There are few online marketing methods that can deliver the type of results that PPC can. Bid on keywords, set up a campaign, and in a few hours, you could literally have thousands of visitors flocking in. However, there are few things that can be as disheartening as seeing absolutely no results and finding out that you spent your whole budget for nothing.
Now what? Should you scrap PPC marketing altogether, or try again while risking losing even more money? The solution here should be to check exactly what you might be doing wrong and take the steps necessary to turn the situation around. Here are a few possible reasons why your PPC campaigns are failing.
You Have the Wrong Settings
Setting up campaigns is pretty simple on most PPC platforms. Using the right settings, however, is a whole other thing. The settings you pick could make or break your campaign, and just one error could make a world of difference.
The type will mainly depend on your goals. Your goal could be to attract more leads, for instance, or increase brand awareness. Then, you can go for a display network campaign, search network campaign, shopping campaign, video campaign, or app campaign. Note that while campaign types will dictate where your ads will be displayed, you can also customize it by using targeting.
You will also get a series of recommendations and features you should use depending on your specific campaign goals. Know that all the features will be available, whether you’re using goals or not. You are also under no obligation to choose a goal if you don’t want to or don’t have a clear one in mind.
You Chose the Wrong Network
When it comes to the network, a lot of people will leave it at default and allow ads to be displayed on both the search network and display network. But, both of these are very different and might not be the best suited for your business. If we were to give one piece of advice to beginners, it would be to stick to the search network first. You can then expand to the display network if you feel you need more traction.
Not Using Location Properly
One of the major benefits of PPC is how geo-targeted it can be. And yet, we see people setting incredibly wide radiuses for their campaigns thinking it will help their traffic.
While it could work in some odd case, in most, it ends up in money wasted. Instead of trying to aim for larger areas, go as localized as you can and consider using GPS coordinates and zip codes. You should then try to find better terms, review your ads, or review your budgeting and bidding strategy.
Click fraud is something a lot of people still completely overlook for some reason but could wreak absolute havoc on any campaign. This is something you should especially wary about if you’re in a small service-related business. It’s very well possible that one of your competitors is using fraudulent techniques to sabotage your campaigns. No matter the industry, however, it is estimated that you could spend between 4% to 20% on fraudulent clicks alone for any campaign.
The problem is that click fraud can be tough to identify and protect against on your own. The solution here would be to use a click fraud protection tool like ClickGUARD. ClickGUARD will allow you to closely monitor your campaigns to make sure that someone doesn’t end up depleting your marketing budget. It will not only protect you against competitors, but against bot clicks, anonymous proxy clicks, and click farms, just to name a few.
You should also know that you could have recourse against a competitor that has been found to use click manipulation. As a matter of fact, click fraud is considered a felony in the state of California. So, make sure that you know the rules in your jurisdiction, and don’t be afraid to talk with a cybersecurity lawyer to see what you can do.
You’re Not Using Negative Keywords
Negative keywords are a very important feature in PPC campaigns. If you aren’t using them or don’t even know what they are, then chances are you losing money on irrelevant clicks.
Negative keywords allow you to eliminate words that might be affecting the ad’s targeting. One classic example is removing the word “free” so that your ad doesn’t show up to people who might be after freebies. Negative keywords can also be used to prevent confusion. For instance, someone who’s a hairstylist might want to remove the keyword “schools” or “hairstyles” so they don’t attract untargeted traffic from people who might’ve been distracted by your ad.
Just having a good combination of negative keywords and exact search terms could make a huge difference to your conversion rates. So, make sure that you learn how to use all different word targeting combinations. We also suggest you pause any current campaign if you’re using nothing but broad matches.
Using Too Many Keywords
Another factor that could be affecting your campaign is simply having too many keywords. According to one study, it was found that the average advertiser on Adwords makes most of their profits out of only 12% of their keywords. The worst here, however, was that the remaining 88% were responsible for a whopping 61% of ad spend.
The thing is that most businesses know exactly what their profitable terms are. Still, they try to apply the shotgun approach in hopes of getting more business. While it can sometimes be a good idea, targeting your winners would be a much better one. And, if you’re going to be experimenting on a few new keywords, why not do it in batches? This way, most of your budget will go towards converting keywords, and you might make a few new finds.
Starting Bids too Low
Most people would assume that the right strategy would be to start bidding super low and increase in small increments. While this sounds good on paper, it’s also a bad strategy, and let us explain why.
In Adwords, ad rank and click-through rates go hand in hand. What this means is that if people don’t see your ad, it will have a low click-through rate, and your ad rank will suffer. So, no matter how high you bid, you will not get the visibility you should even on a higher end.
The solution here would be to bid much higher than you should at first and use this to gauge the efficacy of your campaign. So, if a $10 bid per click is recommended, go about 3 to 5 times that. Going higher will allow you to get the volume needed to have a proper sample size. Also, just because you put that bid, it doesn’t mean that that’s what you will eventually end up paying. You can expect to pay only a few bucks over the recommended bid, so you should have plenty of money left to regroup and strategize.
These are just some of the most common reasons why so many PPC campaigns end up failing. If you have committed some of these in your campaigns, it’s never too late to give it another try and make the corrections necessary.