The arguments for and against pay-per-click campaigns have plenty of relevant points, but the biggest one you should take note of is this: It works. Well, it works if you do it right. Those who argue that PPC isn’t worth the money you’ll spend may not have ever crafted a successful campaign. There are a few mistakes that most will make when drafting their first pay-per-click ad. If you don’t correct these issues, they’ll become habit. And when they become habit, you’ll write blogs about how PPC never works.
You can stop that all right here with these 4 tips.
Choose Wise Keywords
You will fight against your competitors for those top spots with your similar keywords, so you need to get creative. The only way to beat the other companies on those popular keywords is to pay more money. Unless you can afford to do that, you’ll need to come up with some better keyword choices.
Before you slip into the obscure simply to pay smaller amounts per keyword, stop and think about your buyers. What words will they use to find you? Don’t focus on the most obvious choices, either. You may want to select some long-tail keywords, but don’t select broad terms.
You also want to avoid situations where people will click on your ads even though you’re not what they’re really looking for. This happens when you use the default broad match keyword type or when you don’t use negative keywords. The broad match will increase the number of clicks as buyers find your site after searching something similar. Once they realize you’re not what they wanted, they’ll bounce, and you’ll be left with the bill.
Negative keywords will help you filter out those looking for something specific. For instance, if your site sells tea kettles but doesn’t offer electric versions, you should probably add a negative keyword to keep those searching for electric kettles from clicking your site. Every click drives up your price, so you need the most relevant possible visitors.
Understand and Optimize for the Quality Score
Simply not understanding Google’s Quality Score is no excuse for not optimizing for it. When you score higher for quality, your price per click goes down. Those with a quality score of 1 will pay 400% more per click. With a Quality Score of 10, the cost per click is decreased by 50%.
Nothing frustrates a buyer more than searching for red shoes and being led to the homepage of a shopping site rather than the product they really wanted. If you’re not linking directly to the landing page from your PPC campaigns, you’re probably losing a lot of customers, and irritating them at the same time.
When you create more than one campaign, be sure not to send all your traffic to the same landing page. The reason those buyers searched Google in the first place was for convenience. If they have to start the search all over again on your site, they’ll go somewhere else.
Check In Frequently
You can’t simply set up a PPC campaign and then forget it. Log in at least once per week to work on your ads. How else will you know whether the keywords you chose are driving traffic to your site?
You don’t need to spend all day every day in your AdWords account, either. Just take a look here and there to see if your ads are generating traffic. If not, you may want to examine your keywords, increase your bid for a few days, or even target a new audience.
A big part of marketing is testing and measuring the results. Simply posting and forgetting will always result in failure.
Now, are you ready to try your pay-per-click campaigns again? With a little bit of help, you can see much greater success. Just be sure to avoid the common pitfalls, and reach out to an expert for assistance when you need it.
Originally published Aug 21, 2014 10:00:00 AM, updated October 20 2016