Advertising can be one of the most expensive aspects of running a business, especially online. Therefore, knowing how to manage your PPC ad campaign will help you reach your target audience while preventing wasteful spending.
Top Ways Companies Waste Money on PPC
Not Tracking Conversions
Conversion tracking can tell you what keywords customers used to find your product or service. This will also tell you if you need to make your landing page more engaging.
The longer someone stays on the landing page, the more likely they are to make a conversion. Creating an engaging ad is useless and expensive if customers click on your advertisement only to bounce when they reach your landing page.
Without conversion tracking, there will be no way to tell if this is happening.
Desire to be First
Some companies will spend the majority of their advertising budget to be at the top of the search results page. While being first does provide many more impressions, if the rest of the advertising campaign is neglected, it does not guarantee conversions.
Throwing money at the problem isn’t the best solution. If you have a good product, are constantly refining your ad campaign, and use targeted marketing, your ads will perform sufficiently without having to pay extra.
Then again, consider hiring a SEO services company to improve your organic ranking. If searchers see you high on both organic and paid listings, it very well can make your ads more appealing.
But if you’re using only PPC, there’s no need to go full bore on trying to get the top spot in Google.
Too Much Broad Match
When setting up keywords for your ad campaign, you should target a wide range of related keyword searches. This way, your ads will appear as often as possible in search results.
However, you must avoid using broad match across the board.
If you opt to use only broad match, you are guaranteed to overpay for clicks. Why? Because broad match casts a very wide net, and you’ll certainly appear in irrelevant SERPs as well as the right SERPs.
Sure, you’ll get more clicks with broad match. Unfortunately, though, many of them won’t really be looking for your product or services. The end result will be a lot of wasted money, which could have been better spent on more targeted SERPs.
Broad match works best with national or international ad campaigns, and only when paired with well-built negative keyword lists to filter out queries that aren’t a good fit.
Confusing Search and Display Networks
It’s important for you to understand how different Google Display Network is from keyword-targeted search ads.
The Google Display Network is a network of all websites that have Google AdSense enabled. These sites can be nearly anything, including blogs, forums, unrelated product pages, Gmail, etc.
Targeting display ads can easily generate many thousands of impressions, but most of those impressions may very well be the wrong people. If they start clicking your ads, you may find yourself spending a lot of money with little benefit.
The display network is a powerful advertising tool, but it should be considered a separate discipline as compared to the standard PPC search network. Keep your bids low on the Display Network to prevent overspending.
Key Point: Vet Your PPC Agency
Not everyone has the time to maintain an online presence. Because of this fact, many of you will find it preferable and beneficial to partner with a PPC agency.
However, not all PPC agencies are created equal. Before you sign with an agency, do some investigating.
First, look at their portfolio. Do they have experience managing your size/type of company? What services do they offer that would be important for your business?
They also need to be transparent with you about their strategy and reporting. Make sure you know exactly how often you will receive reports and what will be contained in them.
Many PPC agencies outsource some or all of their execution, which can be a good thing if they have good contractors or partners. Be sure to ask how your chosen PPC agency manages the process so you understand up front.
No matter what agency you choose, you should still own your account and always have access to your landing pages. Too many times, PPC agencies set up the campaigns on their own accounts and build landing pages on third party platforms, then simply pull everything without providing history or access to these platforms once the contract ends.
If you own your own account and provide access via the agency’s MCC (My Client Center) dashboard as Google recommends, you will never find yourself left out in the cold like this.
Avoid long-term contracts because you need to be able to terminate service without strings attached after an initial three-to-six month testing period. You don’t want to get stuck paying for ads that aren’t working over many months to let an annual or longer contract play out. Save that money for PPC ads with your new agency or in-house PPC manager.
PPC should be considered a sharp tool in your marketing toolbox. If your campaign is set up well, PPC can offer a great deal of business value. Alternatively, a badly managed campaign can spend your entire budget quickly with little return. A good partner will help you increase your chances of success.
Follow the tips above to avoid the major mistakes people make when they waste money on bad PPC campaigns.