Whether you are running your pay-per-click (PPC) campaigns on Google AdWords or you have hired an agency to handle your company’s online marketing strategy, the truth is that running a PPC campaign can be a daunting task. Not only are there a lot of options and variables that you need consider, but you can make small mistakes along the way that will cost your business a lot of money.
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Sometimes the small mistakes that seem unlikely to impact your campaign can have a significant impact on your PPC performance. In turn, your overall marketing strategy can take a negative turn, and this can result in your PPC campaign spending more than it generates. Here are the top three mistakes that I see PPC marketers make that hurts their PPC performance!
1. Thinking That You Will Need To Be #1
The one thing that I notice is that many PPC managers believe they need to be in the first spot on Google to make money. This means that most PPC managers bid aggressively to retain this seemingly crucial position. However, the truth is that many companies have found that the second or third spot in Google is better for their business model because these spots are often much less expensive.
Using Google’s new advertising layout (four advertisements on very top of the page), you need to, often, look to lower your average ad position to conserve money for quality clicks. Depending on the price of your product or service and the industry you serve, you might find that it is better for your business to hold a few spots below the first ranking ad in the SERPs.
This does not mean there isn’t any worth in ranking. It suggests that a bid for the #2 or #3 spot can help you save money, which might mean more clicks.
Try starting with a high average position. If/when the campaign status becomes ‘limited by budget,’ lower your bids. You might shed volume if you drop too low. Continue experimenting, and this will allow you to discover a happy medium between traffic and ad position volume.
Focus on what is best for your business PPC marketing strategy, and not the perceived value of maintaining the top spot in Google. Test to see what position is best for your business today!
2. Not Using Negative Keywords
Every search engine advertising campaign should contain negative keywords. It’s one of the methods for preventing your ads from showing to the wrong customer. Negative keywords help you isolate your audience and segment based on specific qualities of what your product or service is not. Negative keywords help you reduce the cost and increase your return on investment.
There are two simple approaches to help you find the best negative keyword research. The first is to use the planner. The tool is excellent for generating new terms to add as keywords and to bid on. The second technique is to review your search term report which will show every search that clicked and led to your ad to show. I would recommend reviewing your search term report.
If you are struggling to optimize your PPC campaign, then you should take a look at how to improve your negative keywords. Many times I take on new PPC accounts that have no negative keywords, and after a few days of optimization, these campaigns see a significant improvement. Test out your negative keywords today to improve your PPC performance!
3. Using Broad Match Keywords
Bidding heavily on broad match keywords is a frequent mistake I see when reviewing PPC accounts. While there is nothing wrong with broad match keywords for many businesses, the truth is that PPC can be an expensive marketing channel if you rely heavily on broad match keywords.
Too often, laziness takes over when new campaigns are built. It’s easy to throw a whole lot of keywords and call it good. To maximize your PPC budget, you need to be surgical with how you spend your money and who you target for your search terms. If you use broad keywords, then you are essentially treating all online searches the same, and this can be a costly mistake because you need to identify your ideal customer and then create focused ads to their needs.
The truth is, broad match keywords will inevitably result in a low click-through rate and–ultimately–wasted money. Try and shift toward a more heavy use of exact-match and phrase keyword phrases. Or at the very least, modified match. More info about keyword match types here.
Test out different keyword match types to find the best ones for your business and industry. Exact Match keywords are great to focus your marketing to a particular segment of readers, and Broad Match Modified is the perfect solution to increase reach while also minimizing wasted PPC ad spend.
If you want to drive qualified leads to your site, then you need to attract the right audience. You can use the above PPC marketing tips to ensure you minimize wasted spend while also maximizing results.
Consider your long-term marketing strategy and use PPC as a tool in a range of tactics. Your PPC marketing needs to drive conversions while minimizing costs, and you can only do this by utilizing negative keywords, choosing the right keyword modifiers, and striving for the SERP ranking that is best for your business.
Use these PPC marketing tips to help improve your online marketing strategy and drive more qualified leads today!
Chris offers PPC Marketing Services in Orlando, FL. With over 13 years of experience, he works with national brands to make his clients more money by creating awesome PPC campaigns that make them more money.