02.04.20167 min read

Why Pay Per Click is a Huge Waste of Money

Meet Bob. Bob runs a successful brick and mortar hobby shop. He sells RC cars, planes, trains, models, etc. Business is good and he has expanded to sell online. After setting up his e-commerce store, he decides to give Google AdWords a try. His research has led him to believe that this is the fastest ticket to booking sales and growing his business. Well, he’s partly correct… Read on to learn what happened.

No revenue

Bob sets up his first AdWords campaign. He adds keywords like “hobby store,” “RC cars,” “RC planes,” and the like. He creates one ad group and a couple of ads. Bob sets his budget to $100 a day and un-paused the campaign. In a minute, he checks back and starts to see activity. Shortly thereafter, he starts to see some clicks and gets excited. No sales, but with all this traffic, sales will come.

Fast forward a few days later. Bob’s AdWords campaign is getting traffic, but still no sales; he says he’ll give it a little more time. Now it’s been seven days with no sales. Bob is now out $700, but has no idea why. I mean, he created relevant keywords, great ads and well, what else is there?

ppc-frustration-mixed-digital

Reality sets in

Bob quickly realizes that he doesn’t quite understand how pay per click (PPC) works. He made several rookie mistakes and not only does it cost him money, he has no clue as to why it happened and what he did wrong. He can now either try to learn PPC by watching videos and reading tutorials, or he can hire someone to do it for him. You see, Bob doesn’t have the time to learn PPC since he’s running the store. Sound familiar?

What went wrong?

This is such a common story. All too often, in an attempt to save, a business owner attempts to manage PPC on their own or enlists the help of a relative or friend. More often than not, this ends poorly. They quickly spend money with no results and either conclude that it doesn’t work or that they need help. Let’s be realistic. If you had a tooth that needed extracting, would you go to YouTube to learn how to pull your own tooth out? No! You’d go to your dentist, the professional. It’s no different. While PPC may not be dentistry or rocket science, it is a skill. One that can be learned in a short amount of time, but also one that takes years to master. One that carries with it an industry certification. Then, there’s the matter of new features and strategies constantly changing.

7 common mistakes amateur PPC marketers make

1. Improper geographic targeting: If your business only sells in a local area or within your home state, you don’t want the geographic settings set to global or even the entire United States. You want to be more targeted.

2. High initial budget or keyword bids: You don’t want to set the budget or max bids for keywords too high or you run the risk of spending budget very quickly before you get any positive results. PPC is great for speed, but it’s also a metric-heavy marketing channel that provides a ton of information to evaluate and make changes.

3. Not using match types properly: If all your keywords are broad match, then you’ll get a lot of unqualified traffic. Make sure to use phrase and exact match when it makes sense to be more specific such as promoting individual product models.

4. Ads lack a clear call-to-action (CTA): There’s a prevailing concept in marketing that you always want to tell people what to do. Clearly state if you want them to learn more, download an app, or buy now. Leaving this out of ads certainly decreases results.

5. Landing page strategy: If you’re selling hobby products such as RC cars, don’t send people who click on your ad to a page for RC planes or worse, the homepage that shows all products. You need to create a logical journey for your customers and get them to where they are trying to reach in the first place.

6. Not organizing your account: We call is “campaign architecture.” It’s the concept of organizing the campaigns, adgroups and keywords logically, based on your website’s navigation and how your customer shops. For example, all “RC car” keywords belong in one ad group so you can tailor the ads to match the keywords you’re bidding on. If you placed “RC planes” into the “RC cars” ad group and the ad only referenced cars, you can expect poor results.

7. No tracking: The campaign was launched and you’re not using Google Conversion code or Google Analytics to track. You’re literally flying blind and relying on unreliable methods to tie back any sales to the AdWords campaign. Never conduct digital marketing without properly tracking everything you can.

So, is AdWords a huge waste on money? The answer is: “when executed poorly it is.” PPC marketing is a learned skill like any other. That’s not to say that anyone can’t learn it. The point is that unless you devote significant time to learning the basics and keeping up with changes, you’ll likely experience poor results. As a business owner or marketing manager with no PPC experience, is this really the best use of your time? We don’t make TV commercials because that’s not where our experience lies. Sure, we could learn that and start offering to clients, but we wouldn’t be the best at it. It’s better we stick with what we know, which is the point of this post. Focus on what you know best and find rock stars for the rest. 

A good partner is one that takes the time to understand your business and who your target customers are. They will also learn your revenue goals and objectives, creating a plan that takes all of this into account before getting started building any campaigns. Often this means looking further than Google to seize opportunity, carrying with it new and unique challenges. Using this knowledge, an effective strategy can be developed and executed, positioning your company to achieve a positive ROI from search in the short term and ROI growth as optimizations take place over the long term. It’s never wise to dive into uncharted waters alone.

This article was written by Mark Simmons from Business2Community and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

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