Pay-per-click Advertising Mistakes to Avoid

Pay-per-click (PPC), also known as cost per click (CPC), is an internet advertising model used to direct traffic to websites, in which an advertiser pays a publisher (typically a website owner or a network of websites) when the ad is clicked. PPC advertising is a great way to get visitors when you need traffic and you need it now. However, with poor setup or poor ongoing management, you can spend a fortune, generate many visits, and end up with nothing to show for it.

Here are 5 costly PPC mistakes to avoid:

1. Sending visitors to your home page.

Sending visitors to your home page rather than what the user is expecting to see when they click on your ad can be a costly mistake that drives customers away. Customers don’t want to waste time scouring through pages to arrive at their target destination. Whenever possible, drive PPC visitors to targeted landing pages. If you don’t have a product-specific landing page to refer visitors to, create custom landing pages that provide the exact information the reader is looking for.

2. Sending visitors to your contact page.

Some businesses send PPC visitors directly to their website’s contact page to force email newsletter opt-ins or lead generation form submissions. This can not only frustrate visitors and hurt the chances of making a sale, but it also can violate PPC platform guidelines.

3. Split testing ad text
To produce the most effective results, avoid running PPC ads without testing them first. You can split-test your ads by creating multiple versions of the ad’s text for each of your PPC ad groups. That way, you can determine which specific wording leads to the most click-throughs and on-site conversions.

Some PPC platforms use predictive algorithms to display the ad variation that’s most likely to be successful, but this diminishes the integrity of your split-test data. You can find instructions on how to ensure that your ad versions are displayed randomly in your PPC engine’s help section.

4. Broad keyword matches.

Broad match keyword ads are displayed whenever all or part of your target keyword phrase is searched for, offering the greatest traffic potential. But you may be sacrificing relevance for reach.

For example, a law firm targeting the phrase “contract” with a broad match ad. Their ad should appear on the results page for the search query “contract,” but it could also show up for the phrases “breach of contract,” or “contract law”. You may be wasting money on irrelevant searches.

5. Negative keywords.
Failure to use negative keywords can prevent ads from displaying whenever certain words are searched for. Following the example above, adding the word “breach” as a negative keyword within your PPC ad group would prevent your “breach of contract” broad match ad from appearing in results for “contract.”

Adding negative keywords is one way to control relevancy without eliminating the potential traffic of broad match ads. But you’ll need to devote time to finding the many possible negative keywords that could influence your campaign.

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