I recently talked to a small business owner who realized that his web presence needed a lift and that he lacked the expertise to accomplish that on his own. After a long period of growth, his business was tapering off, and he wanted to be proactive rather than letting his competitors grab an increasing share of the pie.
Eventually the conversation got around to paid search advertising (aka pay-per-click or PPC), and he told me something along the lines of, "Yeah, I’ve been using Adwords for a while, but I’m pretty sure it’s just a waste of money every month."
After taking a look at his account, it turns out he was right.
But it wasn’t because his business couldn’t benefit from paid search. It was because his lack of expertise with Adwords meant that he was paying for a lot of visitors who had no intention of becoming customers.
That didn’t have to happen to him, and it doesn’t have to happen to you either, because that’s where we come in.
Five Ways to Improve Your PPC ROI
So with this small business owner in mind, here are a few of the basics that can keep your PPC account from being a trash can for your marketing dollars. While these tips aren’t ground-breaking, they are at least a good starting point for those who are new(er) to PPC.
What areas are you targeting? If you’re a local business, have you limited your ads to your city or region? If you’re a national, US-only business, make sure your campaigns aren’t targeting Canada too (did you know that’s the standard Google setting, eh?).
Are your bids realistic? In the account for the above business, their keyword bids were so low that their ads weren’t even being shown a majority of the time. Depending on your industry and competition, an ad click could cost you anywhere from a few cents to over $20.
Have you taken a close look at your landing pages? Is there relevant content and a clear call to action for the user on that page? Don’t expect them to dig through your site to find what they’re looking for.
Do you have conversion tracking set up? If you don’t, the money you’re spending on PPC is definitely going to feel like a waste, as you won’t know which sales/leads came from paid search.
Are you using negative keywords? Hopefully you are. If you’re saying to yourself, “What are negative keywords?” the short answer is that they allow you to weed out unqualified traffic that you don’t want to pay for.
These questions are certainly just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to improving your paid search results. And if you’re wondering how you can possibly find the time to wrap your mind around all the intricacies of Adwords, well, maybe it’s time to give us a call.