I frequently have the opportunity to look into someone’s Adwords account, and almost without fail, I’m greeted by the sight of red flags flying.
It’s painful to see because this signals that good marketing money is going to waste.
So what should you be looking for in your Adwords account? Well you know your PPC is in trouble (and the flags are flying), when:
Broad Match terms are getting lots of clicks and few if any conversions
Yesterday I looked at an account where there were over 200 clicks on a broad term, just one conversion, and at a cost of $227.
When I looked further, there were more of them – yikes!
Broad matches can be like runaway trains. They are the “catch all” terms that can be triggered by hundreds of different phrases that you may not have thought of. If they are not watched carefully, they’re off to the races, and so is your money!
A good rule of thumb is if the term is not profitable after 30 -60 clicks, then lower the bid or delete it.
PPC ads are pointed at your home page
I came across an account like this the other day and it made me wince. Yes, this still happens even with all the focus on landing page optimization.
The home page is the last place to send traffic. No, not even the last place. Don’t ever send PPC traffic to it. There are simply too many distractions to take the searcher away from what it is you want them to do.
Think of the landing page as a desert island. The searcher is completely stranded. Nowhere to go. No navigation bar, no prominent links to other places in the site.
It is okay to have links in the footer where they are out of sight. But otherwise, no links. The only way off the island is via the action you want them to take. Like “Download Now”, “Register Here, ”or “Add to cart”, etc.
Most of your keywords are in the same ad group
I recently looked over an account that had one campaign and over five hundred keywords – wait for it – in one ad group.
This approach worked several years ago, but nowadays Google is very clear on how it wants adgroups setup. Here’s the approach to use.
Group keywords into themes. Build ad groups and write ad copy for each of these themes. Then create landing pages for those themes.
The keywords-ad group-landing page is the cornerstone of a great Adwords campaign. Google loves this approach, so be sure to stick to it.
So there you have it. Three ways to stay out of trouble with PPC. Take care of these ones and you’ll be well on your way to a successful PPC program.