Pay-per-click advertising (or PPC for short) can seem like the perfect solution to the age-old problem of finding new business.
Simply wait until targeted customers are searching for your product and service, and then swoop in with a dazzling ad and win the business! What could be easier or more convenient?
Unfortunately, a lot of Google AdWords and other PPC campaigns don't start out so smoothly. The potential for big profits is still there, but three common problems tend to get in the way:
1. Low click-through rates on your PPC ads.
Your search engine ads are only effective if potential customers click on them. So what can you do if only one percent (or fewer) of people are bothering to click through to your business website?
The first step is to temper your expectations. Because "organic" non-paid search results tend to get much higher traffic, earning a click-through rate of even 3 or 4% is usually a good sign – especially in competitive industries.
Beyond that, your best bet is to write more targeted ads (those that appeal only to specific searches and terms), raise your bid prices slightly to earn a better position, and experiment with different forms of ad copy until you find the right message.
2. A low Quality Score.
Many new online advertisers are surprised to find that AdWords doesn't work on a straight "auction" system. The more relevant your ads seem (and the more potential customers click on them), the higher your "quality score." And the higher your quality score is, the less you have to pay for each click, or to hold a top position.
Of course, the converse is also true: When you have a low quality score, Google and the other search engines punish you with poor ad positions and high keyword costs.
When you find yourself facing that kind of trouble, the best thing to do is follow the same steps you would to increase your click-through rates – namely writing more targeted ads, making smaller, more focused ad groups, and increasing your bid prices. Over time, these steps should fix the problem.
3. Not enough conversions.
In some ways, this problem represents a mixed bag. On the one hand, you're getting lots of traffic and a healthy click-through rate; but on the other, you're probably paying a substantial fee without getting many new customers.
When you have lots of clicks and very few purchases, the problem usually isn't with your PPC ads, but your landing pages. Assuming that you're looking for the right kinds of buyers in the first place, you might just need to tweak your marketing copy, product photos, or other details to encourage sales.
Alternatively, you might want to consider giving potential buyers a "stepping stone," like a downloadable report or e-mail newsletter, in case they are hesitant to buy right away. While it might not be as good as an actual sale, it's better than letting customers get away altogether – and, it's a great way to build trust.
Need help turning your online marketing plan into a profit center? Call or e-mail our team today to see what we can do for you.