How confident are you in your PPC management? While it is true that pay per click can be an integral, useful part of your business’s marketing, if it’s not done right it might as well not be done at all.
In fact, small businesses tend to waste at least a quarter of their PPC budgets due to poor in-house PPC management. This is caused by things like inexperience, lack of nuanced knowledge, and simply not having enough time to devote to AdWords.
No matter the factor, it means there is a lot of wasted time and money. This drives up your costs without bringing in all the benefits of PPC.
High cost per lead, low conversion, and even lower ROI. We’ll go through six of the most common in-house PPC management mistakes that damage AdWords campaigns.
1. Sending Traffic Home
When you manage your PPC in-house, there is a common shortcut to save time and effort. It is also a surefire way to ensure you won’t get effective returns from PPC.
Sending all PPC traffic to your homepage is one of the biggest — and most common — PPC management mistakes.
The problem is you are sending all PPC visitors to your homepage instead of right to the page that is relevant to what they are looking for. This means they have to search through your website to find it.
Even if your website is clean and easy to navigate, the extra effort reduces the chance that they will stick around. This means a higher bounce rate, meaning fewer leads are sticking around to make a purchase.
2. Leaving Your Plan As Is
Your PPC campaign requires frequent monitoring and updating if it is going to be effective. You should be checking your stats for a reason: To figure out how to improve.
You should be setting aside time to monitor your keywords, seeing which ones aren’t working out and which new keywords you should start using.
Unfortunately, it is time-consuming to be constantly monitoring your PPC performance. It is even more so when it comes to tweaking your PPC strategy. Properly managing PPC is a full-time job.
That’s why many companies work with an AdWords specialist. They can devote the time and has the knowledge to keep your PPC strategy up to date and as effective as possible.
3. Not Using Ad Extensions
Ad extensions make your ads more clickable. They give the user more information to entice them to choose your ad among all the other results.
With ad extensions, you can add a phone number, location information, site-link extensions, and more. You can optimize your ad for mobile, and even show off some of your relevant products.
These extensions give potential customers more useful information about your business. All of this contributes to their willingness to click. As long as they’re being sent to appropriate landing pages — not just the homepage — you’ll see a higher conversion rate.
However, this only works if you are using appropriate extensions for your business, product, and keyword. Some extensions will be super useful, and others will just add clutter. Knowing which will work can be tricky, and require a fair bit of research, or working with a professional.
Extensions are part of your AdWords account. By not using them properly, you’re essentially leaving money on the table.
3. Forgetting Negative Keywords
With PPC, you pay for every single click. So if your keywords are drawing in a bunch of clicks from people who are unlikely to make a purchase, then you will be wasting a big part of your budget.
Negative keywords help you refine when your ads show up. You can exclude certain keywords that don’t really relate to your business.
Say you sell art supplies, and use that as one of your AdWords keywords. You may notice that a new keyword has arisen: Organic art supplies.
If the products you sell aren’t organic, you should add “organic” as a negative keyword. Otherwise, you will be paying to appear in searches that are unrelated to your product.
4. Not Tracking Spending and ROI
If you’re not keeping a close eye on your PPC spending, you may be in for a nasty shock.
You need to track your campaign’s spending daily and monthly. This is integral for budgeting and making sure you don’t overspend. It is also essential for analyzing your ROI and the success of your campaign.
It will also give you a better indication of how you should update your campaign to be more successful and cost-effective in the future. You get avoid high-cost keywords that aren’t generating a return and re-invest in the ones that are.
5. Pausing Your PPC Management
When you are managing your PPC in-house, you’ll probably have to put your campaign management on hold at some points. Maybe your main marketing person is going on vacation, or you’ve got a major event coming up and need all hands on deck.
You probably imagine that there is no real harm in pausing your PPC campaign until you can get going again later.
Unfortunately, good PPC management can’t be turned on and off like a light switch. When you pause your campaign, you will be losing out on valuable clicks, sending your potential customers to competitors who are still running their ads.
You’ll also have a big gap in your stats, making it harder to strategize and improve your campaigns in the future. Plus, you’ll have to work hard to get them back up again, doing a whole wack of keyword research.
When you work with a professional, they keep your PPC campaigns running no matter what.
6. Forgetting A/B Testing
One of the best ways to improve your advertising is by A/B testing. It shows you what works, and what ad copy is falling flat. A/B testing generates useful data you need to make smart, calculated marketing decisions.
A/B testing isn’t simple, however. The data it generates can be complicated, rather than straightforward. That is why it is often best to work with a professional, who can analyze this data properly. Then they can help you start planning smarter, more effective campaigns.
PPC management isn’t easy. When you try to manage it yourself in-house, there are a lot of mistakes that can bring your campaign down and waste your budget.
These are some of the most common mistakes, but they aren’t the only ones.
If you really want to up your PPC campaigns and see more ROI, try working with a professional PPC consultant. They will make sure you avoid these pitfalls while setting you up for success.