PPC is the quickest and most effective way to drive high quality traffic to your website and ultimately increase your online sales or leads. However, all too often simple mistakes can lead to an account throwing its budget down the drain, resulting to the famous words ‘PPC doesn’t work for us’. If your account is not hitting its targets then often there are simple reasons why. Commonly, the problem can be traced back to the three reasons below:

1. Understand your keywords!

Spending precious budget on irrelevant terms is the most common way businesses waste their money through PPC advertising. Without proper attention, you can be serving PPC ads to completely irrelevant users. So, for example, a jeweller in Manchester could be serving their ads on the search term “Beyonce’s engagement ring”. Just because this phrase includes the words “engagement ring” this can lead to unwanted clicks on your ad, which will waste your budget.

Irrelevant searches can lead to wasted spend but can also affect your keyword quality scores, which in turn increases your cost per click and can also cause you not to appear when a qualified user searches for your services.

Search term analysis should be one of the first steps to turning your account from the red into the black. Even if your account is hitting its targets, search term analysis is a great way to reduce your costs, meaning your margins are greater. For accounts with small budgets, it is much better to stick to exact match keywords and get these working well before growing your account with broader match terms.

2. Mobile Bid Adjustments

More and more of your customers are using mobile as their primary device when searching for your products and services. However, it’s vital to understand the part that mobile plays in the user journey. With most accounts, the user conducts their research via a mobile before converting on their desktop. Therefore you need a clear and concise strategy with mobile.

For an account with a small budget or an account solely focused on return-on-investment, these ‘research’ clicks via mobile will most likely be viewed as a waste of spend. Before you even consider including mobile within your advertising you must ask yourself:

  • Is my site mobile responsive?
  • Is the user experience/journey simple on a mobile device?

If the answer to the above questions is no, then it would be worthwhile excluding mobile advertising from your PPC account and going back to the drawing board with your mobile site, getting these issues fixed before turning mobile PPC advertising back on.

3. Serving your ads at the correct time

Similar to mobile, it’s important to understand where your site stands within the user’s buying journey. All too often we see plenty of clicks and impressions at 10pm on a Sunday evening, yet no conversions. Is the user actually interested in buying when they’re in bed watching Match of the Day 2, or are they simply researching and they’re going to make their purchasing decision when they’re back in the office on Monday morning?

Like with mobile, if you have a small budget or you’re looking purely for return on investment, then it’s vital to know when your users convert. For example, if the goal of your campaign is to drive calls into your call centre between 9-5, Monday – Friday, then you should be running your PPC campaigns during these hours. There is little sense in targeting people outside these hours, as there will be no one in the office to service the leads.

Another example is if you are focused on B2B sales, like stationery, then again the user is more likely to convert during week days.

However, it may be that there is a trend within your account that a Wednesday lunchtime is outperforming any other time during the week – maybe the user wants your product in time for the weekend – maybe they’ve got a big night out?

Whichever way it works, ad scheduling is a great way to either save you wasted spend, or push for incremental sales.

So remember, if your account is struggling, then it is not simply that ‘PPC doesn’t work for us’, there is almost certainly a simple reason why! Click here to find out how we can help with your PPC campaigns.

Lee Wagstaff