Pay-per-click (PPC) marketing can be one of the most effective or most frustrating ways to grow your business. Most companies have a hard time unlocking the potential of PPC because they make a few simple mistakes. The sad thing is, these mistakes are both preventable and easily fixable! Here are the most common mistakes and tips to avoid them!
Obsessing Over CPL
PPC best practice has slowly shifted from optimizing for clicks to optimizing for conversions. Although that’s certainly a step in the right direction, Cost-Per-Lead is an indicator—rather than a measure—of PPC success. The problem is, vanity metrics like CPL don’t guarantee profitability. I’ve seen literally hundreds of PPC campaigns with excellent CPL that still aren’t profitable. Sure, CPL can be a great campaign health marker—but if the campaign isn’t profitable, it’s not worth running.
Instead of focusing on indicators like CPL, focus on profitability. To do that, you need to tie your PPC campaign data through to your bottom line. You should know which keywords drive the lowest cost-per-sale, which search terms produce the most revenue and which ad copy creates the greatest Return On Investment.
Remember the old 80/20 rule? Turns out that it holds true for PPC as well. If your account is like the average AdWords account, 12% of your keywords are responsible for all of your sales. Most companies know what their good keywords are. The problem is, they also bid on a bunch of extra keywords in the hopes of acquiring extra business. It’s not a bad idea, but it rarely works out.
Fortunately, this problem is fairly easy to fix. Firstly, if you’re using broad match—knock it off! Yes, broad match is the default match type, but that doesn’t mean you should use it. Next, you need to identify your budget-sucking keywords and search terms.
Bidding Too Low
Here again, this mistake seems a bit counter-intuitive. The higher you bid, the more your clicks will cost, right! That’s true, but there’s another factor you need to take into account. Click-through-rate and ad rank go hand-in-hand. As ad rank increases, so does the number of clicks.
Instead of starting low and working your way up, it works better to start high, get the data you need and then dial back.
Now, it’s important to note that this strategy only works if you’ve got a consistent and compelling funnel set up for your PPC campaigns. If your keywords, ad copy and landing pages don’t have a spot on, consistent message and a compelling offer, you can spending a lot of money and learn very little.
No Call Tracking
For many companies—especially lead generation campaigns—phone calls are often one of the most important sources of leads and sales. However, despite the importance of leads and the availability of call tracking platforms like Google’s call forwarding feature, most companies still aren’t tracking their phone calls effectively. If you aren’t tracking your calls, you can’t tell which channels are producing which sales…which means you don’t know which campaigns are truly profitable
Call tracking is relatively easy to implement. For example, you can use a forwarding number in your ad copy call extensions and record calls down to the ad group level.
Forgettable Ad Copy
Ever notice how all the PPC ads for a search seem like variations on a theme? Sure, they are all competing for the same search intent, but it’s tough to get noticed when you look and sound like everyone else. Now, there’s nothing wrong with learning from the competition, but most PPC account managers end up writing “me too” ads that are largely indistinguishable from their competitor’s ads. The problem is, even if you’re sitting pretty at the top of the page, you won’t get much attention if you don’t stand out in some way.
To create standout ad copy, you need to focus on the pain point your offer solves for your target audience. Put the pain point directly in your ad copy. Now, you can find a variety of creative ways to address that pain point, but keep the emphasis on the pain point.