7 Common Pay-Per-Click Mistakes that You Need to Avoid
March 21, 2018
Let’s start with the good news: pay-per-click (PPC) might be the single greatest customer-acquisition method in the history of the entire advertising world.
Indeed, there was a time — and not that long ago — when startups and other small businesses couldn’t hope to compete in the advertising arena with big enterprises. At best, the most they could do was band together and co-purchase an ad in a magazine or newspaper.
However, these days any business — including one that literally came into existence 15 minutes ago and had an advertising budget of $100 — can use PPC advertising to reach prospective customers in their marketplace. True, their ad might only show up a few times a day. But sometimes that’s all it takes to turn prospects into customers.
Yet with this being said, PPC is not — I repeat, not! — a turnkey or set-it-and-forget-it thing. It’s a strategy, which means that success is based on doing the right things the right way (and at the right time) and, alas, avoiding doing the wrong things.
Here are the top seven mistakes that you need to avoid if you want to ensure that your PPC investment is rewarding instead of regrettable:
1. Being obsessed with the #1 position. While this is a good place to be, it’s not essential. The most important thing is to be on the first page.
2. Only using broad match keywords. Using phrase match or exact match options, as well as negative keywords (more on this in a moment), helps weed out useless, budget-wasting clicks.
3. Not using negative keywords. As the term suggests, negative keywords tell ads when they shouldn’t display. For example, if you sell fleet vehicle graphics, then adding “free” to your negative keyword list will prevent your ad from showing up when people search for “free fleet vehicle graphics” (and similar variations.)
4. Not geo-targeting. Some businesses. such as auto repair shops and florists, set their ads to display in areas that they do not (and cannot) serve. This is money down the drain!
5. Not having effective landing pages. PPC ads aren’t the full story. Once people click on them, they need to be routed to a landing page that ushers them forward on the buyer’s journey. Otherwise, they’ll bounce away.
6. Not integrating PPC with SEO. Some businesses believe that they must choose one strategy vs. another. In reality, both can and should work together to drive targeted, quality traffic to various digital properties.
7. Not understanding the difference between search networks and display networks. Simply put: search networks are engines like Google and Bing. Display network are pages on the web where ads appear in the headers, footers, margins, and sometimes embedded in the content. Both approaches deliver ROI, but they aren’t the same thing and must be designed and managed differently.
The Bottom Line
As I said at the beginning, PPC isn’t just an advertising innovation: it’s a total game-changer. But to reap the rewards, you need to do the right things — and avoid the wrong ones. The lists above will help steer you in the right direction that leads to more customers, more sales and more profits!