Google’s AdWords pay-per-click (PPC) advertising allows businesses to bid for their ad to show up in search results for relevant keywords. As the name suggests, you only pay if searchers actually click on your ad, which links to a designated landing page on your site.
AdWords can be very beneficial for small and mid-sized businesses for building brand awareness and generating good quality leads, especially if your website is not showing up in the “organic” (unpaid) search results.
Many business owners realize the potential value of Google’s PPC ads, and are attempting to manage the campaigns on their own or with internal resources. This is admirable – just be aware that there are common mistakes that derail results and end up wasting a significant portion of AdWords investment.
Make sure you don’t make these mistakes when setting up and running your AdWords campaigns.
1. Your Targeted Keywords Are Too Broad
You don’t just want to “generate traffic” and “get clicks”. You want qualified traffic and clicks that are going to turn into good leads. Traffic and clicks mean nothing without conversion.
That’s why you can’t just target every imaginable keyword and use the “broad match” setting, hoping to spread your net wide. Instead, use your analytics insights to determine which keywords to target, and then use “phrase match” or even “exact match” to filter out the dud searches.
You’ll also want to pay attention to setting “negative keywords”, which are keywords that have a different intent (e.g. if you are targeting “commercial investment properties” and someone is searching investments with the word “condo”, you’ll want to make that a negative keyword).
Your keywords must be specific and relevant to attract the right types of prospects. Once you start to drill down, you will see your ROI improve.
2. Your Quality Score Sucks
Quality score is determined by how well your keywords, your ad copy, and the content on your landing page match up. The better coordinated these elements are, the higher your quality score and the higher your ad will rank, even if your bid is lower (provided your competitor has a low quality score).
And it’s a win-win, because if the elements of your campaign are well-synchronized, searchers will find exactly what they’re looking for when they reach your landing page.
3. Your Landing Pages Aren’t Optimized for Conversions
Does your PPC ad link to your website’s homepage? Unless the ad and the landing page are directly related, visitors are going to bounce away from your site as soon as they arrive. They clicked on your ad with a certain expectation; your job is to direct the searcher to the content that meets that expectation.
Beyond that, make sure your landing page is optimized for conversion. Is there a clear path for prospects to take next steps? Does the landing page answer their typical questions? If not, you need to reassess how to improve the effectiveness of the landing page.
Click here for our blog “Top 5 Tips for PPC Landing Page Conversion”.
4. Not Using the Geographic Settings
Is your business local to a specific community or city? Or a certain province, state, or even set of countries?
If appropriate, you should use geographic filters to ensure you only target traffic coming from the areas where you do business.
5. Not Keeping Up to Date with New Features
A while ago, Google added “extensions” to their ads. These extensions provided special extras like a “click to call” button on mobile, a map pin with your address, and additional sitelinks below your ad.
Google is always updating and improving their AdWords service. If you aren’t on top of the latest developments, it’s easy to be left behind by your competitors. For example, did you know that AdWords is soon expanding the number of characters you can use in your ad copy? This will give advertisers more flexibility and creativity in how they present their ads.
Need some help implementing an optimized, strategic PPC campaign? We can help! Our team of experts will dig into the specific sales process of your business and help you generate qualified leads online. Contact us now.
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