Having completed many AdWords account audits and reviews for clients whose PPC campaigns were not performing well, nor bringing in the desired return, some of the most common errors identified are as follows:
- The biggest mistake most people make when setting up AdWords campaigns is targeting every keyword or phrase they can think of that is relevant to their product/service. This results in the ad being shown to people who may not even be interested in the product, which, in turn, results in poor quality traffic to your site and a wasted budget. If your budget is limited, you might want to think about longer-tail or more specific phrases to ensure that your ad is found by the right people who are actually looking for products/services just like yours.
- I have seen countless campaigns with phrases set up using more than one different match type and, in some cases, all three match types. In my opinion, there is no real advantage to doing this because, for example, if using broad match, your ad could also appear for the exact match or the phrase match. Narrowing it down to one match type would tidy up the account, making it more manageable and de-cluttered. Also, experience has shown us that it can reduce your costs quite significantly. A well-structured account will have phrases set up using the best match type possible – usually this is broad match for very specific phrases, phrase match for more general phrases and then exact match for very generic phrases. These can then be optimised on an ongoing basis based on performance.
- Poor click-through-rates (CTR) resulting from poor quality ads. There are too many ads which are quite generic and do not mention the phrase anywhere in the ad. A well written ad should include the phrase in the title and/or description lines of the ad, describe a benefit of the product/service and include a call-to-action, which promotes your end conversion goal. This makes your ad stand out from the competition, particularly with competitive phrases that struggle to achieve top positions. Targeted and well-written ads not only result in higher CTR’s, but can also lead to better quality scores and a potentially lower cost per click.
- Landing pages have a big influence on conversions and quality score. Too often we find that keywords are either pointing to the homepage, not relevant to what the searcher is looking for or don’t have very clear call-to-actions. Most often, results can be improved by simply pointing the phrases to the most appropriate landing page within the site and, where necessary, we will collaborate with the client on content and design to make sure they are as effective as possible.
Some of the above, and of course, hands on, proactive Campaign Management have enabled us to turn around some poorly performing campaigns to very successful ones with improved CTRs, conversion rates and ROI.