicks for less money.
Failing to Track Conversions
There are a lot of things which sets PPC apart from other marketing tactics. One of the biggest distinctions is that PPC offers you complete transparency through conversion tracking. This feature allows you to connect your clicks to sales or leads, and opens up a great opportunity to monitor, and subsequently improve your overall marketing campaign. When you use tracking tools to see which kind of clicks, ads, keywords and so on are really raking in business, you can then take steps to optimize them, and drive even more traffic. It will also show you where you’re investing, yet getting poor returns, so that you can cut out any wasted capital. Google has their own free tracking tools with simple interfaces, but there are various other options out there. To find out more about PPC tracking and its importance, check out this article: PPC Management: Do You Really Need It?
Setting Up and Forgetting It
If you want to see any kind of success from your PPC efforts, it’s important to check out your AdWords account at least once a week, and make all the optimizations you can. Far too many clients start using PPC with a blasé, “set it and forget it” mentality, which leads to all kinds of wasted opportunities. You don’t have to be on-call to your AdWords account 24/7 to get the most out of it. However, it’s a good idea to set aside half an hour to an hour a week for adding negative keywords, checking bids, experimenting with various match types, testing and optimizing ad copy, and upping your quality score. If you’re squeezed for time, assess your budget and adjust certain keywords depending on how they’re performing. Despite what some would have you believe, PPC isn’t something you can simply set up and then forget about!