I’ve lost count how many times I’ve heard the comment (by non-clients), “Pay-Per-Click Marketing doesn’t work!” or “It is too expensive; I’m not getting anything for it.” But I’ve also lost count how much money has been generated through Pay-Per-Click (PPC) Marketing. So which is it – does PPC marketing work or not?
Let me put it this way, when my mechanic (who knows his stuff) tries to explain to me what’s wrong with my car, I sort of understand what he’s talking about. Sort of. But if you were to ask me to fix my own car – when something more than a tire or fluid needed to be changed – then whatever is wrong with the car now is about to get drastically worse. That’s why I leave auto repair to auto mechanics. The same holds true for PPC Marketing. A good Web Marketing agency, with top notch PPC professionals, can leverage PPC to help grow your business. Otherwise, PPC “done incorrectly” will “work incorrectly”; which in turn is often costly and ineffective. And so I would suggest – with the auto mechanic example at the fore of our mind – that PPC Marketing must be “done correctly”, by qualified professionals, in order to “work correctly”. So be sure not to throw out the baby with the bathwater.
Below are four bad PPC habits to break…
1. No Segmentation
Top notch Pay-Per-Click managers know that for your specific industry/business, all days of the week, all hours of the day, ad copy/text, types of devices (i.e., pc’s, mobile phones, tablets), or types of PPC ads are not created equal. Therefore, segmentation and testing with the above variables in mind is a must. Start by testing different ad copy (which is pretty easy to do), then move on to another variable. If you are scratching your head at this point, then don’t panic, just keep reading and then contact us. (Yes, that was a shameless plug for our agency).
2. Watching the Wrong Metrics
Sure, look at all your PPC stats/metrics, but if new leads and/or purchases are what you need, then don’t place too much weight on statistics like Impressions (how many times someone saw your ads) or ad clicks. Instead, watch the more important metrics like Cost per Conversion, Conversion Rate, and Conversions (actions someone took when on your website: purchase, phone call, submitted a web form, etc.). Impressions and ad clicks are important for increasing market awareness and help you get a feel for how compelling your ads are, but remember that getting the website visitor to do something is of utmost importance.
And most important, once you have been watching the right metrics for a while and trends start to emerge, then making some changes to your PPC campaigns and website will be in order.
3. Running Ads with No Well-Defined Action
“What do I want to accomplish by doing PPC Marketing?” The answer to this question is going to be a little different for each business or organization. This is the first and most important question to answer when undertaking any PPC Marketing effort.
Once you know why you are doing PPC, then make sure your prospects know too. In other words, starting with your ads and ending at your website landing page, “tell” your potential prospects what you want them to do in words and pictures (i.e., submit a web form, click the buy button/purchase). It must also be obvious what your potential prospects will get in return (i.e., a free white paper, a product) for doing what you want them to do.
4. No Dedicated Landing Page (mostly for non-ecommerce websites)
Again, getting your PPC ads seen or even clicked on is one thing, but why are you running the ads in the first place? Right, the goal is to convince your potential prospects to ultimately contact you, try something, or buy from you. In order to accomplish this, your landing page/pages must first capture the visitors’ attention, then convince them to stay, and finally elicit them to take an action.
This last “bad PPC habit” is probably the most common reason why many PPC campaigns fail. It is easy to assume that effective PPC marketing and management is limited to what changes are made in Google AdWords (for example), but nothing could be further from the truth. Effective = effecting action. And the only actions that lead to improving your ROI (at least in the short term) occur on your website – and more likely on a well-thought-out, well-designed, and “A/B tested” landing page.
So, yes as the title of this blog states, “PPC Marketing Doesn’t Work”… if done incorrectly. If PPC hasn’t been working for your company, then analyze the situation. Look at the facts and identify what’s underperforming, what’s missing, what needs to be fixed, and where the untapped opportunities are hiding. If PPC “works” for other businesses (and it does!), then it can work for yours’. And no matter what, don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater; because that is not a solution – it’s simply giving up. Instead, fix what’s broken and move forward.
I have only touched on four PPC practices to avoid. And there are certainly more than four – so add your comments below. Don’t feel like leaving a comment? No worries. If you liked this article, then download a free PPC podcast: 7 Tactics for Top Notch Pay-Per-Click Marketing.