How NOT to waste money on PPC

Louise Rohan avatar
how not to waste money on ppc advertising

If you don’t have much experience with pay-per-click (PPC) advertising, it might seem like a bit of a minefield. While it can be quite complicated, with the right expertise it’s a brilliant way to easily reach the top of the search results AND get clicks that convert into sales. 

Lots of people think PPC is just about throwing money at an ad campaign and seeing what sticks, but that’s the inefficient way of doing things. We’re here to help you make the most out of your PPC campaigns and avoid wasting your valuable ad budget.

For this article, we are going to assume you know what Keywords are and have some level of familiarity with basic PPC terminology. 

Location Targeting

This one is fairly straightforward. If you own a small local business such as a construction company, there’s no point targeting the whole of the UK with your ads, as you won’t be able to provide services outside of the local area. 

Once you have started your PPC campaign, you can then analyse the campaign’s performance by location. This will allow you to focus your budget on areas where you are seeing the best results. 

Avoid broad matches 

Broad match allows your ad to match a wide range of keyword searches that are related to your topic, not just the specific keywords. Broad match is great when you have a huge budget and want to reach a wider audience. However, if you have a limited budget it’s much more beneficial to stick with phrase or exact keyword terms. 

Broad matches may mean more clicks on your ad, but this isn’t necessarily a good thing. The ads are less targeted, and therefore less likely to be relevant to the visitor. As a result, you end up wasting more money on clicks that won’t lead to conversions. They are a default option on Google Ads, so don’t forget to turn them off! 

Use long-tail keywords 

Long-tail keywords are great for a lower budget, because they tend to have less competition than short-tail keywords, whilst still having a high search volume. People who search for these long-tail keywords also tend to have higher purchasing intent, as they have searched for something specific to your product or service. 

Check the search queries

Keep an eye on the search queries. By using the search terms report on Google Ads, you can see what people are actually searching for and clicking on, and see how close these searches are to your chosen keywords. 

By identifying new search terms with high potential, you can adjust the keywords you are bidding on to reach a wider audience. 

Negative keywords

Make sure to exclude search terms that are irrelevant to your campaign by adding negative keywords. You can also add keywords that are similar to your product but not quite the same so that you avoid people looking for related topics that aren’t your product or service. 

It’s sometimes helpful to add words like ‘free’ or ‘cheap’ to your negative keywords so that you only match with searches looking for paid products.  You can also review your campaigns to check where irrelevant terms are sending traffic to your campaigns. 

Appropriate bid strategy 

Avoid using an automated strategy when you don’t have the data to inform it. For example, if you don’t have any conversion data, don’t use the maximise conversions bid strategy. This type of automated campaign needs data in order to work effectively.

Don’t just set up your campaign and leave it to run on autopilot. You need to regularly check that your bid strategy is working, and adjust keyword bids as needed. You should also be actively carrying out keyword research and keeping up to date with changes. 

Landing pages

Someone has searched for one of your keywords, seen one of your ads that was relevant to their search and has clicked on it. Now they get to a landing page that appears cluttered and confusing, with no clear call-to-action, or one that is slow to load. If the landing page is not consistent with the advert they clicked on or doesn’t clearly demonstrate the product or service they need, they will click away from the site. Having a great landing page is a must, otherwise, those high-quality leads will slip through your fingers without converting. 

Now you’ve got a few tricks up your sleeve to put you ahead of the competition through paid advertising. Still a bit baffled? Our Google-certified team of dedicated PPC experts are here to help! Get in touch to find out what we can do for you.

Louise Rohan avatar

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