Pay-per-click (PPC) ads can be an excellent way to get your message in front of the right audience at the right time. But paid search can be an expensive exercise if not managed correctly, so it’s important that your budget is being used wisely. You want to know where every penny is going and whether you’re achieving the conversions you need.
Google AdWords is a sophisticated platform with many variables, which is great for customising your campaigns. But unless you’re adept at AdWords, it also presents many opportunities to waste your budget if these variables are not given enough attention.
So to increase your ROI and optimise your campaigns, we’ve put together 4 common ways you could be wasting your AdWords budget – and how to change it
You’re targeting the wrong keywords
If you’re targeting the wrong keywords or irrelevant keywords, you’re attracting clicks from users that are not in your target market. One of the most effective and simplest methods to reduce the wastage of your budget is to identify negative keywords. Some sources suggest that 25% of marketers do not use negative keywords. If you’re not using the negative keywords function, it’s likely that some of your budget is being wasted on people clicking on your ads who aren’t interested in your products or services.
Another thing to consider is if your keyword phrases are too broad. By bidding on broad keyword phrases, you’ll attract users who are searching for those broader terms. The problem is that people searching these broader terms tend to be right at the top of the sales funnel. At this research stage, users have little or no intent to purchase. You could argue that targeting people at this stage will get your brand noticed for when they are ready to purchase, but the majority of the clicks will not become sales. By focusing on more specific keywords your audience will narrow, but those that do click will be more likely to convert as they’re already through the research stage.
Be aware that when using broad match, Google can display your ad whenever part of your phrase is searched for, reducing your CTR. If you do use broad match be sure to include negative keywords and a broad match modifier. If in doubt, it is best to just use specific phrases or exact match types until you have gathered more data.
You’ve written poor ad copy
It’s so important to use the character limit to the best of your ability to portray your message and get that click. Especially since Google introduced new Expanded Text Ads with 50% more ad text available. If your ad copy lacks your key messages, has spelling or grammar errors, is wordy or rambling, or worst still has no call to action, users will become confused or irritated and your budget will be wasted on on irrelevant clicks.
Your message needs to be concise, obvious to the audience, with a clear call to action. Furthermore your messaging needs to be consistent between your ad and your landing page. The landing page should be uncluttered, so reduce navigation and multiple calls to actions.
Make it easy for users to convert by using prominent buttons and simple forms to encourage engagement. Users don’t want to have to read a lot to find the information that they are looking for. Cut text down to the bare essentials, providing a clear value proposition that meets the expectations of your visitors.
You don’t use remarketing
Remarketing is serving a follow up ad to people who have previously visited your website. You can use it to keep your brand at the forefront of their mind by following them around the internet. The more a user sees your brand, the more they gain trust in your brand, making them more likely to purchase from you once they’re ready.
Essentially, remarketing gives you a second chance. You know that your visitor was interested but for some reason they did not complete the transaction. Most of us lead busy lives and there are a multitude of reasons why a transaction may be aborted; something crops up, the phone rings, a loss of connectivity, anything. Remarketing provides the opportunity to reengage with them.
To begin with remarketing was pretty basic. If you visited a site, you’d get an ad. Today it’s become extremely sophisticated allowing you to tailor your ad copy to particular audiences. You have options available to configure and customise it in so many ways. For example if someone visits certain pages but not others they can be served a particular ad, or perhaps they visit a sequence of pages on the bounce and they’re served a different ad. The beauty of this is that you should expect a much higher conversion rate from ads served to people who have previously engaged and are familiar with your brand.
You forgot to measure the success of your campaigns
If you’re not using the data to measure and improve the performance of your PPC campaigns, then you’re running blind and basically just guessing. If this is the case then you have no way of knowing if you’re wasting your budget on ads that are underperforming.
It may sound strange but in a survey of more than 2000 Adwords accounts by Search Engine Journal, only 29% had effective conversion tracking. Out of those with effective tracking, 61% of ad spend was being wasted. We can only guess the performance of those with inadequate or no tracking. If you’re thinking you’re ok because you’re tracking at least one conversion, then you’re not in the 29%. Most accounts are not tracking what really matters. Without effective tracking you’ll have no idea which keywords, ads and landing pages are working and generating revenue. So it’s likely that you’ll be missing out on a large proportion of conversions.
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Speak to our experts to see how we can increase your ROI. Atelier is a digital marketing agency in Hampshire.