At any given moment, most PPC programs are wasting up to 30% of their budget. Many people feel the frustration associated with trying to make PPC work for them — and perhaps you feel their pain. Point It’s President Frank Coyle weighs in to offer five key insights (and related recommendations) to help end your frustration with paid search.
1. Every time someone clicks on your ad, Google makes money. Do you?
If you take nothing else from this article, that one question should be at the heart of your thoughts on Paid Search.
Adwords is fantastic for generating sales or leads. It’s also a very powerful, advanced platform to manage — so unless someone is managing it full-time, it’s tough to stay on top of.
When we look at PPC accounts, it’s disheartening to see how much money is being wasted. Reasons for waste vary, but often include incorrect settings, wrong keywords, and irrelevant ads. Frankly, Adwords has so many levers to pull and bells to ring that unless you have someone dedicated to staying on top of things, it is not uncommon to see up to 30% of the PPC budget being wasted.
Recommendation: Once a year, get an independent evaluation of your PPC account. This isn’t meant to be a threat or an insult to whoever is in charge of your day-to-day Adwords management. It’s a way to put fresh eyes on your strategy with the aim of increasing the program’s performance and cutting wasted efforts.
2. If your PPC program isn’t focused on profitability, it’s missing the point.
Few companies today realize that using profitability as a KPI for Adwords is a game changer. Once you know how much profit a sale or a lead can generate for your business, you are in the sweet spot for Adwords because you’ll know how much to spend each month in order to hit profitability targets.
What happens when you don’t know how profitable a sale is, or don’t want to share that information with your PPC agency? Just use an estimate instead. The point of this exercise is to encourage your marketing manager to adopt a more business-focused approach, letting your PPC person worry about the nuts and bolts of Adwords instead.
Recommendation: Think profitability, and you’ll be one step ahead of your competition.
3. Not seeing your PPC ads showing on Google? Quit worrying and ask these questions instead.
We frequently get emails from clients because the CEO is on their case after they googled some keyword and the ads weren’t showing. If this sounds familiar to you, here are three common reasons your ads aren’t showing — and what you should know:
- The ads may not be scheduled to run at the time you are doing the search. For example, we only run ads between 8AM and 5PM for many of our IT clients, because results have proven it to be unprofitable to run ads outside those hours.
- The ads may not be running where you are currently located. Let’s say you run a hotel business in Seattle, but searched for your keyword while you are visiting Los Angeles. If you googled “Seattle downtown hotel” your ad may not show because it’s not targeted for the L.A. area.
The daily budget may have been used up. Adwords lets you spread the budget evenly over the day, or lets it be used up as people click on ads.
- Your budget could be used up by two in the afternoon, or by even late morning. Your PPC manager will be aware of this. Don’t worry without cause: off the bat, it’s impossible to say whether the situation is good or bad without deeper investigation.
Recommendation: My advice when ads don’t show? Don’t assume something is wrong. Use it as an opportunity to talk with your marketing manager and understand the nuances of the Paid Search Account. It’s good for the blood pressure!
4. Being in first place on Google is not a strategy. It’s often a complete waste of money.
“My CEO insists we get to the number one slot!” Oh, how I cringe when we get that message from a client. Here’s what you should know about Adwords: it helps you figure out the most profitable position for your keywords. It’s really, really, good at doing that. And guess what? The most profitable place is rarely the first position.
Think about the last time you searched on Google to buy something or schedule a trip. Did you buy from the first Google ad? Probably not, because we all like to do a lot of research before purchasing.
More often than not, it’s a waste of money being at number one. That doesn’t mean that it is never a good strategy, but you just don’t know until you see the data.
Recommendation: Let Adwords and your marketing manager figure out what position is best for your keywords… not you.
5. Every year, Google makes dozens of changes to Adwords. Here’s how to keep up.
Even if you’re spending $20,000 a month on Adwords, missing out on new features (or incorrectly using existing ones) can have a significant impact on your business. And if you’re spend is over $100,000 a month, you have a lot to lose if your team isn’t firing on all cylinders.
Here are a few ways to avoid the big misses:
- Make sure your PPC manager gets a lot of training. Sending them to conferences is not an expense, it’s an investment.
- Don’t rely on just one person doing PPC. Have a back-up person on the team as well. If your expert leaves, all that knowledge leaves with them.
- Consider having a PPC audit done once a year. Talk with people who live and breathe Adwords to make sure your team is truly up to speed.
Recommendation: Consider a PPC Audit once a year . It will save you money and identify gaps for your PPC team to work on and grown your account.