Paid search, also known as PPC, is an important tool for your digital marketing strategy, but the problem is that if you're not working with an agency or expert, you're probably making a few mistakes that are seriously impacting your campaign performance, and ultimately, your bottom line.
Let's take a look at three PPC mistakes you're probably making, so that you can start producing better results from your Google AdWords campaigns.
You're Not Protecting Your Brand
Protecting your brand is important on so many different levels, especially if you're in a highly competitive industry.
When was the last time you did a Google search for your brand name to see if your competitor was bidding on it? Yes, that's right. Your competitors are allowed to bid on your brand name-they just can't mention it in their ad copy.
Aside from protecting your brand name from your competitors, there are other benefits to advertising for your brand name. A lot of people don't feel they should have to pay for searchers to click on an ad for their brand name, but when you consider that there very well may be three paid search ads and a map listing before the first organic result is even shown, it makes complete sense, as the ads and map listings have pushed your #1 organic result below the fold.
Additionally, I've seen a direct correlation in terms of positive results for my clients when they're running an integrated strategy that encompasses both paid and organic search.
You're Not Tracking Everything You Can
Hopefully you're utilizing Google Conversion Tracking and have a conversion code on your confirmation page following a sale or a form being filled out, but there's so much more that you can be tracking to add attribution to your campaigns.
Like what, you ask?
Well, for starters you should have your Google AdWords and Analytics accounts linked so that data can flow through each other. By doing so, you can import your Analytics Goals as conversions into AdWords.
So what I'm getting at is that you can use things like Event Tracking in Google Analytics to track things like how many people are clicking on your chat feature, or the number of browsers who are downloading your eBook or white paper, and then import that into AdWords so you can see the additional value that's being driven through PPC.
In order to truly measure paid search success, you need to track anything and everything.
You're Ignoring Quality Score
This is a big no-no.
Quality Score is Google's algorithm for making sure that you're providing searchers with a great user experience, and that your content is relevant.
What I mean by that is that Google is crawling your landing page and looking to see if you're including the same keywords in your campaigns and ad copy on your landing page. If you are, you'll likely see in your campaigns (at the keyword level) that your quality scores are high (QS is based on a scale of 1-10, so anything 6+ is good). The benefit of having a high quality score-aside from the fact that your content will be more relevant to the searcher-is that Google will "reward" you with a lower CPC, and you'll likely see your CTRs increase as well.
Hint: If you can't find your quality score, it's because you need to include the column at the keyword level. Go to Columns > Attributes > Qual. score and vuala.
If you're finding that your keywords are targeted but you still have low quality scores, try adding those keywords to your landing page (in an organic matter) and see if they increase.
Either way, quality score should be a top priority for campaign optimization.
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