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3 Ways You are Wasting Your Money on PPC

B2B PPC (pay-per-click) marketing, especially on Google, is one of my favorite topics to cover with new clients.  It is especially fun if they already have a PPC account, because there is usually plenty of room for optimization.  After some work, our clients usually end up paying less money for more results.

Google PPC is unique, because just about every tool you need to measure results, and then make positive changes based on those results, is at your fingertips.  The problem is this: most B2B PPC advertisers have no idea that those tools exist, and/or they have no idea how to use them.  

Many well-intentioned marketers configure AdWords accounts, see clicks coming in, get excited, and then forget about optimizing their campaigns.  Because they mistake traffic for results, and then don't make ongoing improvements based on the data, performance and ROI suffer.

If you have a pay-per-click account, here are three ways that your money may be getting wasted.

Don't Waste Your Revenue Dollars by Not Optimizing Your PPC Campaign

1. Forgetting About Conversions

PPC ads are supposed to drive traffic.  But if you are only tracking the number of visitors to your site from PPC, you have no insight into how that traffic affects your bottom line.

Use conversion/goal tracking via Google Analytics, and import those goals into your AdWords account.  Then, you'll be able to tell how many clicks/visitors took buying actions on your site.  A visitor that converts is much more valuable to your business than one that doesn't.  And, because you are paying per click for PPC visitors, non-converted clicks cost you money without giving you a return on your investment.

2. Not Understanding PPC Match Types

If the symbols ", [ and + aren't included in your PPC account, you are likely wasting money.  That's because they represent match types, which are ways to target your keywords.

The " " symbols denote phrase match keywords, the [ ] symbols denote exact match keywords, and the + symbol denotes broad match modifier keywords.  All three are more specific than broad match keywords, which don't have symbols.

Here is what Google has to say about Match Types.  The broader the match type, the more leeway Google has to match your ads to visitor's keyword searches.  It isn't always a bad thing, but in general, the more leeway Google has, the more money you will end up spending (they are a public, for-profit company after all).  You can always cap spend by setting your budget limits, but a better strategy is to use keyword match types to better target your account and prevent wasted spend.

3. Not Knowing What Metrics and Options Mean

Do you know what a CTR is?  Do you know the difference between a converted click and a regular conversion?  Are you using AdWords Extensions?  Do you have negative keyword lists in your Shared Library?  If all of this sounds foreign to you, you are probably wasting money on Google PPC.

Google gives you plenty of tools and metrics to get and measure ROI on your AdWords advertising.  They have a Help site and forums where you can learn about them and get answers to your questions.  There are also plenty of Google AdWords Certified partners (like SVM) who can help you optimize your account and understand how to use these metrics and options to your advantage.

Don't Waste Your Ad Dollars

Your company works hard for every revenue dollar you earn.  Don't give those dollars to Google when you don't have to.  Watch for the three pitfalls mentioned above, and make sure your campaigns are optimized for results.

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