8 Common PPC Mistakes You Might Be Making
Launching a PPC campaign is a critical marketing step for every business, no matter how big or small it may be.
But there’s a world of difference between running a PPC campaign and running one well. There are plenty of mistakes to make if you don’t have the knowledge, training or experience to guide you in the right direction. Even minor errors can cost you money and prospects over time.
To help you get ahead, Reputation Mart’s experts explore the 8 common PPC mistakes you might be making below.
#1. A Disconnect Between Ads and Landing Pages
You’ve created an ad that packs a punch and makes prospects an offer they can’t refuse. Let’s say you promise customers a 50 percent discount on their first purchase with you, or claim you have hundreds of products on sale at a 70 percent reduction.
Both are pretty impressive deals, but you have to make sure to showcase these on your landing page. Any prospects who click on your ad and realize the deals they were promised are nowhere to be seen when they reach the page may feel cheated.
And you could lose them for good.
The lesson: always make sure your ads and landing pages are relevant to each other.
#2. Neglecting Your Ads
Daily monitoring is essential to maintain a successful PPC campaign. While it’s tempting to spend hours creating an irresistible ad and assuming you can just leave it for months without any further attention, that’s not the case at all.
Monitoring your PPC ads daily gives you valuable insights into their performance and reach. You could be completely unaware of important changes if you leave your ads to run on their own, such as a major reduction in clicks or increased traffic.
This is just one reason why trusting a professional PPC team to run your campaign is a smart choice, for businesses of all scales.
#3. Not Specific Enough with Keywords
Your keywords must be the best possible match for your products and services. Every ad you put out there to attract customers has to be accurate and tailored to your target audience.
If you use broad or inaccurate keywords, you could be throwing money away as prospects may not find what they’re looking for after clicking on your ad. You’ll still be charged but without securing any valuable customer engagement.
#4. Overlooking Negative Keywords
Staying on the subject of keywords, don’t make the mistake of ignoring or overlooking negative keywords.
These are a vital part of any successful PPC campaign: as the name suggests, negative keywords are those search terms you DON’T want to trigger your ads. Take advantage of negative keywords to save yourself from the risk of paying for clicks that go nowhere.
Coming up with a list of negative keywords takes a little extra time when launching a PPC campaign, but it’s well worth doing in the long run. You should keep adding to said list as you continue to find new search terms you want to avoid.
#5. Weak Ad Copy
The text in your ads has to be of the highest quality. The right words have the power to attract new visitors to your business and convert them into customers, even if bigger companies have ads close to your own on the SERPs.
But getting the copy in your ads right is easier said than done, unless you have strong writing skills and years of experience managing PPC campaigns. One effective way to find inspiration is to look at your competitors’ ads, especially those with the highest authority. What language do they use? How do they structure their headlines? What about their ad extensions?
Absorb what you see and read and use this to inform your own ad copy.
#6. Not Testing Variations
You should be testing multiple variations of ads at any one time. This is a fantastic way to determine which techniques work best and which should be dropped in the future, so you can keep getting maximum bang for your buck.
Experiment with different extensions, tones and approaches. Use a sale as the basis for one ad and brand new products for another. Try a mix of short and long-tail keywords. After a set period, check out the analytics to see which gained the most traction.
This process streamlines decision making in the future a little, as you know what works and what doesn’t.
#7. Not Paying Attention to Locations
The freedom to target specific areas with your ads is ideal for local businesses or those shipping to various locations.
But make sure your ads aren’t appearing for users in areas you don’t cater to, as you’ll end up paying for clicks that have no real chance of leading to conversions. Users will become frustrated when they browse your product catalog — and possibly try to place orders — only to discover they’re out of your range.
It’s possible to bid higher or lower based on target users’ location, which is (again) a major advantage for local businesses trying to attract nearby prospects.
#8. Not Tracking Conversions
Conversion Tracking is a terrific feature well worth taking advantage of. This does exactly what it appears to: tracking your conversions to ensure you know how effectively your ads are securing sales from newcomers.
Google’s tool shows what customers do after interacting with your ad. Perhaps they went on to buy one or more of your products. Maybe they registered for your newsletters, or downloaded that free eBook you offer.
Conversion Tracking reveals which keywords and ads make the biggest impact, and help you make effective bidding decisions for the best ROI.
Starting a PPC campaign for your business can be daunting if you’ve never done it before. But as long as you avoid these eight mistakes, you could go on to drive more traffic to your site, boost conversions and get a better return on your investment.
Reputation Mart’s expert team has the training, experience and tools to create a bespoke PPC campaign for your company. We’ll perform a free PPC Account Evaluationfor your Google Ads or Facebook Ads account, to reveal how you perform compared to your competitors.
Want to know more? Please don’t hesitate to get in touch!
Importance of Online Ads Placement
Billions of the world’s population are now online. If your company plans to turn to online ads to draw customers, ads placement is an important consideration.
A new report from Chief Marketing Officer Council (CMO) and Dow Jones showed that nearly half of consumers stated they would have second thoughts about purchasing from a company or would boycott products and services if they encountered company's ads within or alongside objectionable digital content.
The CMO and Dow Jones report also showed that nearly half of brand advertisers report problems with where and how digital ads are viewed. A quarter of the CMO and Dow Jones survey respondents stated that they’ve specific examples where their digital ads were shown within or alongside offensive or compromising content.
The new CMO and Dow Jones report shows the risks associated with programmatic advertising.
"Our member research shows that clients are going to be putting more pressure on their advertising and media-buying partners to provide greater due diligence, control and monitoring when it comes to ensuring ad placement efficacy through automated platforms," Donovan Neale-May, Executive Director of the CMO Council, said. "They want to see greater ad spend effectiveness and better attribution from a performance measurement standpoint. They will also likely dictate which channels are pre-approved and shift spend to those that are most trusted and proven."
What is Programmatic Advertising
Programmatic advertising is a billion-dollar market. According to Zenith Media, programmatic advertising grew from $5 billion in 2012 to $39 billion in 2016, at an average rate of 71% per year. Zenith projected this market to slow down in the coming years as “it consolidates its dominance of the display market”. The programmatic advertising market is projected by Zenith to grow at an average of 28% a year from 2017 to 2018 – hitting $64 billion by 2018.
This advertising model was first promoted as a means to reach target audiences as cheaply as possible, without taking into consideration the quality of the sites in which the ads appeared.
Programmatic advertising refers to the automation of online advertising, where a software program is responsible for picking where the ads run. Before this automated process, advertisers have to personally negotiate where their ads will run alongside with and manual insertions are done. This automated advertising method speeds up and scales the ad buying and selling process in a way that humans can’t achieve manually.
In addition to ads running within or alongside videos, programmatic ads also include Google Pay-per-click (PPC) online advertising, which is powered by algorithms, to serve highly targeted ads at audiences.
YouTube Programmatic Advertising Fallout
n February of this year, The Times ran a story that revealed that brands unwittingly fund extremists groups through online ads.
The Times report showed that on YouTube, the online advertisement for the Mercedes E-Class saloon was shown alongside a pro-Isis video that had more than 115,000 views. A video owner earns an average of $7.60 for every 1,000 views and YouTube takes a 45% cut of the earning.
The online ad for Sandals Resorts, the luxury holiday operator, was shown alongside a video promoting al-Shabaab, the East African jihadist group affiliated to al- Qaeda. Ads for Halifax, Churchill Retirement, Honda, Victoria & Albert museum, Thomson Reuters, University of Liverpool and Waitrose also appeared alongside extremist videos posted on YouTube.
As soon as Google, the owner of YouTube, was informed by The Times, the tech giant took down some of the videos. AT&T and Verizon were some the companies that suspended their ads on YouTube over the placement of their ads in extremist videos.
In an interview with Recode, Philipp Schindler, Google’s chief business officer, said that the company’s YouTube ad controversy where brands found that some of their ads have run alongside videos promoting terror was overblown.
“If you look at it from an advertiser perspective, the error rates we’re talking about – I’m careful in saying this, because I don’t want to take away from the importance of the problem and that we need to get it right – but the numbers are tiny, tiny,” Schindler said.
Even as the Google’s chief business officer said that the problem is “tiny”, the company, he said, is heeding the call to remedy the issue.
"We know advertisers don't want their ads next to content that doesn’t align with their values,” Schindler wrote in a blog post published on March 21, 2017. “So starting today, we’re taking a tougher stance on hateful, offensive and derogatory content. This includes removing ads more effectively from content that is attacking or harassing people based on their race, religion, gender or similar categories. This change will enable us to take action, where appropriate, on a larger set of ads and sites.”
How to Ensure Your Brand Safety in Programmatic Advertising
We have seen the negative side of automated advertising method as shown in the YouTube fallout. But we can’t deny the fact that programmatic advertising can speed up and scale the ad buying and selling process in a way that humans can’t achieve manually.
Advertising channels like Google search, YouTube and Facebook have the responsibility to ensure that ads don’t run within or alongside fake news, offensive, derogatory, hateful, inappropriate and non-contextual media content.
In today’s digital world, there’s no going back to the bygone days of manual advertising. The online world is simply too big to ignore. The International Telecommunication Union (ITU), the UN specialized agency for information and communication technology, projected that mobile broadband subscriptions are expected to reach 4.3 billion globally by the end of 2017.
Drawing customers to your business through programmatic advertising entails added responsibilities on your side. These include choosing the right digital marketing service. The right digital marketing service will ensure that your business ads don’t run within or alongside objectionable digital content. It can better manage and control ad placements, as well as track and monitor digital advertising placements.
Contact us today if you want to ensure the safety of your brand in a programmatic environment.
10 Best PPC Strategies
Great infographic by WordStream. Finding your "unicorn" is not an easy job. Find the right digital marketing partner to help you in your quest. There are only two secrets for success; knowledge and hard work.
An Anatomy of One Online Purchase
I will start by stating the obvious. Most of us if not all of us buy goods and services online. How we make buying decisions is not that different from the offline, storefront world, with a few exceptions. For example, if I see a colourful poster in the store window with a James Bond looking guy in a cool leather jacket, I may contemplate buying that jacket right before I actually step in to the store, locate the jacket on the rack, and look at the price tag. Hmm...
Now, online, when you search for something, and see relevant ads, note, "relevant", you may start thinking about a product or service, including it's benefits and price. Oh, wait, you are also capable of getting all the necessary information to support you buying decision, including pricing, specifications, user reviews, etc., at your own pace without being attacked by an army of sales folks (no pun intended, my dear sales folks) at the store. In addition, as you navigate away from the original search results, smart folks at Google and smart advertisers get busy with "remarketing". Basically, the product or service ads follow you from that point forward reminding that you were interested in a product or service, probably liked it, though something may have been missing since you have not yet made a decision to purchase.
Last Sunday, I had a great discussion with a good friend David as he showed me his brand new wallet. The wallet was somewhat unique. It had a very slim profile, however, somehow fit a significant number of cards, bills and also change spotting an invisible change pocket. The leather was also high quality and soft to the touch, and according to David, it come with RFID protection, protecting your cards from being scanned and "copied" by criminals. Cool, right?
David instantly asked me to guess the price, and based on quality and features, I guessed between $250-$300. In reality, he paid slightly over $100 online, and considered it to be a great deal given how functional the wallet was.
Since I knew that he bought it online, my inner marketer asked David to describe the purchase process, and he was more than happy to oblige. Originally, he started looking for a new wallet about 3-4 months ago. Having searched online, he noticed a few ads corresponding to this one particular brand, and, decided to go and check out more options at the store. On top of it, he was getting ready to go on a business trip to Europe, and was convinced that he will find a great wallet along the way. As you've already guessed, he did not find what he was looking for during the trip. In the meantime, he forgot the brand that he noticed and liked online, and searched again using similar, but not the same keywords, and bingo, the ad from the same brand was right in front of him. It only took a few minutes to complete the purchase.
What we learned is that this particular brand was knowledgeable and sharp when it came to online advertising, especially understanding what works and what does not. If you are currently advertising online and don't see the results you've expected, push your folks or the agency harder. Ask the right questions prior to burying the project in disappointment. For example, have they implemented remarketing, if yes, ask for the remarketing performance reports. Ask if they A/B test the landing pages and split test the ads. If the answer is yes, ask for performance reports. This way, you'll understand your online customers much better without any additional investment, and will be able to tailor your products and services in the way that allows you to grow. Analytics is key, and getting your hands on the right data at the right time is truly priceless.
Remember, most online advertising campaigns are either poorly managed, or not managed at all. Make sure that you always select the right staff, agency or partner to support your online success.
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