Whether you’re just starting out or you’re introducing new sales funnels to capture leads, you will likely have considered pay-per-click (PPC) advertising.

Considered the “quick win” in the world of marketing, PPC allows you to pay for a prominent spot atop search engine results pages (SERPs) and put your brand in front of potential customers in seconds. Unlike SEO, which requires months of optimisation and link building, PPC can offer instantaneous results.

But with so many marketers and agencies claiming to be experts in PPC, knowing who to trust can be tough. You might read a “game-changing” PPC tip in one article and then see it debunked on another website. To give you a helping hand, we’ve rounded up some of the most common PPC mistakes you should avoid in order to maximise your click-through rate.


Bidding for the top position

Although ranking at number one on Google for a competitive search term is the holy grail for many businesses, it’s different in the world of PPC. Bidding for the top spot on Google and other search engines might be the best for increasing brand exposure and awareness, but it can be incredibly expensive. Particularly for expensive PPC terms, aiming to be shown first can cost you significantly more. Rather than putting your budget into PPC positions, focus on search intent and choose long-tail keywords and search terms that will help you convert.


Forgetting geography

Google Ads and Facebook Ads are amongst the best ways to drive traffic to your website and win over new customers. But if those customers are 300 miles away, they’re not going to buy from your retail store. Turn on geo-targeting when setting up your PPC campaigns and double-check to ensure you’re reaching the right user base. And as trivial as it sounds, verify your location before sending an advertisement live – if you run a DIY shop in Ripley, North Yorkshire, it would be a massive waste to pay for clicks from people in Ripley, Surrey.

Even virtual businesses can experiment with targeting clicks based on location to ensure they reach the right audience. A B2B novelty goods company could target Blackpool B&Bs in the run-up to the Illumination Switch On, for example. Make location a key targeting factor.


Casting the net too wide with keywords

When setting up pay-per-click ads, you can choose between broad match, phrase match, and exact match keywords. Those options do what they say on the tin – one will display your adverts for a broad range of keyword alternatives, one will stick to phrase matches, and the other will only show your advert when someone searches for your exact keyword. Although broad match adverts are seen by more users, they cost more and won’t always be relevant.

If you run a local greengrocers in Dundee, for example, you only want to target consumers and businesses that are looking to buy fruit and vegetables. You don’t want to appear when someone in Dundee searches for a banana costume for their upcoming fancy dress party!

Although more time-consuming to set up, stick to exact-match keywords and run through all of the possible keyword combinations to reduce the number of wasted clicks and site visits.


Failing to track conversions

Although Google Ads offers analytics on where visitors end up when they click through to your website, you should invest in proper analytics software to keep on top of your leads. If you don’t, you won’t know exactly which adverts were most effective in converting users, and you’ll continue to waste money targeting keywords and locations that aren’t performing well.

Google, Facebook, and Bing all offer in-depth support documents, with information on connecting third-party tracking tools to your campaigns. Make sure you set one of these up as a priority to gain more insights into your marketing funnels and ultimately increase sales.


Poor-quality landing page

Finally, another PPC mistake that many small businesses make is pushing traffic to landing pages that aren’t fit for purpose. It’s even worse when PPC campaigns lead to a homepage, as they won’t reflect the users’ original search intents and will increase bounce rates. The landing page should align with the ad text and offer users valuable information on products or services you offer – if it does not, they’ll immediately click back and buy from a competitor.

On the same note, landing pages should be straightforward and clean. Clutter them up with lots of unnecessary content like live chat, newsletter opt-ins and navigation bars, and you’ll distract visitors from their original search intent, reducing their chances of converting into a customer. Work with a web design agency to create focused, high-converting landing pages.


If you’re looking for help setting up and optimising your pay-per-click campaigns, reach out to the team at Zudu. We offer a managed per-per-click advertising service to help bring new, predictable revenue streams to your business. Call us on 01382 690080 to get started today.

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