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Top 10 mistakes to avoid in Paid Search

Top 10 mistakes to avoid in Paid Search
Summary: We take a look at the top 10 problems in setting up Paid Search (Pay per Click), and what you can do about them

When we speak with new customers, we frequently hear stories about how Paid Search didn’t work for them previously. However, when we look on Google, we often find their competitors investing in Pay per Click for lead generation.

So why does Paid Search work for some businesses and not others?

Sometimes it’s simply the nature of the business, but most of the time the answer is that the Ads were not set up correctly.

Here are the top 10 mistakes that you should avoid when setting up a paid search campaign.

#1 Not doing your keyword research homework

If you want to attract site visitors through paid search, you need to know what phrases your potential customers are using when searching for your products or services. Don’t assume they know the technical terms, and don’t assume that the words they use stay static. Most importantly, don’t guess – there are many  tools and professionals out there who can help.

#2 Getting your timing wrong

If you have a pizza delivery business, you probably don’t want your ads showing at 8am. Whilst getting no clicks doesn’t cost you anything, it does rather defeat the object of the exercise to advertise when your target customers are typically not looking for businesses like yours. Use Ad Schedules to help.

#3 Choosing the wrong Ad format

Whilst Text based Ads are effective for many businesses, there are other options available which you should consider. If you sell a physical product, Display Ads (images) can work well. If you sell a product or service which tends to need consideration,  Remarketing Ads (Sites you’ve visited which pop up when you are online) can be very effective. Maybe Facebook or Bing Ads might be more effective in reaching your target consumer?

#4 Running all Ads on Broad Match Keywords

Broad match keywords help you to get found for all of the elements in a search phrase and for phrases similar to the ones you have used. For example, if your broad match keyword is “Mens’ Jumper”, Google will rank you for “Jumpers” “Cardigans” and “Mens’ knitted tops” and so you’ll appear for womens knitwear and mens’ sweatshirts searches, as well as mens’ sweaters. The more irrelevant searches shown your Ad, the higher the likelihood that you’ll get a wasted click. Test exact match and negative keywords to fine-tune your Ad targeting.

#5 Not using Location Targeting

If you are a local plumbing business in Chester, you probably only want to target customers in the Cheshire area. Running ads in London might extend your brand recognition, but if you can’t service customers in London, chances are you’ll waste money.

#6 Inappropriate Landing Pages

If you see an advert for a Women’s fragrance promotion from a Department store, you expect to see more details of the promotion when you click on it. If you are taken to the home page, you are left to work out where the offer is yourself. Great Landing pages help your site to fulfil the promise in your Ad.

#7 Setting the wrong budget

The amount you should spend, is very much dependent on your customer lifetime value. Naturally, you’ll pay more to acquire a customer who will either spend a large amount initially, or who will spend a lot over time.

#8 Tracking the wrong KPIs

Every marketing campaign should have goals. For Paid Ads, you should forecast and track visitor numbers, clicks, conversion rate (did they do what you wanted them to) , your spend and cost per click as a minimum. This enables you to spot any changes in trends and adapt your strategies accordingly.

#9 Setting and Forgetting

Search listing pages are a dynamic environment, so your Paid Ads need to be proactively managed to achieve the optimum ROI. Create marketing strategies which have the most impact on your consumers and align your spend with them. Track what works and what doesn’t and apply lessons learned to achieve your goals.

#10 Trying to do it yourself

Learning how to manage a Paid Search campaign can be fun – but it can also be costly. Any mistakes you make, you pay for. Literally. If you want to avoid that Christmas Campaign still running at Easter, or you want to be sure that each Ad is sending customers to the right place on your site, using a professional will save you time and money.

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