8 Pay-Per-Click Mistakes That May Cost You Money

SocialB Digital Marketing Blog Last modified: 27 Apr 2015 by Eleanor
Paid Search (PPC)

Pay-Per-Click can be a costly marketing channel if it is not set up and managed correctly. There are various techniques and settings that should be considered in relation to your business objectives before a Pay-Per-Click account is set to live.

Building any pay-per-click account should be researched well, a strategy should be developed and the account set up should be formulated in a highly targeted format.

At SocialB we want to help and support small, medium and large organisations, locally and internationally. This blog post explores 8 Pay-Per-Click mistakes that may cost you money.

1. Your settings

Account and campaign settings should be the first point of call. These settings should be considered carefully. These will include:

  • If you only deliver to the UK you should only target this location. You would not want to pay for traffic from the US for example.
  • Ad scheduling – are your audience buying at 3 am in the morning? Turn your ads on only when you know conversions or objectives are met
  • Start and end dates – if you have an offer running for one month only ensure the start and end dates are set

2. Going too broad

Keywords and phrases run on different match types, the default setting is commonly ‘broad’ unless you change it. The broad match opens up your budget to all keywords that are similar or contain the keywords you’re bidding on. This can create irrelevant traffic with high costs and no conversions. Tighter targeting is best practice to ensure relevant, high-quality traffic and costs that balance ROI.

3. Not using negative keywords

Data is imperative to aid optimization. Negative keywords help filter the quality traffic from the poor traffic. If you sell dollhouses for children you would not want to show for ‘collectable dollhouses’. Therefore, to cut this traffic, and the cost related, ‘collectable’ should be added as a negative.

4. Not checking your quality score

Many people make the mistake of pushing budgets up and up until they are up to position 1. However, the quality score would be a far stronger and long-term strategy to focus on. If your quality score is strong there is potential your cpc will be lower as your potentially delivering quality to the client. Work on your content and UX to ensure the consumer is at the heart of your efforts. This will then aid quality score and a lower sustainable cpc.

5. Non relevant keywords

Non relevant keywords are often guesswork additions to pay-per-click campaigns. There must be a logic behind the keywords/phrases added to adgroups. The best way to do this is to utilise the keyword planner tool. Don’t over think the keyword/phrases as this can lead to irrelevant traffic and high costs.

6. Not tracking your conversions

If you are not tracking conversions how do you know what is working and how your ROI is looking? Costs could be accumulating, however, what are you getting for those costs? Ensure tracking in the form of e-commerce or Google goals is set up.

7. Assuming position 1 is the most effective

Many will insist position 1 is the best and drives the most traffic; conversions etc and costs are pushed to reach position 1. This is not always the case. You might be in position 1 however your ad copy could be far less interesting than that used in position 2 and 3. Testing is imperative!

8. Not optimizing your mobile budgets

The cost you pay on desktop pay-per-click may be different to those for mobile CPC. The competitor space could be different. Consider a lower CPC for mobile initially and test what is working well. The default is often slightly higher than potentially needed.

If you have any questions relating to your PPC activity or need a little advice, give us a Tweet @SocialBuk

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