Many PPC beginners or business owners/executives that try and run their own PPC accounts enter into it with a fatal flaw in their thinking. It has to do with expectations. While PPC can be an immediate pay-off, that doesn’t mean it will be – or that it will be as much of a pay-off as you think it will be, at least at the start. This kind of thinking surely has claimed many a PPC account. When the inexperienced run their own campaigns and don’t see the results they expected, they often conclude that PPC doesn’t work or isn’t worth their time, etc.
This kind of thinking is a danger zone. It’s like saying a hammer doesn’t work when you tried to paint your walls with it. Of course not – you didn’t use it correctly. Others are likely making money where you could be, but you need to understand the nature of how to use the PPC channel to take advantage of it.
PPC is a Project, Not a Switch
Ironically, the nature of PPC platforms feed this mindset. It’s just so darn easy to start running ads on keywords or websites! Plus, it’s getting “easier” all the time (ironically, it’s also getting more complex at the same time). Combine that with the fact that most amateurs are not using PPC systems correctly, it’s no wonder I hear many stories of people that tried PPC and failed. But, the truth is that you’ve got to approach PPC as a project, like an engine that you’re building. It takes time to build it. Plus, you’ve got to know exactly how to build it, or it won’t work how it’s designed to.
Although there are many differences between the two channels, in this way PPC is like SEO. Sure, with PPC you don’t have to wait months before you get good results like you usually do with SEO, but it’s also not going to be performing its best on day one.
The Danger Zone
To sidestep this danger zone, you’ve got to be really careful to avoid mistakes that Google AdWords and other search platforms won’t share with you (and have in fact been known to encourage). Most of them are made simply out of ignorance of how features of PPC platforms work and the nature of the targeting you are choosing. Without being too detailed (and certainly not including everything), here are some common mistakes that can put you in a danger zone. Do any of these apply to you? Are your ads showing:
- In inappropriate geographical locations?
- On sites where your target audience doesn’t hang out?
- On search queries that have nothing to do with your offer?
- On incompatible networks?
- For your best-performing keywords ONLY through Google AdWords?
- Without having proven themselves?
- But don’t send users to a landing page specifically about the search query?
- On keywords and you have no idea how much that visitor is worth to your business?
- Only on popular keywords for your industry?
- Without answering the question imbedded in the search query?
- With content crafted to attract the click, not the conversion?
- On competitive non-brand keywords, but not on brand keywords?
- In search results page positions where ad extensions are used without applicable ad extensions?
- Too often in the #1 position because you want more traffic?
Another Way to Stay Out of Danger
One valuable lesson we could all learn is the value of sticking to what we’re good at. I’m sure you’ve had the experience of getting yourself into situations where you wish you would have asked or hired someone. For me, there isn’t a better example than when it comes to being handy around the house. After many tried (and failed) attempts, I’ve finally learned that I’m just not going to save money, time or energy by trying to do that DIY project. Hiring someone or recruiting a handy friend ALWAYS carries better ROI for me personally.
When it comes to setting up and running PPC campaigns, the same choice looms for the account owner. If you can’t keep up with the constant evolution of the world of PPC and keep yourself out of the danger zone by understanding exactly what you need to do, it would probably pay to hire someone who’s handy with PPC.