If there is one area where I see the most business owners and managers making mistakes and thinking they can “do it all”, it’s pay per click.
For tons of reasons, lots of business owners don’t seem to really understand pay per click advertising. For me, it’s one of the simplest digital marketing techniques to explain. We pay Google or Bing or Facebook a fixed amount per click or per thousand impressions based on targeting (keywords or demographics/psychographics) that sends traffic to our website. Then, we’ll track how often this paid traffic converts into leads, sales, or other micro-conversions. That’s then measured against what you feel is a fair price to pay for a customer, lead or purchase.
Pretty simple right?
I think so.
Now, doing this properly is an entirely different matter. Making the machine that is Facebook ads or Adwords tick smoothly requires knowing every single button, setting and targeting option in the interface work. We thought we’d share some PPC tips to help you manage your campaigns better.
Here are some common misconceptions about pay per click advertising and how it works:
“Anyone can do it!”
Yeah, sure, anyone can do your job as well, right?
Letting any marketing manager with zero pay per click experience into your Adwords account with a credit card and vague instructions is a recipe for disaster. I’ve seen it dozens of times where an experienced employee is thrust into the pay per click role and isn’t even given enough time or direction to make it successful. Throwing money into Adwords without a plan, competent manager and goal will lead to failure. Every time.
“If I bid more, I’ll show up higher.”
Yeah, nope. If you bid more, you have the chance to show up higher given you have a higher quality score. But overall bid price doesn’t matter nearly as much as increasing your click through rate. That’s the real metric that’s going to drive the cost down that you are actually paying per click.
That ties directly into things like
- Great ad copy
- A trusted brand
- Bids on relevant terms
- Top-notch landing pages
- Lots of relevant ad extensions
And a ton more. Business owners and pay per click newbies, increasing the bid is not an answer or solution.
“I can’t track offline conversions.”
I hear this most often: and it can be true sometimes. Matching up pay per click ads and on store visits is a little harder to figure out but simple phone calls are easier to track.
If you do a lot of of your conversions over the phone, you’re doing your pay per click a disservice by not having call tracking on your ads.
“I understand match types.”
Most of the time, a business owner doesn’t understand match types at all. Most of the keywords in poorly managed accounts are broad match with zero negative keywords.
Are all very different keywords and should be treated as such.
“I can do different ads for mobile?”
Understanding how mobile traffic converts on your website is critical to having successful mobile ads. Most business owners I see aren’t bidding down for mobile phones even when they should and don’t write great ad copy for mobile searches.
Mobile can convert very well in some industries and ignoring it or not having separate ads and targeting options will leave your account open for failure.
“We’ll just send that straight to the homepage.”
If your website does not convert very well right now on other traffic sources, PPC is not a magical formula that will make more conversions happen. Setup all the relevant goal tracking, lead tracking and contact form calls to action and make sure they’re converting well.
You can likely do some “napkin math” with the keywords you’d like to bid on, your expected click through rate and current conversions rate to determine now successful a pay per click campaign could be.
In addition, sending traffic to the homepage is rarely the best option. For lead generation campaigns, you should be sending people to a dedicated landing page that removes clutter, navigation and needless elements and focuses on generating leads. If you’re looking for recommendations on software, my reviews of popular landing page software is a great place to start.
“Defined business goals? Nah…”
Perhaps the most frustrating for the owner, agency or employee is thinking you are meeting cost per lead or cost per sale targets only to find out that it’s not what the c-level expected. Before starting with pay per click, you’ll want to set clear goals with your cost per lead, most profitable services and what your budget is. This will help immensely when actually starting the pay per click process as it allows for clearly defined goals before going all in with your credit card.
Also, these have to be very realistic goals. Goals are not “low cost per lead as possible” or “cheapest conversions possible”. These are vague and don’t define exactly what the expected outcome is.
Overall, success with pay per click means carefully managing the account and learning as much as you can. Sure, you’ll make mistakes along the way and waste a few dozen (or hundred) dollars. But, carefully maximizing your account for a great click through rate, quality score, cost per lead goals will be driving your account in the right direction.
Don’t make these common mistakes with you pay per click account. Get on the right track to a profitable campaign and you’ll be much better off.