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The Terrible 10 Of Pay Per Click Advertising

Jan 8, 2008
While it is easy to get started in pay per click advertising, it's even easier to make very costly mistakes. Building a pay per click campaign the correct way means paying attention to detail and continual oversight and management. I've compiled a list of 10 typical mistakes that are found in PPC advertising campaigns.

Big, Bulky and Broad Ad Groups for Your Keywords

If you put all your keywords into just a few big and broad ad groups, it's time to restructure your account. You are missing out on important flexibility that pay per click advertising allows. Tighter ad groups allows you more focussed, relevant ads.

Ignoring Negative Keywords

With quality scores and click through rates playing a bigger role in your pay per click ad rank, it's more important to weed out the keywords that push up your impressions and don't result in desired clicks. If you sell "widget software" make sure you have negative keywords such a "-free" or "-serial." Also, check your log files for your site to look for bad keywords that you are spending money on right now.

Not Enough Testing

An often neglected, but very important result-booster is the split testing of your ads. Even minor variations can increase your effectiveness. Obviously, you can rework such items like your unique value statement or your different calls to action, but there are many variables of each ad that can be optimized. Your display url, the ad title, each line of copy -- all of that may be effectively tested. This can be time consuming, which is why a quality pay per click management company can be a great investment, especially if they offer daily split testing. Effort here pays off.

Not Tracking Results

If you do get into testing ads and fine-tuning your keyword lists, it's only as effective as your tracking. Any PPC search engine will give you your ad spends and click through rates, but what about the bottom-line success? Knowing that you made $14,000 off of a $7,000 ad spend is fine, but if you dig deeper with your tracking you might be able to make that same $14,000 with only $6,000 a month in spend. That savings ads up.

Not Getting Keyword-Level Tracking

Proper and exact analytics or using an experienced pay per click management company is essential to get the data you need. If you have keywords that are not performing and leaking your account on a daily basis, you are throwing money away. Getting results to the keyword level allows you to adjust bids for maximum effect. If you have one keyword with a $1.34 earnings per click and another at 37 cents, this is key information that allows you to maximize profits. Lower one bid if you are above your "EPC" and raise another to eek out more profits from that sweet-spot keyword. Don't waste money on a daily basis.

Not Specific Enough Keywords

While some generic keywords can drive a lot of traffic and even be very profitable, they also can be filled with pitfalls. Negative keywords may not be enough to save you from going in the red on a generic keyword. Often, the users doing these searches are at a very early stage of the research and buying process. Again, this is another important reason to track results on a keyword basis.

Not Going After Long-Tail Keywords

This dovetails into the previous item. Building out lists and ads for long-tail keywords can be a time-consuming process, but worthwhile if done right. You are going to have different earnings per click for the keywords "dvd player," "sony dvd player" and "sony dvd player model DVP-NS57P/B." One consumer is doing research, while the other is likely pricing for the specific model they want and is ready to buy.

Combining Search and Content Networks

You can get stung by poor quality traffic or click fraud if you do not separate your content network advertising from your search network advertising. If you don't understand those above items, there is a good probability that you are not separating the two in your accounts right now ... and you are very likely losing money. A better solution is to build separate campaigns for each and ... track with precise analytics the results from each network. Again, not knowing is probably costing you now.

Failing to Geo-Target if You're Local

If you draw most of your business from a local area, the big three PPC engines allow you to geo-target your keywords to that area. This will bring the local market to your doorstep on non-local keyword phrases. This can be hugely profitable.

Not Continually Monitoring Your Campaigns

Alright, so maybe you do not frequently monitor your EPCs at the keyword level (you should). And, you don't conduct split tests every day your ads are up (you should). It is still surprising that there are a high number of pay per click advertisers who don't continually monitor their accounts. The big three PPC engines are cracking down on poor performing ads more than ever. Many advertisers are getting stung with the "Inactive for Search" label on their keywords. If you don't monitor your accounts, Google, Yahoo and MSN may have plucked some of your keywords off their networks. And, with that, some of your profits.

Healthy, efficient and vibrant PPC campaigns require work. The Terrible 10 of PPC Advertising that we listed above form a strong foundation for you consider when revamping or starting up your PPC advertising. Whether you hire out to a pay per click management company or can actively manage your PPC accounts at this level of detail...precision, effort and attention to detail can greatly impact your results.
About the Author
About the Author: Josh Prizer is a Senior Account Executive and PPC expert for Zero Company Performance Marketing, a pay per click management company. Visit us now to learn more on how to improve your PPC ad accounts and results.
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