PPC, or pay-per-click, is a paid service that allows you to drive traffic directly to your website. It differs from using SEO to optimize for organic search rankings because you pay to be found for specific keywords as opposed to users finding your page organically. Using SEO to improve organic search results is also important of course, but PPC is another great way to help increase traffic and conversions – if you do it the right way.
Since you pay for each ad click, PPC costs can quickly add up if you aren’t targeting the right customers. Your ads need to have the right keywords and make full use of extensions, and you need to have a clear idea of what you want to accomplish with your campaign. Here are some of the common mistakes people make with their PPC campaign and what you can do to fix them.
Using Search Terms That Are Too Broad
Keyword research is an important part of PPC and increasing traffic through SEO, but it is only effective if you are using the right keywords. The key (no pun intended) is to select keywords that what your users are looking for. Broad terms like “tubing” or “fittings” aren’t specific enough to draw in the right type of traffic. These are considered “negative” keywords because they can lead to your page ranking for search terms that will lead the wrong users to your page. For example, you don’t want someone looking for stainless steel tubing to click on your PPC ad for plastic tubing.
Optimizing for Too Many Keywords
We talked about using the right keywords but it’s equally as important to use the right number of keywords. It’s all about balance here. If you use too many different keywords your efforts can be counterproductive. Do thorough research to find out what keywords are your competitors using and ranking for, and then incorporate the top keywords into your ad and page copy. And don’t forget to optimize for voice search by using long-tail keyword phrases.
Not Giving People Enough Information
The copy in your PPC ad is equally as important as the copy on your website. A paid search ad helps put your site information in front of the right people, but you still need good content that will make them click on the ad link. And once they click on the ad, you want to make sure you’re directing them to a page that gives them the information they’re looking for. Otherwise, you risk people either ignoring your ad altogether or leaving your page after they click because the page lacks useful information or is poorly organized.
Failing to Make Use of Extensions
Extensions are the add-on links placed at the bottom of an ad to display information including your location, a phone number, callouts such as “request a quote,” or links to a product catalog. They present an opportunity for you to provide additional, targeted information to users and can be added to your ad at no additional cost. If you aren’t using extensions, you are missing out on an easy way to prompt people to click on your ad.
Let’s say someone is searching for stainless steel widgets on Google and there are two ads that show up: One only shows the basic information stating that a company sells widgets. The second gives a concise description of what the company offers and includes direct links to their product catalog, a list of applications and their quote form. The latter saves potential customers a lot of time by providing commonly used resources up front instead of making them search for the information on your website. Ad extensions can also help your ads rank closer to the top of the SERP, increasing visibility and making them more likely to be clicked.
Neglecting to Establish Clear Goals for Your PPC Campaign
The biggest takeaway is to make sure you set clear goals. PPC is a great way to help increase sales but as with any advertising campaign, it’s important to plan out what you want to accomplish from your campaign. Do you want to increase leads? Get more RFQ’s? Increase sales for a specific product or service? One you’ve decided what you want to accomplish with your PPC ad, you can start to think about your target audience and where and when you want the ad to be displayed.
PPC campaigns can be highly effective when they’re done the right way but can also be a waste of your marketing budget if you don’t do your research ahead of time and set clearly defined goals. By keeping the above points in mind, you can help ensure that your PPC campaign is a success.