Is your self-run PPC campaign failing and wasting your marketing budget?
Spending money and seeing no return is something we all fear; Working hard to make a living and then throwing cash away on a dodgy investment that brings us no discernible benefit is not simply annoying, it can drive a company or individual to the limits of bankruptcy if not dealt with.
Sometimes you need to know when to cut the ties and bail out of a bad situation but equally, you may need to consider that things are not working because you are running things badly and may need help. That’s not me being insulting and if pride is holding you back… Well you know pride comes before a fall.
Here are a few reasons that running a campaign yourself may be a big mistake.
Not Understanding the Nature of Search
Number one is plain and simple. You need a good idea of how people search and what “search intent” stands for. Most people tend to think that backing a broad term that relates to their business will bring more traffic and to some extent that is true. But it likely won’t bring you relevant traffic which will actually convert into a sale or enquiry so you are throwing money away. Understanding the importance of keyword match types and long tail keywords is the keystone to a working campaign.
For example, let’s say you run a cleaning company that specialises in industrial cleaning in Manchester. A typical mistake would be back a key term like “cleaners manchester” as a broad match. Potentially you’ve have a ton of irrelevant, expensive traffic from people searching for cleaning tips, advice, products, shops selling domestic cleaning products etc. That’s your budget drained and no enquiries.
in this case looking at a number of specific search terms will help immensely: “industrial cleaners manchester”, “Professional cleaners manchester”, “Factory cleaning service” are just simple examples and until you’ve run those terms you will not see how it will perform.
Keyword Research & Reality
Following on from this is the fact that many people will either blindly follow Google’s keyword suggestions when setting up a new campaign themselves or simply bang in the keywords they think are important, the above nature of search comes into play. Keyword research is important and getting this right in the beginning is vital.
Google provides us with the Keyword research tool which is extremely useful but cannot always be trusted. Going back to the broad terms, you may have terms suggested that will bring a LOT of traffic but not traffic that is ever likely to convert. You’re paying for that traffic so you need to see a return.
More often than not, the key terms you think you want to include may not be the key terms you should include. Correct research will help get this right in the first place.
Google’s Constant Updates
Google Adwords is an ever-changing beast and quite frankly, if you are not in it every week or at least very regularly then you may get a little lost.
As Google Partners we are certified; with exams we have to retake and pass yearly, we have to maintain a certain number of clients with a certain ad spend, we read up on the latest features and processes as well as using expensive third party software to make our work more efficient and effective.
This is our job.
I can’t imagine keeping up to date on new features and potential ways to improve a campaign if I were trying to do it around running a business. It is a specialist area that requires constant training and learning.
Quality Scores, Ad text & Landing Pages
To achieve top results and positions you may not need to be the top bidder for a certain keyword but you need to have various elements done correctly to enable the ad to bring your the traffic you would like.
There are certain rules to follow with formatting, wording and creating of your ads as well as elements that will aid its position and potentially lower cost. With tools at our disposal like ad extensions, callout extensions, A-B testing… the list goes on and on as well as knowing which landing page to direct the ads to in order to aid conversions. Get these elements right and try to ensure quality scores as close to 10 as possible to aid positions, potential conversions and ideally lower costs.
Over Reaction vs Not Being Pro-Active
You get people with a “set it and forget it” attitude to Adwords who create the campaign and leave it with no maintenance. On the other hand there are the “tweakers” who make so many changes so regularly that they never get any solid data to work from.
Adwords will only ever be effective if logic is applied and updates are based on actual data. Adding keywords or making negatives along with new ads and ongoing improvements are vital to the long term performance but commonly the balance is ignored in favour of too little or too much work that has a detrimental effect.
Conversion Tracking is Vital
Implementing conversion tracking is not particularly straight forward procedure for a non-techie. It involves inserting snippets of code into relevant place of the website in order that you can see conversions properly. An Adwords Agency should provide those codes directly from Adwords for you with instructions and your web developer can easily insert it.
Without conversion tracking you are effectively working in the dark to some extent and though you can optimise around click through rate (CTR) you cannot base your ongoing improvements to the account on reliable data that resulted in a conversion.