Spending your company’s cold hard dollars on online advertising is understandably a considerable investment. The good news is with pay-per-click advertising, unlike traditional advertising methods like billboards or TV spots, you only pay when you get a conversion. Compared to throwing an ad out there and praying that it works, pay-per-click is trackable. You can test your ad during the campaign and evolve it based on what’s working.

Despite the advantages, pay-per-click can get expensive if you use the wrong strategy. A single click could cost your business $50 or more, and only result in a quick bounce from your website that provides zero value.

If you’re using paid advertising but aren’t seeing results from your campaigns, here are five possible pay-per-click mistakes you could be making.

1. You Send Users to an Irrelevant Page

When you create any pay-per-click campaign, you should have an objective in mind and strategy to support it. If you want to gain conversions for a specific product and run a campaign for that keyword, the ad should link directly to a page that relates to that keyword.

That means, no linking to a home page, contact page or page that is not relevant to the ad. A user who was interested in the content the ad promoted will now not only get confused and leave, but they might get frustrated your business took them on this irrelevant journey, and lose trust in your business.

Additionally, if you send users to a page that prompts them to enter an email address or sign up for something in order to the content, you not only risk turning users off – you might be violating the pay-per-click ad platform’s terms of service.

5 Pay-Per-Click Mistakes You're Making2. You Don’t Test Your Ad

As mentioned, testing is one of the most significant advantages pay-per-click advertising offers. You can A/B test individual elements against each other to see which ones are notably increasing conversions. Then, you optimize your ads based on that data, and continue to test new elements.

Without testing, your pay-per-click advertising campaign drifts into traditional advertising territory, where your business is throwing out a single message and hoping it works. Use pay-per-click advertising to test:

  • Ad copy
  • Targeting
  • Devices
  • Call to action
  • Landing page

Testing helps your brand save money and deliver more effective ads.

3. You Don’t Use Negative Keywords

Depending on the terms you’re using, your ads may inadvertently get shown in the wrong searches. For example, Google AdWords offers an option called “broad match,” which shows ads to people who search terms that are somewhat related to the keyword your ad is created for. But because the range is so “broad,” you may be spending money on ads when confused searchers click even though your ad has nothing to do with their intent.

For example, if you run an ad for “car show in Denver,” and someone searches “cars in Denver” because they’re looking to buy a car (not attend a classic car show), they may end up clicking on your ad anyway because it’s shown to them. They won’t attend your car show, and you just paid money for their click.

You should use negative keywords to prevent these types of pay-per-click false positives. With negative keywords, you can enter terms you don’t want your ad to be associated with, to increase accuracy and relevance.

5 Pay-Per-Click Mistakes You're Making4. You Don’t Remarket Correctly

Remarketing is a powerful way to target. When you remarket, you can use data gathered from a cookie on your website that correlates with the people who have visited your site. Next time those same people search for a term in your ad campaign, your website will be at the top of the list.

Remarketing can have its downsides, though. One way is when your remarketing list is too small. Maybe you’re using a list from only a short time period, and it’s unlikely your ads will be shown to enough people who are willing to click on your ad when they see it again.

Conversely, your remarketing may be too general. If you use a list of all past website visitors, for example, you may be showing ads to loyal customers or those who don’t exactly fit the campaign you’re running. You should try to match your remarketing efforts as closely with your campaign as possible. In some cases, people may click on your ad simply because they’re familiar with your brand, not because they’re ready to convert, and you could be paying for wasted ads.

5. The Content People Land on Is Low-Quality

Want to pay money to harm your brand? Invest in pay-per-click advertising, but not your content.

Imagine how turned off someone might feel when they click on an ad, only to feel deceived or disrespected by the content they see. If your brand fails to deliver on what an ad says, it can actually get dinged as low-quality by the ad platform itself, and not shown to enough people to matter.

Invest in what people click through on an ad. Creating a specific landing page for an ad is ideal, since it allows you to:

  • Deliver on what you promised in the ad
  • Engage with the person who clicked
  • Gain a new lead or customer

If what a person clicks over to is misleading, full of spelling or grammar errors, or difficult to navigate, you increase the bounce rate for your website and lose out on a potential customer.

As you can see, paid advertising is not as simple as putting up an ad and paying for clicks. It requires solid research, strategy, measurement and optimization in order to be truly valuable.

If your business would like a free paid advertising consultation, contact us here.