Pay-per-click (PPC) ads are a great way to reach a targeted, qualified audience. But you want to make sure you’re using your budget as wisely as possible.
Unfortunately, partly owing to the sheer sophistication of the Google AdWords platform, there are a lot of variables, all of which need on-going attention and could be negatively impacting your budget.
Unless you’re an AdWords expert it can feel impossible to keep an eye on everything at once – so your budget spend could be weaker in some areas than others.
12 ways you’re wasting your PPC budget:
- Your ads are linked to the wrong pages. If your ads all go through to your website home page then straight away you’re stifling your conversion rate – your ads need to be specific and to link to relevant landing pages to maximise cost effectiveness. If your ads link to landing pages that are too broad or entirely irrelevant then the budget you spent getting those clicks has all been wasted, as the customer is unlikely to get the information they hoped to find there. Furthermore Google clocks the poor page relevance and lowers your quality score, which can impact your ad ranking.
- Your keyword phrases are too broad. If you bid for broad keyword phrases you’ll attract people searching for broad phrases – and these people tend to be at the very top of the sales funnel at the research stage, with little to no buying intent. While it’s good to target some people at this stage so that you’re getting your brand in front of them, most of those clicks won’t convert into sales. Bidding for more specific keywords will narrow your audience and ensure that those clicking your ads are past the research stage, know what they want, and are closer to purchase.
- You’re not identifying negative keywords. By not using the negative keywords function you’re likely paying for a lot of clicks from people who don’t want what you’re offering. If you know certain keywords won’t translate into sales for you, add them as negative keywords to your campaign to ensure you won’t get charged for dud clicks. Check your query report to find out if your existing campaigns are already sending any traffic via undesirable search terms.
- You haven’t set your target location. People are clicking on your ads from all over the place – but not converting. Tell Google where your target audience lives to enable it to serve it up to people in these areas.
- Your timing is wrong. You’ve scheduled your ads to appear at a time when your target audience is busy – or asleep.
- You’re too experimental – with too much money! It’s good to try new campaign segmenting and combinations of target variables, however it can burn through your budget quickly. Reign it in by setting aside a small portion of your budget for test ads.
- You’re bidding on the wrong keywords – attracting clicks from people who aren’t in your target market.
- You don’t measure the success of your PPC. Rather than measuring and using your PPC campaign data to improve upon performance, you just hope for the best. Unfortunately this means that you don’t find out which keywords and ads are under-performing and wasting your PPC budget.
- You’ve not segmented your campaigns because you don’t have a clear strategy. If your PPC set up is too broad with too few ads and keyword groups, your ads will be too general to appeal to customers, your keywords will all be lumped together, clicks will suffer and there will be no way to ensure people get to the pages they need. Segment your ads and keywords according to your various products or services to ensure a tight, effective campaign.
- Your PPC ad copy is poor. If your ad copy is lacking your key messages, has no call to action, is misspelt, or is simply waffly, you will confuse or irritate the searcher – wasting that precious click.
- You don’t use retargeting – so people who have previously visited your site don’t get a follow-up advert served to them. Follow consumers around the web and they’ll keep your brand front of mind, making them more likely to purchase from you when they are ready to buy.
- You’re bidding on your own brand name when you don’t need to. If you Google your business name and you don’t appear organically on page one, or your competitors are bidding ferociously on your name, then perhaps you do need to bid for your own brand name. Otherwise, it’s a waste of money. Why spend money on your own name if people would click organically anyway?
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