If you are involved in a business, you may have heard of the term Search Engine Marketing (SEM). A form of internet marketing, SEM increases the visibility of a website or webpage in search engine results through optimization and advertising.
So you have read our whitepaper and already started your content marketing efforts. You have created a great video, planned 2 webinars and cranking out blog posts every week and are tracking the analytics on each. So far though, you haven’t been getting much traction on any of them. This is where the old adage “build it and they will come” falls flat on its face.
If you’re in the communications industry even if you’re not a search marketing pro, chances are you’ve heard the acronym PPC thrown around more than a few times. PPC, or pay-per-click, is one of the most common models of internet advertising. PPC ads are those display or banner ads you see down the side of most websites like Google and Facebook.
Like most things in life, the PPC advertising model can garner immensely successful results just as easily as it can lead to unsatisfying ones. They can provide a huge return on investment or they can quickly sap the advertising dollars while providing few results.
Beyond cultivating the best of the best PPC practices, it is also important to avoid some common mistakes. As such, we’ve compiled a list of common mistakes every PPC manager should be aware of when managing a client’s account:
1. Budget Management
Deciding how much you’re willing to spend on certain keywords isn’t always easy. If the budget is too high, clients aren’t happy; too low, the keywords may not be competitive. The goal is to find that happy medium: to make full use of the budget and have the ads displaying as long as possible. Long-tail keywords can often help in lowering the cost as they’re less competitive.
Everyone knows advertising on Google, but have you considered Bing? Bing is worth paying more attention to. We can move the successful ad campaigns from Google to Bing and optimize them to perform better, since the way Bing’s audience response is always different from that of Google. Hence, those poorly-performed Google ads may be successful after optimizing on Bing.
3. Keyword Match Types
There are 3 different match types (or 4 if you count Broad Match Modifier separate from Broad Match), as well as negative keywords. Carefully choosing which match types are best to use is important for finding the right balance between maximum reach and maximum efficiency.
4. Campaign Settings
Make the most of all of the targeting options at the campaign level. Make sure you are geo-targeting correctly, targeting the right language, and breaking out search and display campaigns separately.
5. Ad Group Organization
Separating different products or services into different ad groups allows their associated keywords and ads to be more relevant to each other which increases the chance that the ads will get clicked on.
6. Keyword Considerations and AdWords Quality Score
AdWords Quality Score not only gives an insight into the likelihood of the success of ad campaigns, but also determines the pricing and placement of ads. Poor keyword relevance between ads and landing page will translate into expensive ads. Remember, it’s an inverse relationship: the lower QS, the higher bid. Be willing to make the necessary changes such as including the key terms on the landing pages, adding negatives to the account, and writing ads that are tailored to the keywords in an ad group.
7. Landing Pages
Landing page should be very specific and tailored to the PPC ad that brought people to the page. If people have to look through the website to find what they are looking for, they may just leave. You should focus landing pages on the specific product or keyword the ad is referring to and be sure to create a specific call to action.
Remember target audience when creating your landing pages. Take into consideration their level of understanding of the keywords used. Make sure to have a call to action on the pages and place trust factors/testimonials on the pages themselves.
8. Conversion Tracking
At a bare minimum, you should be utilizing AdWords tracking as well as Bing tracking (if you’re advertising on Bing). You should also make sure the tracking is accurate. Another free tracking option is Google Analytics. It takes a little more sophistication, but easily determines Cost per Acquisition and/or ROAS goals using this.
9. Visually Unappealing Website
Many small businesses don’t have large budgets for marketing and promotion and they typically try to pinch pennies on their website. What they may not realize is they are costing themselves a lot more money over the long term with a website that is ugly, confusing, and dysfunctional.
Small business owners should consider stretching their budgets a bit to improve their website design and marketing. Maybe that means hiring a professional website designer or maybe it means spending more time with a higher quality (and more expensive) website builder.
10. Ad Copy
The ad copy will be seen in the first place when searchers type the keywords. So it is key point whether the potential customers will visit the website or not. Good ads are attractive and convincing with a call to action, however, poorly-written ads are the killer of the campaign. As a result, how well the ads are written can be the determining factor to the general PPC marketing strategies.
With 50% of people arriving at a retailers site from paid ads more likely to buy than those who came from an organic link, PPC ads can clearly make a difference in your sales goals. What do you think of our list?