Seeing as a 4 strong group of employees (including our MD!) are currently studying for our Google Professional qualifications I thought I would do a blog on the top PPC myths that I’ve come across. I did my qualifications last year, and they have really given me a better insight on how to run PPC campaigns properly. By the end of next week the rest of my colleagues will be qualified as well which will ensure the PPC service we offer at Dental Design goes from strength to strength!
Hopefully the bullet points below will clear up some common PPC misconceptions!
1. You don’t need a PPC firm – you can easily manage your account on your own. Well, I can’t speak for other PPC firms, but for the same reason that you can’t ‘set it and forget it’, if you don’t have time to manage your PPC account at least weekly (at a minimum) you should probably hire someone to manage it for you. With all technology, things are constantly changing. Like previously mentioned, keywords can become inactive due to quality score issues, ads can be declined due to editorial issues, etc. Not to mention that if you’re putting money towards your PPC account, you probably want to maximize your traffic and revenue potential. Having someone manage your account and make the best changes and keep up-to-date with new features can really help grow your traffic and revenue.
2. Turn off your account at night, no one is searching or buying then. There are actually several reports that can show you how much traffic you get during all hours of the day or night, as well as click-through rates. Using Analytics, you can also determine your hourly conversion rates. Consider all of the different time zones you’re targeting, and remember that if you do turn your account off before doing the proper research you could be eliminating qualified traffic.
3. Dump as many keywords into your PPC account as possible to get the most traffic. While in theory you may get a ton of traffic from doing a keyword dump, it won’t all be qualified traffic. You really want to only target the most relevant keywords for your PPC account. If you do a dump you’re likely to blow through your budget quickly without generating much return on your investment.
4. Turn on only your best performing ad. Having only one ad text running can be detrimental to growing your PPC account’s performance. Ad text testing is a great strategy to help increase your click-through rates and conversion rates. If you stick with only running one ad, you’ll never be able to truly grow your account.
5. With PPC you can set it and forget it. A lot of small businesses think they can load in their keywords and ads, set a budget and walk away. PPC is not set it and forget it if you want to make the most of the money you’re spending. It takes constant monitoring, testing, bid lowering & increasing, turning off, and turning on in order to get the biggest bang for your buck. It is for this reason that many businesses choose to outsource their accounts to a PPC agency which can dedicate time and expertise to these tasks.
6. You should always run the content network. The content network can be a great source of extra traffic and leads. However you should research content network best practices before just turning on the content network and letting it run, and always make sure you monitor it very carefully. The content network has been known to drive a lot of unqualified traffic at very high costs when left uncontrolled.
7. You should never run on the content network. Again, the content network can be a great source for extra traffic and leads. Always try the content network, tweak settings as necessary, and give it a chance to work for you before you write it off.
8. Bid on only long-tail keywords. Long-tail keywords are very specific keywords that relate to the product or service you are selling on your site. However, there is minimal traffic associated with long-tail keywords at times and this traffic also revolves around searchers who are now in their buying phase. If you don’t bid on some general keywords, your ad may never appear and you’ll never be in front of your target audience when they’re doing their initial research, which will strip you of important brand recognition opportunities later in the customer’s buying cycle.
9. Quality score is calculated on click-through rates only. Quality score is heavily based on click-through rates, but it is also impacted by landing page quality, among other factors that Google doesn’t want to define too closely
10. Good conversion rates will help improve your Quality Score. No, in fact Google says conversion rates are not calculated into your overall account Quality Score.
11. Opening up a new PPC account will re-start your Quality Scores. Technically, if you open up a new account your Quality Scores will reset. However, if you keep the same account structure, landing pages, ads, keywords, etc., then you’re going to end up with the same Quality Score as you had previously. In order to improve your Quality Score, you need to re-structure your account and organize your Campaigns, Ad Groups and Keywords to reach the most targeted audience possible.
12. Copy your competitor’s ads. It’s okay to look at your competitor’s ads for ideas, but not to copy them. Putting aside the legal issues, your ad will not stand out from your competitor’s ad, and you’ll only confuse your potential customer. Find a way to make your ad different and enticing enough to make the customer want to click on your ad over your competitor’s ad.
13. PPC is mainly click fraud serving your ads to invalid traffic. Actually, Google, Yahoo and Bing are very good at keeping track of fraudulent traffic. The search engines can actually refund your click money if they determine some of your clicks are invalid
14. Being in position #1 will make you most profitable. This is absolutely not true. Sometimes being in position #1 will be profitable, but most of the time you’ll end up spending more cash than what you’re generating. Being in position #1 gives you great visibility and is great for branding purposes. However it also draws in a lot of ‘searchers’ who are not yet ready to buy, but are still researching. Experimenting with ad position will allow you to determine the positions in which you achieve the right balance of cost vs. value.