Many businesses don’t know about or don’t know how to use the many tools available to optimize their pay-per-click or PPC ads. This is why the average small business wastes 25% or more of their total paid search spend, even if they’re following the latest PPC ads. If this sounds like your business, your PPC campaign is likely wasting money. Let’s learn how this happens and what you can do to plug the leaks.
1. Overly Broad Matches
The best PPC ads are tailored to put your ads in front of your ideal customer. If you use overly broad matches, your ads could be shown in response to queries that are only somewhat related to your target audience. This can result in a high volume of views, though there are very few qualified leads.
This doesn’t mean you can’t use broad match keywords in your campaign. But your keyword list should be dominated by carefully selected keywords and phrases.
Learn about PPC match types. For example, quotation marks denote a phrase match, while a plus sign equals a broad match modifier. Brackets are used for exact match keywords. All of these are more specific than broad match keywords. It’s advisable to use narrower match types because broader match types will result in more ad views without many more paying customers.
2. You’re the Victim of Click Fraud
Many people might think that click fraud is a minor issue, but it’s genuine. If you’re in a competitive field, there is a very high chance that you’re a victim.
Analyze the traffic coming in from your various ad campaigns, then use tools that help you fight click fraud or prevent clicks from undesirable sources. This review of click fraud protections compared several tools used to fight click fraud. It runs down the differences between ClickGUARD vs. Clickcease vs. PPC Protect software’s features.
3. Not Using Negative Keywords
Not using negative keywords can make you lose money. A negative keyword is one that prevents your PPC ads from appearing in front of people who clearly aren’t searching for your type of product or service. For example, a new car dealership can prevent their ad from being wasted using the term “used” as a negative keyword. When employed, the ad won’t show up in front of people searching for used car dealerships.
4. Overdoing Stacked Bid Modifiers
Bid modifiers allow you to adjust the original bids on keywords based on the searcher’s location, device type, and time of day. In theory, this lets you put ads for your restaurant right in front of someone looking for takeout in your area.
In reality, this feature results in significant overbidding for a majority of users. This is because every adjustment is stacked on top of your base bid. This multiplies the price you pay per click.
One solution is analyzing keywords and having more targeted keywords instead of relying on stacked bids. Another option is carefully adjusting bids one variable at a time and analyzing the results. Then you won’t waste money on modifiers that don’t increase your revenue.
You can’t afford to continue wasting your ad budget when there are so many ways to plug the leaks in your ad spend and increase your conversion rate. Analyze the data for your ad campaigns, and make measured changes to maximize results.