Top 5 mistakes made by PPC newcomers
- January 27, 2009
- by Robert Weatherhead
1. Relying on Google broad match
Very few Google Adwords campaigns we see use anything other than Google broad match. Whilst utilising broad match will ensure you get maximum coverage on as many search terms as possible, it also means that you never truly know where your money is being spent. Your campaign clicks will show against individual keywords in your PPC campaign but you will never know whether its specific search terms the visitor used to reach your site.
A broad match strategy means you’re unable to fully optimise ad text to maximise click through rate and quality score, because you can’t accurately say what keywords will prompt your ad to be displayed. This means you can’t be sure the appropriate wording has been included to make the ad stand out on the page.
Generally, broad match strategies result in higher CPCs with lower quality score and lower click through rates. You will also experience the problems outlined in point 5!
2. Opting in to Google Content Network
New accounts are, by default, opted in to the Google content network, and many new Adwords advertisers don’t change this setting.
Although the Google content network works in some markets, in most, it doesn’t. For smaller budget advertisers every click counts, so the low quality clicks from the content network aren’t going to help matters.
3. Broken links due to Google Analytics auto tagging
Google Analytics auto tagging keyword destination URLs to separate paid and natural search traffic appears the simplest solution when setting up an analytics account. Beware! In many cases Google Analytic’s auto tagging tool leads to destination URLs reaching nonexistent pages, meaning you pay for clicks and visitors who see an error page, and in most cases return to search results and into the arms of competitors!
Do utilise auto tagging, but ensure you test the destination URLs it produces.
4. Poor structure of Adwords campaign
As importance of quality score rises, the structure of a Google Adwords campaign becomes nearly as important as keywords and ads it contains within it. By splitting keywords into common themes and displaying tightly targeted ad text, CTR will be significantly higher and so will your quality score. Splitting out important keywords into separate ad groups allows monitoring of performance individually, and separates them from the influence of other insignificant search terms.
Don’t, as we see on a regular basis, take 1000 keywords, write one ad text, and throw them in the same ad group!
5. Lack of negative keywords
Negative keywords, along with an effective keyword matching strategy, ensure complete control over where your PPC ads appear and where they don’t!
On average, we see that 70% of Adwords budget’s being spent on keywords which don’t appear in your Google campaign. Broad match reliance, described in point 1, means you could be spending more than half of your Adwords budget on keywords which are completely irrelevant to your product or service! Obviously they aren’t all going to be irrelevant but an effective negative keyword list will ensure you don’t appear on keywords you wouldn’t want to.