5 Deadly Pay-Per-Click Mistakes That Can Leave You Broke

Pay-per-click or PPC marketing is one of the most effective ways to quickly generate leads and produce tangible conversion rates. Conversely, it can also be one of the most infuriating ways to grow your business. Many businesses continue to commit mistakes that prevent them from earning a good return on investment (ROI) from their PPC spend.

The good news is, you can prevent these mistakes. In this article, we will discuss and correct five of the most common pay-per-click mistakes that cost companies thousands of dollars each month in wasted ad spend.

1. Focusing on Cost Per Lead

In recent years, PPC has gradually shifted from optimizing for clicks to optimizing for conversions. Although that is undoubtedly a step in the right direction, Cost-Per-Lead (CPL) is only an indicator—rather than a measure—of PPC success. The problem is, vanity metrics like CPL do not guarantee profitability.

Instead of concentrating on indicators like CPL, focus on profitability. To do that, you need to know:

  • Which keywords drive the lowest cost-per-sale
  • Which search terms produce the most revenue
  • Which ad copy delivers the highest ROI

CRM systems like Zoho, Salesforce, Marketo, and Base (among many others) should help your organization manage relationships and interactions with customers and prospects.

This process will take need effort, but the results will profoundly influence how you see and approach PPC advertising.

2. Spending Too Little

The higher you bid, the more your ad clicks will cost, right? Although often true, there is another factor you need to consider. Click-through-rates and ad ranks go hand-in-hand. As your ad rank increases, so does the number of clicks you receive.

Early in a PPC campaign, you need clicks, and the longer it takes to get clicks, the longer it will take to figure out which keywords, ad copy, and landing pages generate the best outcome. If you gradually raise your bids, you may end up paying more for poor ads and keywords. More importantly, you may lose conversions due to poor performers. Therefore, in reality, although slowly increasing your bids seem like an excellent way to save money, the strategy can cost you a lot of cash and minimum ROI in the long run.

Instead of starting with a low bid and working your way up, you will benefit more from starting high. Then, gather the data you need before cutting back. For instance, if Google recommends bidding $20, bid $40-$60. Your substantive cost-per-click may only go up a couple of dollars, but you will get the click volume you need to decide whether your PPC campaign strategy is viable.

Further, it is crucial to note that this strategy only works if you have a consistent and compelling funnel set up for your campaigns. When it comes to trials and experimentations, your primary goal should be to establish viability, not profitability. Once you have confirmed that your campaigns drive sales, you can cut back your bidding strategy and concentrate on profitability.

3. Boring Ad Copy

Ad copy is an integral part of your online campaign. You are given only a limited number of characters to share your message and get the right users to click on your website.

Think of your online ad as a door sign on a busy street full of competitive stores. Knowing this, what would you want your sign to say? It can get difficult to get noticed when you look and sound like everyone else. Now, there is nothing wrong with learning from the competition, but you need to be indistinguishable from your competitors if you want leads and conversions.

To create an ad copy that stands out, you need to focus on the solution you provide your prospects or customers’ problems. Add your solution or fix directly in your ad copy. There are plenty of creative ways to address your fix. Just remember that people are looking for companies that understand their problem. If you understand their problem, people will assume your solution will fix their problem.

4. Too Many Keywords

If you are familiar with the 80/20 rule, you may be surprised to know how applicable it is to PPC. According to research by Digital Marketing Institute, 12% of your keywords are responsible for all of your sales, and the non-performing 88% of your keywords consume 61% of your ad spend. Most businesses know what their good keywords are, but the problem is they also bid on extra keywords in the hopes of acquiring more business. Though it is not a bad idea, it rarely works out for the best.

Luckily, this problem is easy to fix. First off, if you are using
broad match—stop! Broad match is considered the default match type, but that does not suggest you should use it. Next, you need to distinguish your budget-draining keywords and search terms. To do that, open AdWords, go to your Keywords tab and click “search terms.” From that point, you can create a filter for “Conversions < 1” or something similar to examine how many search terms are not producing conversions. This method will help you eliminate your poor-performing keywords and focus your funds on keywords that drive profit to your business.

Your overall traffic might plummet, but since the wrong traffic never converts anyway, you can expect to see a higher conversion rate.

5. No Call Tracking

For many businesses, phone calls are often one of the most significant sources of leads and sales. Nevertheless, despite the grave importance of leads and the availability of call tracking platforms, most companies are still not tracking their phone calls effectively.

If you do not track your calls, you cannot tell which channels are responsible for which sales, meaning you have no clue as to which campaigns are profitable. Fortunately,
call tracking is easy to implement. For instance, you can use a forwarding number in your ad copy call extensions and record calls down to the ad group level. You can also use a platform like Call Tracking Metrics, which can easily integrate with most CRMs. Though it takes a bit of added effort, call tracking makes the difference between average and robust PPC results.

Need Help with Your PPC Campaign?

If your attempt at PCC is proving futile (and expensive), why not let OptimizeX audit your Adwords campaign? Not only can we provide in-depth, easy-to-grasp, and insightful reports, but we can also improve your pay-per-click efforts to help grow your business. Contact us to receive a free quote.

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