Whether advertising through Google, Bing or Yahoo, pay-per-click (PPC) campaigns offer small business owners the ability to draw potential new customers to their website with targeted online ads. Opening a Google Adwords or a Yahoo Search Marketing campaign provides your business the opportunity to display ads at the top of a page in the sponsored results section of an organic search. Most importantly, you only pay if a user clicks on your ad.
While paying only when a user clicks through on an ad helps to minimize a business’ risk, a PPC campaign can quickly become expensive when not properly executed. Your business can end up devoting a significant amount of its marketing budget on ads that don’t generate the necessary ROI.
If you’re new to PPC campaigns and feel a little intimidated by the idea of running your own Google Adwords account, Local Fresh has you covered. Learning how to run a successful campaign is equal parts experimentation and practice. Fortunately, there are a few common mistakes you can avoid early on that will save your business money in the long run.
Linking To Your Home Page
Say you’re running an Adwords campaign that features the keyword “spring dresses” – a type of product you carry a wide selection of on your website. You set up an ad to display on Adwords every time this keyword is searched for, and you link that ad to your home page. Because you linked to your home page, the potential customer must now search through your entire online catalogue to find the product – “spring dresses” – he or she was initially searching for when they clicked on your ad.
In this example, you took an engaged potential customer whose purchasing interest aligned with your inventory and made him or her work to find the product you promised in the ad. A far better and more successful approach would have been to link the ad directly to your website’s spring dresses page, thereby avoiding any frustration a potential customer may experience while bringing your visitor all that much closer to making a purchase.
A well designed and implemented PPC campaign should always drive potential customers to targeted landing pages whenever possible. If your website doesn’t feature a product-specific landing page for you to use, take the time to create landing pages that match the products and services that you’re advertising.
Linking To Your Contact Page
Another common mistake made by businesses is linking ads to their website’s contact page in an effort to encourage visitors to opt-in to email newsletters or complete lead generating submission forms. Not only does this tactic frustrate visitors, it also significantly decreases the likelihood of you making a future sale. In some cases, funneling visitors to these types of sign-up pages may violate a PPC platform’s terms of agreement.
For example, Google Adwords strictly prohibits advertisers requiring visitors to fill out contact forms in order to receive free goods or services.
Not Split-Testing Ad Text
You should avoid running PPC ads without first testing them in order to produce the most effective results. To perform an A versus B comparison, try creating multiple versions of ad text for each ad group in your PPC campaign. This will allow you to determine which specific wording leads to the most clicks on conversions.
Relying Strictly On ‘Broad Match’ Keywords
Broad match keyword ads appear whenever part or all of a relevant keyword phrase is searched for, which provides your campaign with the greatest level of potential exposure and web traffic. However, the increased number of impressions you generate may come at the expensive of overall relevancy.
For example, suppose you’re a dentist using the keyword phrase “cosmetic dentist” in a broad match ad. While your ad should appear whenever a user searches for “cosmetic dentist,” it could also appear when a user searches for “cosmetic surgery,” “family dentist,” or “how to become a cosmetic dentist.” In these types of instances, your campaign could be wasting money on searches that have little relevancy to what you’re actually advertising.
Setting your ads to exact or phrase match might cause a decrease in the overall amount of traffic a campaign receives, but it can also help ensure that those who do click on your ads have a relevant desire to purchase the goods or services you’re advertising.
Not Using Negative Keywords
A lot of online advertisers neglect to use negative keywords, which can prevent their ads from displaying whenever a certain phrase is searched for online. Building on the example above, adding the word “career” as a negative keyword to your PPC campaign would prevent any broad match ads from being displayed in results generated for a “cosmetic dentist career” search.
Adding negative keywords to a campaign offers a great way to control relevancy without eliminating the potential traffic generated by broad match ads. Take some time to find and add as many negative keywords to your campaign as possible to improve the overall relevancy of your campaign.
At Local Fresh, we excel at helping small to medium sized businesses take that next step in their online marketing with the use of Google Adwords. Our Adwords certified specialists can assist you in setting up a Google Adwords account, or we can handle the entire process of setting up a campaign, optimizing its performance and monitoring it to ensure the campaign generates the kind of return on investment that your business needs to grow.
For more information about how Local Fresh can help your business join the millions of online PPC advertisers, click here.