avoiding costly mistakes in ppc advertisingThe PPC (pay-per-click) market has not only grown rapidly, but it has become more and more complex. More people are aware that the advertisements appearing at the top of their Google searches are paid for and are skeptical of their worth. Many do-it-yourselfers are struggling to make the same profits from their PPC campaigns as they did as recently as ten years ago, and they often make costly mistakes, paying thousands of dollars for advertising that does not yield results.

Where It Goes Wrong

The first mistake many companies make when setting up their PPC campaign is not designating the proper landing page—the actual webpage the user is directed to when clicking on the link. The landing page should be one that will convince the user to make a purchase, or to learn more about the specific product they might be interested in. No matter how flashy your front page might be, let the user navigate to it if they so desire—instead, give them what they want. In other words, carefully match the keyword string to the landing page.

Keyword strings are another example of a rookie mistake. Many companies pay for a keyword string that is so general that all sorts of users end up on their website. For example, a company might purchase a keyword string like “best delivery in Denver” in order to advertise their food delivery website. While many will, in fact, be looking for food delivery in Denver, many might also be looking for furniture delivery, moving services, document delivery, and many other things. Instead, buying multiple keyword strings for searches like “best pizza delivery in Denver” and “best Chinese delivery in Denver” will yield less, but more accurate results. Then you can link the landing page directly to this search string for an even higher chance of making a sale.

Another important aspect to consider is the anchor text, the actual text in the link itself. This differs from the search string text in that you can accidentally mislead a customer into clicking on to your website, and customers who are tricked into visited a site are less likely to make a purchase. Let’s continue the “best pizza delivery in Denver” example. Suppose you make the anchor text read, “Best Pizza Delivery in Denver.” The customer may click the link, expecting a list of pizza delivery shops, but instead they are directed to the menu of the best-selling pizza restaurant on your delivery service’s website. Using the anchor text, “Delivery Menu for Papa Beppe’s Pizza” will result in fewer clicks, but those clicks will most likely be people who are ready to buy pizza from what they assume is the best pizza place in Denver, according to their search.

Lastly, you must consider cost efficiency. If it costs you $3 per click on a search string, and you only stand to make $20 in profit on a sale—you probably can only afford six clicks without purchases before you begin to lose money. This is why you must look carefully at what percentage of clicks yield sales, and decide when it’s no longer worth it or if a keyword phrase is too expensive to meet your needs.

Getting Help Managing Your PPC Campaign

Of course, avoiding costly mistakes in running your own PPC campaign is difficult, especially if it’s your first attempt. Even if you do all of the research, you never know if you are reading current information and whether your strategies are truly working. Or if you do meticulously check all of your keywords, you end up eating up a lot of your precious time that could be spent developing your business in other ways. Still, it could be wise even people who have seen moderate success from PPC to seek outside help. This Denver PPC firm, for example, works to combat common problems in PPC campaigns by employing a dedicated team who stay up to date on the latest developments in the PPC sector. According to their website, companies see an improvement of an average of 50% to 90% in customer sales from PPC—not just an improvement in the web traffic or quality of visitors.

Additionally, using tools like Google AdWords Keyword Planner can help you to identify new search strings, but these tools can leave a lot to be desired. A professional, particularly one certified in Google AdWords, can use this tool and many others on Google’s Webmaster Tools to identify problem areas and customize your PPC campaign to get the results you need.

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