Running Google AdWords (sorry, Google Ads now) campaigns can be highly profitable. Setting up a Google Ad account, choosing keywords and writing text ads are easy. Getting a return on your ad spend? Now, that can prove quite elusive. We’ve seen many companies create these PPC mistakes:
1) Not Understanding Your Personas
Your buyer personas are archetypes of your ideal customers. They provide marketers and agencies with an in-depth understanding of the motivations, drivers and pain points of your buyers. They are an invaluable tool for many communication and marketing activities, including PPC campaigns.
When you understand your audience, you know which corners of the Internet to find them, what kind of language they use, the concerns they have before they purchase and a host of other things that you can use to move them closer towards the sale.
When you don’t, you’re just going to spray and pray and blame someone else when your campaign goes belly up.
2) Rushing to Launch Your Google Ads Campaign
Launching an online advertising campaign doesn’t exactly take a long time, but you do need to ensure that the research and account set up is done properly. Rushing your campaign may lead to mistakes that can drain your AdWords budget and you won’t realise it until you have lost a ton of cash. This is especially true for campaigns on the Google Display Network as those are not bounded by daily search queries.
3) Not Knowing Your CLV & CPA
Your Customer Lifetime Value (CLV) is a prediction of the average amount of profit attributed to each customer. It’s a lifetime value because for most businesses, your customer will buy from you more than once (unless you have serious customer service issues). When you know your CLV, you know how much getting a new customer is worth to you.
If you know that your average CLV is $20,000, then you can be confident that spending $5,000 to get them will still net you a healthy profit. When you (or more likely, your management team) doesn’t know what your lifetime value is, then it’s hard for you to justify spending even $100 to get a new lead through the door.
CPA stands for Cost per Acquisition. How much does it cost you to get a new customer? You might have different CPAs for different product lines and marketing channels. It’s important for you to know your CPAs so that you can place your AdWords performance in context.
Is a CPA of $500 too high, reasonable or very cheap? Without placing it in context, then you wouldn’t know.
When you have these critical business numbers at your fingertips, it makes it easier for you to explain and justify your choices to your bosses.
4) Setting Too Low a Budget
When you first run a PPC campaign, you need to ensure that the budget you set is enough for you to start generating leads. This will depend on the search volumes, competitive CPCs and your profit margins.
If you budget is too low, you won’t be able to show up in the SERPs as your competitors will all be outbidding you. Or your budget may run out before lunch, and your customers only start filling in enquiry forms at the end of the day.
What if you can’t afford it? Then we would suggest that you look into some other marketing activities that won’t cost as much.
5) Targeting Broad Keywords
A B2B firm has to be very careful about how they target their keywords. B2C companies can get away with using broad match for root keywords. We find that that’s hardly the case for B2Bs.
Let’s say you’re selling warehouse storage solutions including shelving and racking. You do not want to target the keywords ‘shelves’ or ‘racks’ since there’s a high chance the people searching for them are not looking for industrial solutions.
6) Pointing Ads to Your Home Page
One of the most annoying PPC mistakes we see B2Bs make in their lead generation campaigns is linking their ads to their home page. You do not want to do that.
When your customers click on their ads, they are expecting you to help them solve their problems. They do not want to be dropped on your home page and be forced to browse through your website, especially when you consider that your competitors will be creating persuasive landing pages that will solve their problems.
7) Thinking PPC is Set & Forget
PPC campaigns require constant monitoring and tweaking to ensure the best results. You don’t just set it up, run your ads and hope that everything will turn out okay. Even if it does at first, you can be sure that it will not sometime in the future.
There is a fair bit of micro-managing when it comes to PPC campaigns from adding negative keywords, to adjusting bids, to testing new ads and so on. Make sure it gets done, either by you, your marketing staff or your PPC agency.
8) Making Decisions Without Data
One of the most wonderful things about the Internet and digital marketing is that it offers you a ton of data to use when making decisions. The amount of information you get when you’re running AdWords campaign is amazing. But it does take time to collect that data.
The problem is that many business owners tend to jump the gun and make snap decisions before the data comes in. This frequently leads to the wrong decision.
For example, after running AdWords on a limited budget for one day and receiving no enquiries, they loudly declare that AdWords doesn’t work for B2B companies. That’s not true at all. You need to be patient and collect enough data before you can make such claims.
What other common PPC mistakes do you think B2B companies frequently make?