If you can just avoid these blunders as you get started, you could avoid wasting thousands of advertising dollars.
Mistake #1 – No Keyword Research
Some of the most common keyword problems are:
- Keywords are too broad – Chase long-tail keywords, they are more cost-effective than broad terms, and tend to help you find more interested buyers.
- Using too many broad matched keywords – AdWords has a Broad Match Modifier that allows you to grab closely related keywords or catch misspellings or pluralizations. The danger here is your budget will get used faster, possibly on leads that aren’t as qualified. Carefully monitor these if you choose to use them.
- Not using negative keywords – negative keywords stop your ads from showing when certain irrelevant terms are included in the query. For example, if the name of your business is also movie or song title, you would want to filter out some of those wasted clicks.
There aren't shortcuts here, you MUST do your research.
Also, remember Google just got rid of keywords in Google Analytics for organic search, so AdWords keywords will be the only free keyword data you can find.
Mistake #2 - Bad Landing Page
Google rates all ads with a quality score, and one factor in the quality score equation is the closeness of the relationship between your ad and the landing page. Higher scores can mean better placement, and can lower your bid costs as well.
These stats reveal just how many small business haven’t realized how important landing pages are:
- For every $92 dollars spent acquiring customers, only $1 is spent converting customers
- Only 48% of marketers build a new landing page for each marketing campaign
(Courtesy of the Marketing Sherpa)
Mistake #3 - Forgetting to Geo-Target
Once upon a time, there was a young marketer who wanted to start an AdWords campaign. One day, after weeks of planning and research, he launched his first campaign. That night he dreamed of conversions and increased traffic, high Quality Scores and praise from his boss. The next morning he eagerly logged on to Google and was overjoyed to see all the traffic his campaign had generated! His joy was soon cut short when he realized that he had forgotten to adjust the geo-targeting setting. His campaign for a local business ran across the whole country. Overnight, he spent a whole month’s advertising budget on unqualified leads in other states. - The End.
If you have a local business that does not offer services over the web, don’t waste your money on clicks that aren’t in your business range. By default, this setting is automatically on “United States,” so remember to change this setting if your business requires customers to physically come in the door.
Mistake #4 – No A/B Testing
Also, many companies don’t update their ads often enough. To keep your CTR high your need to test, update, and review your ads on a regular basis. If you let your ads get stale, don’t expect them to have healthy CTRs.
Mistake #5 – Not Using AdWords Extensions
Not using ad extensions isn’t just a mistake because you lose a bit of edge to the competition, but also because Google rolled out a new update in late October that favors extensions. You can check out this article at SearchEngineWatch.com, but boiled down, Ad extensions now factor in the Quality Score, so ads with extensions will likely see a drop in bid price as well as better ranking.
They aren’t hard to install, so learn more about how to create your first ad extension on Google’s AdWord page.
Mistake #6 – Not Tracking in Google Analytics
Tracking is very easy in Google Analytics, and it is a waste to let all that data slip through your fingers just because you couldn’t bother to link the two accounts and set a few goals. If you don’t track the data, there will come a day when you will regret losing that treasure trove of analytics.
Mistake #7 – Not Optimizing for Mobile
Most businesses have been ignoring their mobile traffic for far too long. Mobile traffic is no longer just a sliver of overall traffic, it now represents 17.4% of all internet traffic according to this study on Mashable.
Not only is ignoring 17% of your traffic a mistake in of itself, the mobile searchers are often quicker to convert, and therefore more valuable than most traffic segments. Mobile searches are often performed by people who need immediate results and want something NOW, so you need ads that encourage rapid conversion and ease of use, like press to call or navigate buttons.
This list of mistakes is hardly comprehensive, but they are all common and very easy to avoid.
Have a bad PPC story or something to add to the list? Tell us in the comments.
By Bill Hartz, Marketing Writer