Four Pay-Per-Click Advertising Mistakes
Pay-Per-Click is often advertised as a turnkey solution—you put in a certain amount of advertising dollars and you get a certain amount of traffic back. Unfortunately, it’s not that simple. You can get more bang for your buck with PPC by avoiding some common mistakes:
1. Using Your Homepage as a Landing Page
Your homepage is the front door to your online business, but when you draw in traffic with a targeted search phrase, you won’t want to force your prospects through the entire navigation process again. When you convert with a PPC ad, you already know what the user is looking for—so bring it to them right away. For example, when you Google “Amazon Fiestaware,” the sponsored result takes you directly to Amazon’s home department with a search for Fiestaware already pulled up. This saves you the trouble of running two searches—one on the search engine and one on the destination site.
You can put this into practice with your own online presence, even if you run a much smaller business than Amazon. For instance, a copywriting firm might offer direct marketing campaigns, brochure design and press release writing. So, when a user looks for “press release writing,” you should tailor your PPC ad to bring them directly to the page that describes that service, rather than a generic homepage.
2. Giving Pages Double Duty as Landing Pages
Along the lines of the above tip, failing to create an optimized landing page for each PPC ad is also a missed opportunity. When a customer clicks through from a PPC, it is likely their first time visiting your website so you’ll want to put your best foot forward. Give them your main selling points, make them a special offer and do whatever it is that you do to get your foot in the door.
Meanwhile, repeat visitors may not want to be bogged down by the hard sell when they navigate through your page in a normal fashion. Plus, you might not want to offer your killer 40 percent off deal to every single customer.
The more you know about your customer, the better you can tailor their experience on your web page. Use the presumptions you can glean from a PPC campaign to your advantage.
3. Writing Generic Ad Copy
Writing PPC ad copy is a little bit like writing bumper stickers. You have to make a big statement that sets you apart in very few words. With this in mind, avoid the obvious: “We are an established company that produces quality products and provides excellent customer service.”
That sentiment describes just about every single competitive company. Instead, cut right to the chase and tell readers why you are different—mention a specific offer, exclusive feature or something else unique. You’ll also want to carefully tailor your PPC copy to the main keywords.
A good formula for a three line PPC ad is to lead with a catchy headline that uses your main keyword, follow up with the most alluring benefit of your product or service and end with an exclusive deal or free offer. Skip the boilerplate text—it’ll only waste words.
4. Not Bidding High Enough
There’s a certain breaking point where investing too little money into your PPC campaign will actually be to your detriment. About 85 percent of all PPC clicks occur on the top three sponsored ads—so if your ads are getting seen but not clicked, you’re still paying but not converting. Make sure that your ad makes it up into those top three slots. If you’re on a tight budget, you might want to tailor your keywords a bit more tightly, as this will reduce the overall bidding competition.
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