Where your PPC ads are going wrong

04 September 2017

Where your PPC ads are going wrong

Pay-per-click (PPC) advertising is a fact of life for companies big and small and yet, in spite of this, it’s surprising how many companies make basic errors in its usage. Here are three to watch out for and what to do about them:

1. Focusing on quantity rather than quality

You create your PPC adverts to encourage conversions but conversions, in and of themselves are only part of the story. What really matters is how much value those conversions bring to your business or, to put it another way, the time, effort and cost of the advert must be justified by the revenue it brings to your company.

It’s absolutely fine to have a PPC advert that brings in a lot of low-value customers as long as the advert itself is a cheap and cheerful one. If, however, you are targeting more expensive keywords then you need to be sure that the price is justified by the value of the sales you ultimately make. This means evaluating conversions in terms of value rather than just in terms of volume.

2. Failing to assess all attribution channels effectively

This is probably the single, trickiest aspect of PPC management and, even if you struggle to get it exactly right, you do, at least, need to be aware of it and think of its implications on your PPC strategy.

Left to its own devices, Google Analytics will assume that the “last click” gets all the credit for the conversion. Conveniently for Google, the last click is often your PPC advert and this attribution model often makes your PPC adverts seem super-effective and thus super-valuable.

In reality, unless customers are under time pressure, they will generally need a few prods before they hit that PPC advert and really, only the customer will probably ever know which of those touches had the most influence on them or if the level of influence was equal.

You can try to account for this reality by using different attribution models, which reduce the emphasis on the last click or simply keep it in mind when you read your reports in Google Analytics.

3. Forgetting the importance of landing pages

Long gone are the days when one landing page was enough. These days, ideally, each PPC advert you run should probably have its own, dedicated, landing page. This landing page should:

  • Match the keyword and overall message of the advert
  • Have customised, high-quality content (the quality of your landing page reflects the quality a customer can expect from your organisation as a whole)
  • Be laid out in an attractive, easy-to-read manner (for most industries, screeds and screeds of unbroken text should be avoided)
  • Stay on point (anything and everything included in the page should have clear relevant to the originating PPC advert), and
  • Have a clear call-to-action with a well-communicated benefit.