Do you want to promote the products and services of your company online? Some argue that the best way to send paid traffic to your company’s website can be done by using Google AdWords. And I can understand why they’d think so. Due to the large flow of information that appears online nowadays, business owners have to constantly expand their digital marketing campaigns.
And while you’ll have to put aside some funds to do this, keep in mind that AdWords is a powerful instrument that puts your message directly in front of your target audience. What Google has managed to accomplish is truly remarkable because AdWords enables you to run with this approach so easy. And although creating an AdWords account is not a difficult task, the hard part is generating ROI (return on investment) when using this service.
Most PPC (pay-per-click) advertisers have great intentions when they start out. However, they do not possess enough experience to get their money’s worth. Because of this they find themselves making some huge mistakes that will definitely damage the profitability of their campaigns. If you see that the first few campaigns have not really managed to produce the results you were hoping for, read below and see what mistakes you should avoid, or if you have made them, the ways of improving the pay-per-click return on investment.
So what are the most common mistakes in a Google AdWords campaign?
The most common mistake is targeting keywords that are too broad. New advertisers are rarely, if ever, able to reach the top of the mountain as far as broad keywords such as “men’s clothing” are concerned. And if you manage to do so, you’re going to pay so much money; you most definitely will not see a return on investment.
To avoid spending a lot of time and money just to see how your campaigns fail, you should try and create campaigns with groups of 5-10 long-tail keywords. These long-tail keywords should have previously been identified as great candidates from the data found in your Google Webmaster Tools or Google Analytics accounts. Also, you should probably expand the campaigns to broader keywords only when you start seeing a significant ROI with these entry-level queries.
Another huge mistake some people make when they use AdWords is using too many keywords in an ad group. In a perfect world, you should be able to create a unique and remarkable landing page and a pay-per-click ad for each and every keyword you target, so as to make the experience of your users as targeted as possible. However, given the fact that rarely people have so much time on their hands, you should probably make use of ad groups of 5-10 long-tail keywords. By doing this you will be forced to avoid using many unrelated phrases or words to utilize the same landing pages and ads.
Using ads on the search network with a display select campaign type and vice versa.
The company suggests using this type of combination campaign. However, what they don’t tell you is that Google AdWords’ search and display formats will need different advertising approaches. Thus, use the search one, display or both, but make sure the ads you’ve created are in accordance with the industry’s accepted best practices for each particular campaign.
Sending traffic directly to your homepage instead of creating a landing page. All the users you managed to get via pay-per-click should end up on a landing page that was created to be both engaging and appealing to the interests of the users. However, if you just send your visitors to your homepage instead, you are making it hard for them to find the information they are looking for. As a consequence, your website will register a higher bounce rate, unnecessary ad expenses and even failing to capitalize on conversion opportunities.
While you have to put more effort into designing custom landing pages for each of your pay-per-click campaigns, the results these campaigns will register will certainly be worth your time and money. For example, you could make use of tools like LeadPages and Unbounce. They facilitate the process more than you’d think.
Another common mistake some people make is when they avoid including negative keywords. For example, if you own a website that sells men’s clothing, you could use phrases that can vary from “designer men’s clothes” to “cheap men’s clothes”. And given the fact that each click virtually costs you money, by not adding a negative keyword such as cheap means that these buyers will not do business with you.
If you design several ad variations (by all means, we suggest you to do it for split testing purposes), Google’s default is to show the ad it considers to show the most promise. Thus, not rotating ad variation displays evenly could potentially cost you a lot of money. Although it can help with the overall performance of the campaign and the ROI, it won’t offer you a fair split test given the fact that the frequency of your ad variation displays is by no means even. To avoid this from ever happening, go to the “Settings” section of the account and click on “Advanced Settings”. There, you will see several rotation options: “Optimize for clicks,” “Optimize for Conversions,” “Rotate Evenly” and “Rotate Indefinitely”. Click on the “Rotate Indefinitely” option so that your data is remains clean.
Last but not least, forgetting to measure the return on investment is another capital mistake people and companies often make. If you are conducting AdWords campaigns without beforehand having set a mechanism in place so as to determine which of your paid clicks actually generated customers, you are definitely wasting your precious resources on some poor quality traffic. By implementing a system that shows you the conversion from paid clicks into customers via AdWords, you are able to see how to focus your ad expenses in the not so distant future, in which campaigns you should invest more and which keywords or ad groups you should drop altogether.
What other AdWords mistakes have you encountered or made? Let us know by leaving a comment below.