PPC Advertising Pitfalls – don’t just do what "Simon" says
Last week I spoke at Search Marketing World in Dublin, I really enjoyed the conference, it was on a much smaller scale than SES but it was really nice to see so many new faces and more importantly to see so many new presentations. At this conference I spoke on “Successful PPC Management – Avoiding common mistakes”, sharing a panel with my fiancé and fellow Searchcowboy blogger Jon Myers. Now, I’ve always been an SEO geek, who loves talking about canonicalisation issues, site architecture and general SEO geekiness. But after spending a lot of time discussing and debating with my fiancé (who’s well known in the UK for his PPC experience and knowledge, disclaimer: I’m not saying he doesn’t know anything about SEO) I have come to understand that the world of PPC is so much more complicated than we think, and certainly ALOT more complicated than Google AdWords would have you think:
“No matter what budget!”, “Connect with potential customers at that magical decision moment!”, “Your ad will appear next to the search result when people search on Google using one of your keywords.” Only some of the Google AdWords “sells”, easy as 1 2 3, right? It really isn’t that simple, in fact if you believe that it is that simple you are more likely to experience this:
Because PPC is believed to be so “easy” to set-up and manage, many businesses are wasting money every day. Don’t get me wrong, Google has made a fantastic job at making the design and layout of AdWords very easy to use, but it might actually be too easy, maybe deceivably easy!?
So I’ve created a list of top pitfalls for when setting up (or even managing your PPC campaigns), it’s pretty straight forward and logical advice, but as I’ve learn there is no such thing as “obvious”, as its only “obvious” to you because you already know about it. In fact saying “obviously” is mostly a redundant word, as if something was truly obvious there would be no need to actually say it. On a side note let’s just delete “obviously” from the dictionary.
So here are the top 5 most common pitfalls that I believe can make a big difference to your paid search advertising:
Pitfall #1 – Target Audience
Pitfall #2 – Campaign and Ad Granularisation
These are some of the most common areas of which to make campaigns as targeted as possible based on a keyword list. Granularisation WILL make a difference to the quality score of each keyword and ultimately give you a better ROI (lower CPC for a higher position and so on). BUT, if you have a limited budget I would be careful of spreading your budget too thinly, doing extensive granularisation of campaigns and keywords might not be the right thing to do if it leaves you with a very small budget per campaign.
Pitfall #3 – Believing “the more keywords the better an ad group will perform”
Pitfall #4 – The not always relevant Content Network
Now my big issue with this is:
Pitfall 5 # Understanding Match Types
What is keyword match type?
When searching for “flights” in the below example, Google display an ad for “Apple Mac Air”, this is due to the extended broad match and the “association” between “flight” and “air”. Hmm, not ideal I would say.
So when dealing with “broad match”, I would advice on developing an extensive negative keyword list so that the ad doesn’t get displayed for terms that is not related to your product/service.
So if the key phrase you are bidding for is “office design”, your ad can be triggered when someone searches for “office design ideas”, “office design company” etc but NOT for phrases that has additional words between the two words, such as “office interior design”.
This is the match type I personally use the most; in fact I use a little saying; “if in doubt, phrase match”.
This match will only show your ad when someone searches for “office design” in that order with those two words only. Having a keyword in exact match will limit your impressions but if it is a solid relevant keyword that you know by experience drives traffic and conversion that’s not a problem.
Negative keywords are very important (and necessary) when running campaigns using broad match, and will help define the relevancy and make sure you only get displayed for relevant search queries. For example in the ad group for “office design” you have the negative keyword ‘-software’ your ad will not appear when someone searches for anything related to the keyword office and “software”, let’s say, I don’t know.............“Microsoft Office” which would have buried in impressions.
To be honest I can probably go on and on about pitfalls but as this has turned out to become a bit of a Mammoth blogpost, I will leave it to these 5, for now :) But do feel free to comment and ask questions.
Lastly, when running a PPC campaign just make sure you think about all the possibilities, don’t just 123- up and go. Even if “Simon” says!
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