Many marketers swear by pay-per-click (PPC), and understandably so. If used right, you can get a good return on investment (ROI) through increased site traffic, conversions, and revenue. The results also come in fast, unlike search engine optimization (SEO). However, for some companies, PPC can be a common source of costly failures. While there’s much success around this strategy, there are also cases where thousands of dollars end up wasted on PPC.
Some companies enlist the help of a PPC agency to avoid taking unnecessary risks, but if you invest enough time into learning the essential principles of PPC and what mistakes to avoid, you can build an effective strategy on your own.
1. Obsessing over cost-per-click (CPC)
It’s easy to assume that CPC is vital since, at a glance, it seems to determine the effectiveness of your ongoing campaign. However, clicks only tell you about site visitors and not about what’s important: paying customers. You can spend resources making your ads attractive so that users will click on them, but if your landing page doesn’t complete the conversion process, your ads are virtually useless. Invest in optimizing your webpages and ensuring the best possible user experience, so visitors are more encouraged to complete a purchase.
2. Not targeting ads properly
If you don’t properly target your ads, you’re getting a poor ROI as a result. Remember that the end goal of your ads should be profit. You should target your ads to users who have either expressed interest in your business in the past, have interests aligned with your product offerings, or are within your location. These people are already on track to becoming converted, so why not focus your ad revenue on them? By refining your ads targeting scheme, you’ll be spending on clicks that actually give you valuable site traffic and the highest possibility of revenue. Las Vegas PPC agency can advise you on how to target ads efficiently.
3. Not tracking your metrics (and, in turn, not optimizing your strategy)
PPC campaigns are not something you run and leave indefinitely. You need to monitor your metrics and take appropriate action based on the outcome. If you don’t see favorable results, shifting your strategy early can save you a lot of money.
4. Bland or forgettable ads
Users are so inundated with ads that they’ve become used to ignoring them. Even if your ad is sprinkled in the middle of long-form articles or news feeds, they can just as easily scroll past if your ad isn’t eye-catching, distinct, or engaging enough. The whole point of your ads is to catch users’ attention. If you don’t have an in-house creative team, enlist an ad agency or an independent graphic designer. Don’t underestimate the benefit of having a professional design your ads.
If you don’t set a budget for your PPC campaign, you’re bound to go overboard without even noticing it. As with all business expenditures, it’s important to exercise restraint and use hard data to determine how much money is appropriate to spend. For PPC campaigns, you need to set concrete goals and use previous PPC campaign data to identify key figures like CPC, conversion rate, and traffic generation requirements to meet your goals. Through these numbers, you can compute a budget range that you can stick to for your next campaign.
6. Bidding on the wrong keywords
Even if you stick to a budget, you still stand to lose if you spend money on the wrong thing. An example of this is if you bid on the wrong keywords on search engine PPCs. Most novice marketers might bid on broad keywords like “women’s shoes” or “men’s suits”, but on top of being the most expensive, these don’t generate the best quality traffic for your website. To refine your strategy, focus on exact match keywords. Like laser-targeting your ads, bidding on more specific keywords means you’re targeting your ads to users who are already halfway to being converted. Monitor your keyword performance and get rid of any keywords that result in zero conversions in the last three months.
Failure is something all business owners and marketers are familiar with. Sometimes, even with adequate planning and proper data interpretation, some business decisions backfire. For bigger companies where the slightest mistake could mean millions of dollars lost, they turn to PPC agencies to avoid such incidents, but for small business owners and first-time marketers, it’s wise to take these failures as they come and learn from them.