Mistakes Of Pay Per Click Advertising: The Terrible 10
Too Few Ad Groups For Your Keywords
If you put all your keywords into just a few big and broad ad groups, it's time to restructure your account. You are missing out on important flexibility that pay per click advertising allows. Tighter ad groups allows you more focussed, relevant ads.
Ignoring Negative Keywords
Negative keywords reduce unwanted impressions, and more importantly, unwanted click throughs. However, with increasing priority given to "quality scores" and click through rates in the PPC engines, it's key to trim the fat from your keyword campaigns. If your company sells "widget management software" then be sure that you have keywords like "-serial" or "-free" assigned as negative keywords (unless, of course, you offer it for free in some manner). You can find good negative keywords in your log files or when you build your lists.
Not Enough Testing
Split-testing your ads is critical. Even the smallest of changes can boost results. In addition to testing your ad copy's "call to action" or value statements, every ad has multiple variables to test. The titles, the two lines of copy, and display url all can be optimized. If you don't have time for hands-on testing, a good professional pay per click management company can run daily split testing for you. You'd be surprised how well this can pay off.
Not Tracking Results
If you do get into testing ads and fine-tuning your keyword lists, it's only as effective as your tracking. Any PPC search engine will give you your ad spends and click through rates, but what about the bottom-line success? Knowing that you made $14,000 off of a $7,000 ad spend is fine, but if you dig deeper with your tracking you might be able to make that same $14,000 with only $6,000 a month in spend. That savings ads up.
Not Getting Keyword-Level Tracking
Setting up good analytics yourself or hiring a professional pay per click management company can do the job. Not only do you get more bang for your buck by getting rid of poor performers, but getting tracking to the keyword-level makes all of your testing and work even more precise. You need to know your earnings per click. If one keyword has a 56 cent Earnings Per Click (EPC) and another had a $1.22 EPC, this is important knowledge. Adjusting your bids to an appropriate level can keep you from over spending...or allow you to throttle up your overall traffic for even more success. Don't let poor keywords leak your accounts.
Too Generic of Keywords
Some broad and generic keywords can certainly push a ton of traffic to your site. They may even be very successful. Often, however, they can also do just the opposite -- drain your funds with poor results. A user searching on one of these generic phrases is often doing research in an early part of the buying process. Knowing your keyword-level results and filtering out bad variations with negative keywords can help you get a true read on these generic keywords.
Avoiding the Dirty Work of Building Long-Tail Keywords
This dovetails into the previous item. Building out lists and ads for long-tail keywords can be a time-consuming process, but worthwhile if done right. You are going to have different earnings per click for the keywords "dvd player," "sony dvd player" and "sony dvd player model DVP-NS57P/B." One consumer is doing research, while the other is likely pricing for the specific model they want and is ready to buy.
Not Pulling Apart Content and Search Campaigns
If you don't want to get burned by click fraud or poor traffic, you need to make sure your content network campaigns and your search network campaigns are separated. If you don't know what this means, chances are they aren't separated in your account and you are likely losing money. Ideally, you would have separate campaigns for each, along with precision analytics to know exactly what keyword from which source is converting for you in the content network.
Not Geo-Targeting a Local Business
Local businesses that attract clients from their region must take advantage of the geo-targeting that each of the major PPC engines offer. Bringing that local clientele to your front door on non-local keywords can increase profits greatly.
Not Frequently Monitoring Your Accounts
Alright, so maybe you do not frequently monitor your EPCs at the keyword level (you should). And, you don't conduct split tests every day your ads are up (you should). It is still surprising that there are a high number of pay per click advertisers who don't continually monitor their accounts. The big three PPC engines are cracking down on poor performing ads more than ever. Many advertisers are getting stung with the "Inactive for Search" label on their keywords. If you don't monitor your accounts, Google, Yahoo and MSN may have plucked some of your keywords off their networks. And, with that, some of your profits.
Making mistakes like the Terrible 10 of PPC Advertising are common, but correcting them can have a huge impact on your bottom line. If you can manage your pay per click ads at a high level or if you can hire them out to a professional pay per click management company...the results for your increased precision and effort will pay off.