PPC (pay-per-click) marketing and advertising has the potential to be a very quick method buy web traffic and bring targeted visitors to your website, who are likely to buy and provide you with an excellent return on your investment. If a PPC campaign is not managed and implemented correctly, it can prove to be a liability to a business instead of an asset.
An Investment with Little or No Return is a Bad Investment
PPC campaigns are generally easy to setup and activate. It takes only a short amount of time to sign up for a Google AdWords account, follow the setup instructions, set a budget, and begin running your ads. There are several success stories out there of businesses that have setup and run their own PPC campaigns with great returns and increased profits. However, for every success story there is a story of money lost on PPC due to poor implementation and a lack of time and ability to focus on the PPC campaign.
Here is a list of potential hazards business owners can run into, when trying to operate their own PPC campaigns.
- Poor Keyword Selection
General, broad keywords and phrases may appear to draw a lot of clicks and traffic, but they are very poor choices, when it comes to finding customers and buyers online. If you run a business that sells tires, for example, and you bid on the term “tires” as one of your main keywords in your PPC campaign, you will waste your money for two main reasons. On the surface tires may seem like a great keyword to bid on, because it is searched millions of times per month. However, the competition for the broad term “tires” is very high and you will have to bid too much per click to rank well for the term, driving your marketing costs up and up. Also, the term “tires” does not indicate buying intent. The person searching may want to learn how tires are made, instead of wanting to buy tires from you.
- Misuse of a Daily Budget
Oftentimes, people do not understand the potential number of clicks they can receive in a day for poor keyword usage. When you buy web traffic and choose broad keywords, you will increase your per click cost as well as the number of useless, untargeted clicks you receive. It is possible to burn through your daily budget in a few hours and have nothing to show for it. There are also examples of unaware business owners accidentally setting their daily budget to the monthly budget amount and blowing their entire monthly PPC budget in a day.
- When the World is Not Your Customer
Local businesses are able to take advantage of PPC marketing by targeting the geographical locations, within which they operate. Many local businesses use the internet to attract visitors to their website for one of two purposes … to either research online and then come into the store to buy, or to buy online and then come into the store to pick up the item(s). It is not uncommon for business owners, who are unfamiliar with proper PPC campaign setup, to mess up geo-targeting and either target the wrong location or include the entire world as their customer base. This can become very bad for business, when numerous refunds are required, because a local business does not ship their products.
- Ignoring Negative Keywords
Most first timers or PPC AdWords are not even aware of what negative keywords are, let alone how to properly use them. Ignoring negative keywords can lead to several unwanted and costly clicks on your PPC campaign.
- PPC Ad and Landing Page Inconsistency
It is important to maintain consistency throughout the PPC ad and click process. You PPC ads should be use relevant keywords correlating to the search terms entered by the searcher. Your PPC ads should use ad copy that entices searchers to click on them, using legitimate advertising and claims. Also, the page that the searcher lands on should be consistent with the keywords and ad copy used in the PPC campaign. If the landing page is not what the searcher expects, based on their search and the ad they clicked on, then they are highly likely to leave and cost you money with no return. Maintaining consistency throughout the entire process and on your landing pages will provide you the best opportunity to convert to visitor into a customer.
With proper setup and PPC campaign management, PPC can be a very effective means for generating visitors and building revenue. If done incorrectly, PPC can quickly become a money pit and a very effective means of losing your business a great deal of money.