A fool and his money are soon parted. This old time Idiom has never been truer especially when it comes to poor PPC management.
1) Website not clearly defined
All the traffic in the world can’t overcome a poorly defined website. Sites that are confusing with poor navigation will lead to poor website conversion rates. Remember, that finding the winning PPC recipe takes time and effort. If possible, test different versions of your site. Sometimes a landing page will work better than a 50-page website. Regardless, be sure to synchronize your keywords, ads, and site. PPC is a science of relevancy. Matching keywords, ads, and pages improves user experience. On the other hand, failure to do this will have a negative impact on conversion rates and quality scores.
2) Failure to implement AdWords tracking and Google Analytics.
With PPC virtually every metric is measurable. Without tracking, how do you know which page, keyword, or ad is working and what’s not working? Don’t do anything with PPC unless you can track it.
3) Sending traffic to broken pages
Sending traffic to broken pages only results in wasted money. Be sure when pages are deleted the corresponding PPC elements are also taken offline. PPC accounts should always mirror the website.
4) Not evaluating the competition
Frequent competitive reviews will help keep your pulse on the competition. Using your core keywords, you can easily study your competitors messaging and website in just a few clicks. From this info you can counter and find a hook that will differentiate your company from the competition.
Keep in mind you won’t really know what is working until you test it yourself. Be sure to also study your competitor’s ad text. At any time you might be competing with 9 other advertisers on the search network. Make sure you are always testing more than 1 ad at a time with a strong call to action. You should also rotate your ads evenly. You can then determine the best messaging based upon CTR and conversion rate.
5) Allowing campaigns to run on auto pilot
You might remember that old infomercial with the catchy tag line “Set it and forget it”? PPC is not a set it and forget it. If you have this mentality you might as well throw your money into the Fire Place. I recommend evaluating your PPC campaigns every day. This will help keep your finger on the pulse of your PPC campaigns. Many PPC managers don’t review data often enough. Failure to check in on a regular basis can result in lost revenue.
The bottom line is, don’t take shortcuts when setting up your PPC account. Setting up PPC accounts the right way takes a lot of research and time. However, the amount of money you will save in the long run will make the time you spent worth it. Stop donating wasted dollars to the Search Engine Slush Fund.