The Top 3 Mistakes in Pay Per Click Advertising

One hundred and seven thousand key phrases. And over seventy randomly named Campaigns. Manageable? Of course not. This is what we ‘inherited’ when we recently won a new client. And the culprits? The UK’s biggest SEO & Internet Marketing Agency, and well – Google themselves who had a hand in it.

We see far more bad – and plenty of really bad – examples in the campaigns we inherit than good. So here’s a list of the terrible things that people do that make PPC just a money pit for them, and some tips on how to avoid them:

1. No Structure to campaigns
This normally involves a set of randomly created and named campaigns like ‘Campaign #43’, a random set of Ad groups, and a huge, chaotic list of low ‘Quality Score’ key phrases. We normally re-build these, and create new campaigns from scratch. We do this using traditional marketing segmentation best practice process. But even if you don’t want to go to that length. . .

Tip: Re-create your campaigns based on your products or services, and AdGroups based around your targets. That will make it far easier to track performance.

2. No Attempt to Measure ROI
Unbelievable – but again true in 90% of what we see. Measuring ROI in B2B markets is harder because there is no sale that can be automatically attributed to PPC. However, even with ecommerce, you have to think about customer lifetime value and purchase assists.

Tip: For an ecommerce site, use a product like Intellitracker to measure assists. If you are just using Google AdWords, set up conversion goals in Google Analytics and import them into Google AdWords. Cull out key phrases that don’t produce a return in a sensible period like say six months. For B2B sites again set up goals like a Contact Us form completion, measure your cost of acquisition and offset that against the value of the lead.

3. Using Google Content Network
Google may not be ‘Evil’, but they are a bit naughty here. This is a typical PPC trap for the unitiated or amateur. When setting up a campaign, Google defaults to publishing ads on their ‘Content Network’ as well as the search network, and hides the opt out option very effectively. The Content Network means that you Ad will most likely be shown on hundreds of bogus sites set up purely for the purpose of showing these ads. We have yet to inherit a scenario where Content Network is in use where (a) the Client has knowingly done it or (b) it is providing a positive ROI.

Tip: Go into the settings for your Google Campaign, click on ‘Networks – Edit’, ‘Let me choose’ and un-check ‘Content network’ – you may save a fortune. Then consider finding sites that have relevant content which you can run text, display or banner ads on.

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