5 Critical mistakes that can kill your PPC campaign

5 Critical mistakes that can kill your PPC campaign
11 March 2014 | | Pay Per Click

Often we are asked to provide a review of a current Pay per Click campaign from existing or imgresprospective clients. As Google Adwords professionals we will give our best advice to all inquiries based on the knowledge and experience we have gained over the last 3 years as an agency providing the Google Adwords advertising management.

We see a great scope in ad quality and how they are optimised and from this I have devised a summary of the top five crucial mistakes that will inhibit your ad from getting a decent return on investment.We know that Google uses an algorithm called ‘Ad Rank’ to determine the rank and position of your ad in the search results. A good ad rank means the ad will appear higher up the page, which is where you want to be.

Ad rank is also used to calculate how much is charged for every click the ad receives.

There is a useful equation for ad rank;

Ad Rank = CPC (cost per click) x Quality Score

A number of things determine your quality score, but the most important is the relevance of the ad and its click through rate (CTR). CTR and ad relevance are crucial to the success of any ad in Google adwords.

The five most common mistakes are summarised in the following points;

1)      Ads that aren’t relevant

Having ads that are not relevant is the one of the bigger mistakes to make.  It should be of top priority to get them in line with what is actually being offering on the landing page.

By making the ad relevant both the Quality Score and CTR improve. A higher Quality Score means the less is paid for each click received, thus improving return on investment.

Evidence of this point includes different keywords that have been grouped together into a single ad meaning the ad will never be relevant.

The result of this is a low Quality Score, meaning having to pay more per click.

To combat this, the whole campaign needs to be careful thought out and organised with keywords grouped in relevance that relate to one another or a theme.

Just one example of improving the ad relevance is adding the keyword(s) into the ad in a relevant manner, as shown below for an ad for ‘dental implants in Richmond’.

keywords2

By doing this the ad not only becomes more relevant, and boosts the Ad Rank, it also means the keywords (Richmond and Implants) are highlighted helping your ad stand out from the crowd.

2)      Missing call-to-action

Clear call-to-actions are required to emphasise the ads purpose in the unconscious mind of the person looking at the list of ads available to them.

What makes them click one ad over another? Ranking helps, but an ad that has miss-spelt or inappropriate call to actions, such as ‘view more’ or ‘Browse now’ are missing out. A clear call to action is just that – it’s a clear message implying that the next step be an action, i.e. call! Never underestimate the power of this for people looking at ads and making split second decisions based on power of words.

This type of advertising needn’t look ‘desperate’. In fact if you give this clear call-to-action and the click takes the user to a modern, clean page with all the relevant information they are seeking, then you are more likely to have a conversion.

See an example below of a perfect call-to-action which is neither ‘cheap’ or ‘desperate’, but encouraging and appropriate.

Capture3

3)      Lack of testing

Testing is essential to any effective ad campaign. With a dental specific approach, we have a good idea of what works and what doesn’t, but still we will test an idea if we are not sure.

Testing can be done on ads by split testing a few and seeing which ones are more appealing to users. Just altering how the ad is worded can often see a bigger increase in clicks.

Lots of campaigns we have seen have not been kept up to date, with old promotions at worse and at best not being utilised with new practice treatments and resulting in missed opportunities.

4)      Lack of Ad Extensions

There are a number of differing ad extensions that look great online and certainly can help to differentiate ads across the plethora of those shown for search terms.

Examples include;

  • Site links – sends users to specific pages
  • Call extensions – allows users to click directly on the phone number
  • Location extensions – displays a bricks and mortar address.
  • Social annotations – Google+ page

Offer Extension – highlights an offer by displaying in a more prominent way with a click straight to more details.

5)      Ad creation best practice

The most basic errors are seen on some campaigns, which is frustrating, not least because Google offer free advice through their support service. The must do list of best practices in creating a successful ad campaign includes;

  • Make sure the relationship between ads, keywords and landing pages are relevant
  • Look at competitor ads and aim to make own ad stand out
  • Ensure ad text looks appealing – try capitalising each word, don’t mis-spell, and make sense.
  • Include unique selling points and benefits of choosing to go with the ad (over a competitor)
  • Highlight appealing promotions and special offer pricing
  • Clear call to actions which fit with the advertising goals
  • Use dynamic keyword insertion appropriately
  • Include keywords in the URL field – again appropriately
  • Decide on advertising goals and use appropriate ad extensions
  • Test, test and test again.

 

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