5 Common PPC Mistakes
6 min read
No matter how many years you’ve invested into the building of your business, human error is something to be expected. We can plan against such things of course, but many people seem to forget how perfectly natural it is to learn and improve through trial and error. PPC marketing is no exception. Yet despite this fact, we’ve found that the most common marketing failures tend to occur for two reasons: uneducated guesses and an unfortunate lack of patience.
If you want your next round of Google ad campaigns to succeed, there really is no way around it. We must identify what we are doing “wrong” if we are to have any chance of fixing it. And after all the time you’ve already poured into your business, you deserve every chance to make things right.
So, where do we start first?
1. No Landing Page
Put yourself in your customer’s shoes for a second: You just stumbled on an amazing new ad! This visual masterpiece caught your attention immediately, you paused because you felt a connection with the material at hand, and then you proceeded to follow the link to the company website. You pause just long enough to take a quick look around… and then you remember the reason you actually reached for your phone in the first place. We’ve all done this. And while the purpose of PPC is to send all that digital foot traffic directly to your website, what if they’ve only stopped by to “look around.”
This is precisely what the landing page was created for.
As lovely as that homepage of yours was designed to be, we must remember that the purpose of a homepage is to explain your brand and what you have to offer as a whole. Don’t make the mistake of routing everyone to this page assuming they will stay long enough to visit every tab.
Assume that the first page they visit will also be their last. Instead of sending the customer to a generic homepage, remember why they ended up there in the first place. Get their contact info. Offer a solution! Something like a discount coupon, consultation, or the all too common “buy one get one free” deal. Whatever you choose, try offering this as their incentive to join your digital mailing list.
2. Broad Match Keywords
One of the most common mistakes in PPC marketing is the use of the wrong keywords. Not that any specific word may be “wrong” necessarily, but when we target commonly used terms, we inevitably miss out on valuable connections we could have made… had we not settled with broad, sweeping generalizations.
The best Google ad campaigns are incredibly specific. We want to find the exact customer that suits your needs. Someone who is actively searching for what you have to offer, and that can only be done when you learn to choose more descriptive terms during the early stages of marketing.
TRY THIS: Instead of “cheap donuts” you might use “cheap donuts from Grass Valley to Sacramento.” Instead of targeting the word “hair salon,” consider “Roseville hair salon.” The beauty of eliminating those broad match keywords is that those highly-targeted alternatives are actually cheaper. And if it’s cheaper to bid on targeted keywords… Why on earth would we make this mistake again?
3. Be Ready for Constant Critique
Whatever you do, don’t make the mistake of running one PPC campaign without testing it first. Remember that while your first attempt certainly took a good amount of time to prepare for, it all won’t be your best work. In order to prepare for this eventuality, write multiple versions of web copy for every Google ad campaign that you’ve launched. Test each one of them individually! Not just the text and the keywords themselves, but the images you’ve chosen as well.
If you’re not sure where to begin on this one, don’t worry. Take a good, hard look at your ads. What’s missing? What’s in it for you? Does your landing page offer to fill a need? As you begin to answer these questions, you’ll find yourself taking a deeper look at your content as a whole. Not just simply addressing the goods and services you provide either.
This is an opportunity to identify what works, what doesn’t. Don’t be afraid to start from scratch when you need to. It won’t always come to that, but content optimization is a constant process. Think about the things that would intrigue your ideal customer in the first place. Web copy, imagery, everything. Once you’ve done this, you’ll have a better idea of what your customers actually see when they stumble across your page, which will inevitably offer you a better chance of helping them find you.
4. Forgetting the Funnel
In short, a “marketing funnel” is a system designed to attract customers to your business. Its purpose is not simply to increase PPC success, but to facilitate better conversion rates as well.
Imagine, if you will, a literal funnel. This pipe, designed to be wide at the top and narrow at the bottom, was designed to help us pour substantial amounts of liquid or powder into a small opening. Now imagine your business. Are you having trouble keeping up with all those incoming orders? Are your PPC stats higher than ever before? If the answer is “no” to both of these questions, then it’s time we considered an upgrade.
When you optimize your marketing funnel, you allow yourself the luxury of efficiency. This is the beauty of a well-designed funnel. And while there are far too many steps to this process to effectively narrow down in this particular article, we encourage you to take steps toward this process just as soon as you can make time to do so.
5. The Need to Be #1
After countless months of work and preparation, you’re eager to reap the fruits of your labor. We’ve been there, so understand the frustration you may be feeling. Everybody wants to secure their spot on Google’s top three search results, and that can occasionally tempt you to rush things. One of the greatest mistakes in PPC marketing is expecting to be “number one” overnight.
Do not fall into this trap. We all know that unrealistic expectations are the key to disappointment in every other avenue, so why set yourself up for failure?
If you want to get good at something, you must be willing to make sacrifices to make it happen. And while it’s true that some people have a natural talent for sports, math, or a wide variety of other challenges, their luck does not guarantee your personal success. A quality marketing strategy could take months before you’ll finally see the results you were hoping for. Plan your budget to better accommodate the long-term goals you’ve already established for your business, and don’t make the mistake of giving up early.
Keep Your Eye On the Prize
In many ways, PPC marketing is one of the greatest games you’ll ever play. It’s a subject that leaves many people stunned with the sheer number of complexities that rule the art and science of Google ads, but then… There is a reason why digital marketing has become a full-time job for so many people. If you still wish to create your own marketing funnel and keep track of PPC ads yourself, no worries. You’ll want to do some thorough research of course, but it is possible through hard work and patience.
We encourage you to do as much as you can to keep your business alive and thriving! If you personally find it difficult to design and manage a marketing funnel on your own, don’t worry. You can always hire a marketing team to take care of that for you.
The most successful Google ads are designed to elicit immediate and memorable connections with your customers, so be patient. Keep your eye on the prize when the time comes to critique your work, and don’t be afraid to bet on yourself.