PPC is a great way to increase profits in a company, but it’s like handling a weapon. Used
incorrectly, PPC can drain your ad budget with little to show for it. But with a little knowledge, you can eliminate the most costly mistakes people make. Want to know how you can avoid PPC campaign failure? Read onward for some solid PPC tips.
1. Keep the Big Picture in Mind
The biggest error you can make is not accurately calculating how much you spent to get each conversion for each ad. This is not the same as the Cost Per Lead metric. CPL is important but it is only one part of the whole picture. You also have to examine whether or not that lead converted and how much money you made off of the conversion. If your highest-performing ads only bring in a small amount of money, the ROI of the ad will be poor, or even negative.
Failing to calculate and track how your ads are affecting your bottom line is a sure route to PPC campaign failure. Just because an ad performs well doesn’t mean it’s making you money, and vice versa. Let’s move on to more ppc tips!
2. Don’t Bid Too Low
It would make sense on the surface to bid as low as you can so you save money on your ads. However, this is a counter-intuitive mistake. At the start of a campaign, the most valuable thing you need is data about how your ads are received.
This means you need to get your ad in front of as many people as possible. The easiest way to do that is to spend more money in the short term. Assuming you have a good funnel and a good quality score, you’ll get the data you need to see which ads and keywords perform the best.
Once you have that data, then you can throttle back your spending to a more reasonable level with the confidence that those ads will perform well. But if you spend too little, you never get that data. It can be months before you finally get enough data to see that a keyword or ad isn’t performing well.
By the time that happens, you may have spent much more than you expected than you would have done instead of spending significantly higher for a couple of weeks to get the same data.
3. Ditch Non-performing Keywords
On the surface, it might look like appealing to as many keywords as possible will give you the broadest range of leads and thus give you more opportunities to convert. Unfortunately, it just isn’t so.
If you just set your keywords and forget them you will lose money. Period.
Again, this goes back to traffic. The goal is not to generate the maximum amount of traffic. The goal is to create conversions.
Once your keywords have about 3-6 months worth of data, it’s time to really dig in and see which convert and which don’t. If you have a keyword that hasn’t converted at all in that amount of time, it’s time to ditch it completely.
Will this reduce overall traffic? Yes, but it’s traffic that isn’t converting anyway so it’s just money being wasted. Of course, this assumes that your landing page and funnel are all in good working order, but your other keywords should be able to show you whether or not those are working. If you’re getting very few or no conversions, that’s a bigger issue to fix than your PPC campaign.
Also, if you’re still using broad match, stop it! Use exact match keywords.
4. Watch for Click Fraud
Click fraud is something that you need to watch for once you start becoming a little more
successful. Click fraud comes from two main sources. The first is from websites that are gaming a PPC system by clicking ads to get some share of the money without any intent to buy. The second is from competitors who send bots to click on your ads to drain your ad spend. It can happen!
Google has systems to detect click fraud by people who run AdSense, but detecting competitor click fraud is much harder.
If you see a spike in activity, check the IP logs and the timestamps for the clicks. If you see a large number of clicks in a very short time or repeated clicks from the same IP address, that warrants further investigation.
A great way to make it harder to commit click fraud against your ads is to adjust your ads
geolocation. That makes it much less likely that the first type of click fraud will happen to you
and it will help narrow the search range for the second. Maintaining your campaign fraud free manually is not so simple, especially when facing click bots and sneaky competitors.
Checking weblogs is usually not enough to fight click fraud. By the time you blocked a fraudulent IP manually, it would have already done the damage to your campaign. Using the ClickCease automatic identification and blocking of fraudulent IPs has proved to be an efficient way to eliminate click fraud.
Of all the ppc tips I would highly recommend you do not ignore this one.
5. Fix your Ad Copy
Finally, if your ad copy isn’t all that great or doesn’t stand out from the crowd then you’re not
going to get a good return. It may seem basic, but many ads just copy the same techniques
over and over again. This leads to forgettable ads.
Unless you’re getting a really good conversion rate off of your ad and landing page, you should be setting up A/B tests to experiment. A/B tests allow you to see which ads perform better. If you repeat this process over time, you gain incremental improvements that lead to better and better performance.
Once you’ve done all the technical tweaks and you’re still not getting profitable results, it’s time to look at the ad copy and give it a brush-up.
If you follow these tips, you can stop the largest drains on your PPC budget and find out which tactics get the best responses from your audience. With some work, you can avoid a failure of your PPC campaign and start seeing just how profitable it can be.