Pay-per-click (PPC) is one of the greatest ways to advertise your product or service. It enables you to interact with a prospect right at their time of interest. Only the Internet allows a business owner to market his service at precisely the time a prospect is looking and PPC is a great way to do just that.
While PPC is an amazing marketing tool, it’s also an easy way to throw a lot of money away – if you don’t know what you’re doing. If you want to grow your business and develop a sustainable lead generation process you owe it to yourself to discover what PPC has to offer.
The following are among the most common mistakes we see businesses make. If you’re making any of them, the good news is they are fixable.
1. Directing everything to your home page
One of the biggest mistakes we see people make is they set up a PPC campaign but direct everything to their home page. There are very few times you would want to bring someone to your home page, especially from an ad they just clicked. You’ll almost always end up paying more for each click and you will have a much lower lead conversion rate.
An example would be a contractor that does remodeling, new construction, roofing and siding. Someone is searching for a contractor to help them with their kitchen remodel. They click the ad and end up on the home page that has a bunch of choices. Many times, the one the person is really interested in is below the fold, so they have to scroll down to see it. Usually, they get confused and leave the site. It doesn’t take much to hit the back button when you’re browsing.
2. Not using landing pages
Part of what determines how much you pay per click is the “Quality Score” of the page you direct the ad to (the landing page). When it has original content that is relevant to the ad you have a much greater chance of a higher score. In most cases your home page is too generic and it offers a bunch of choices where a well done landing page can be very specific and convert a visitor to a lead.
When your landing page is closely related to the ad and you have relevant content, you get a much higher conversion rate. Of course that’s assuming you have an effective call-to-action.
3. No lead capture forms
Even when most businesses use landing pages, they don’t have anything in place to capture the prospect’s contact information. If you don’t capture at least a name and email address how can you interact with the visitors to your site who don’t buy at that time? Leaving everything up to your Contact Us page will cost you a fortune in lost opportunity.
4. No conversion tracking
Conversion tracking is code that you put on certain pages of your site so you can track if a visitor becomes a lead or if they make a purchase. This is a must have. I can’t tell you have many times we’ve looked over a business PPC campaign and they weren’t doing any conversion tracking.
That means they had no idea if what they were doing was working or not. When you do it right. PPC can have a tremendous return on investment – but you have to track it so you know what is or isn’t working.
5. Not grouping keywords by theme
In many cases, businesses lump all their keywords into one ad group. Most of the time that will lower your quality score, causing you to pay more per click. When you group your keywords by theme, it’s much easier to have a relevant ad and landing page, and it’s easier to optimize your landing page to get a higher quality score.
There are a lot of variables to track when doing PPC. If you have the time to educate yourself properly it can be very lucrative for your company. If you don’t have time then do yourself a favor and seek out a certified professional to help you. The improved conversion rate along with the lower cost per lead more than justifies their fees in just about every case.