Pay-per-click advertising can be advantageous, and many people make six-figure incomes online. But, PPC can also be extremely confusing. By avoiding these seven PPC mistakes, you can increase your profits while reducing unnecessary costs.
1. Not using keyword match types properly:
The keyword match type is one of the most important aspects of your PPC strategy. It’s the single most important factor in determining whether or not your ads are getting clicked, and it’s also the most likely to be overlooked.
The problem with keyword match types is that advertisers often misunderstand them.
This keyword match type allows you to target all possible keyword variations in the ad text or headline. For example, if you’re running an ad for “dog food” and you have a broad match set to “dog,” then your ad will show up for searches like “dog food” or “dog food for dogs.”
This keyword match type allows you to target exact phrases on Google’s search engine — like “cheap dog food” instead of the broad match “all types of dog food.” If you’re running an ad for “cheap dog food,” your ad will only appear if someone searches for “cheap dog food.”
2. Not using negative keyword lists efficiently:
Negative keyword lists are a great way to ensure your ads aren’t wasting money on irrelevant searches. But if you’re not using them efficiently, you could end up paying for clicks that generate no revenue.
Negative keyword lists are lists of search queries that your ad will never appear against. These can be used to exclude certain types of searches or to reduce the number of keywords that appear in your ads.
For example, if you run a store that sells clothes, you might want to use negative keywords that exclude people searching for terms like “jumpsuits.” You wouldn’t want to show an ad for jumpsuits if someone searched for something else like “dresses.”
3. Not matching keywords to ad copy:
It’s important to check your keywords with the right ads. Otherwise, you’re wasting money. Targeting a broad audience and not just a small niche is even more important. If you want to reach the most people, use general keywords that will bring in lots of traffic.
For example, if you sell skin care products, you probably want to target “skin care” or “beauty.” But if you’re looking to reach people interested in selling used cars, you might want to target “used car” instead.
If you only have one ad for each keyword, then that’s fine; just choose the first one in Google’s AdWords search results and make sure it matches your keyword exactly (for example: “used cars”). However, if there are multiple ads for a given keyword (say an auto dealer has three ads), then pick the one with the highest bid and make sure it matches your keyword exactly (for example, “automobile”).
4. Focusing on average position:
Trying to pick the right bidding strategy for your PPC campaigns can feel like trying to choose what to have for dinner when you’re hungry, and everything sounds good. However, like food, some overarching strategies can help guide your decision-making. These include cost-per-acquisition, cost-per-click, and bidding position strategies. Once you have a general idea of which strategy you want to use, you can narrow down your options and make a more informed decision.
5. Not using audiences to their full potential:
Having well-organized campaigns and ad groups is vital, and your ad copy needs to be relevant and compelling. However, are you also taking active measures to optimize your campaigns for specific audiences?
Google has two ways of approaching audiences: observation and targeting. The recommended approach is to overlay key audiences onto your campaigns on an observation set to gather data on how they perform.
From there, you can make changes to your bids (positive or negative) to ensure you’re investing in the right audiences for your products or services.
6. Not using device bid modifiers:
Just as you would use different audiences to target specific individuals based on interests and demographics, you can use device-specific bid modifiers to control how much you’re paying for conversion. For example, some sectors would expect to see a higher cost per conversion on mobile devices. By using this tactic, you can better manage your campaign expenditure.
7. Not bidding on your brand keywords:
Advertisers often believe that if they own a brand, it will automatically appear at the top of the organic search results. However, this is not always the case. Bidding on own brand terms is a misunderstood phenomenon. Advertisers need to pay for clicks, even when they own the brand. By bidding on their brand terms, advertisers can ensure that they appear at the top of the search results.
Just as it’s common for companies to bid on their brand terms, they might also look to bid on the duration of their closest competitors. This can help capture clicks and impressions that would otherwise go to the competition. Bidding on your brand terms can protect you from this, ensuring that your competitors’ names don’t appear in the top spot when people are actively searching for your brand.
Ads that are paid and organic can help improve your brand’s online prominence and help you show up in search results for specific branded keywords that potential customers might use.
Ultimately, PPC is a unique channel that allows you to reach people right at the moment when they’re actively searching for what you offer. If you’re ready to start your PPC campaign, we’re prepared to help you. Reach out to our team today to get started!