4 Reasons Why Your PPC Campaigns Felt Like A Waste

4 Reasons Why Your PPC Campaigns Felt Like A Waste

“I’ve already tried paid ads and it was a waste.”

When I hear the above statement, it makes me sad. I might be biased, but hearing a client describe how they just couldn’t find the return for their paid search advertising doesn’t mean PPC doesn’t work or can’t work for them.

Improving PPC Campaign Success | Blueprint

So, what actually went wrong?

Why your Paid Search Advertising Went Wrong

Maybe you trusted your computer savvy nephew, or felt confident enough in your own abilities to get your paid search campaign up and running. Maybe your past agencies offered discounted paid search ads as a part of a larger service package, or the campaign was not properly aligned with your overall goals. Whatever the situation, there are probably various reasons that your paid campaign missed the mark:

1. You Have to Spend Money to Make Money

We’ve all heard it before. The question comes down to how much should you be spending. Depending upon your product or service, budget limitations and a high competition industry can be major factors in the success or failure of a campaign and one that you may or may not ultimately control.

While one of the benefits of PPC is the ability to start with small budgets and tightly focused markets. To grow in high competition markets like legal and insurance a single click may have a high cost and a small budget can constrain a campaign. You don’t want to drink water from the fire hose, or from an eyedropper. An overly restricted budget can force your campaign to run on fumes, just as much as an unrestricted or unmanaged campaign can quickly overspend.

2. Staying Relevant

Success in your PPC campaigns can be simplified down to 3 factors, Relevance, Attention and Experience. The initial setup of your account and ongoing optimization to these factors can determine how successful your paid search experience will be. A good digital agency will help you navigate the pitfalls of these factors, investing the research time and planning upfront to minimize obstacles to your success.

Search Term to Ad Copy

I’ve mentioned previously how important keyword targeting can be in the success of campaigns. Negative keywords and match types can mean the difference in paying for clicks on Belt, Drive Belt, BMW Serpentine Belt and Belt Positioning Booster Seat.

Recently I was trying to remember the names of the great lakes, and just couldn’t pull the last one from my brain (Lake Erie). A quick search on google led to a chuckle when a paid ad for online university courses appeared. Obviously this ad missed the mark when it came to relevancy. Granular and specific keyword strategy can make the difference in providing relevant ad copy to the user ensuring you are not serving fashion ads to users looking to repair their vehicles and vice versa.

Ad Copy to Landing Page

Just like the relationship of search term to ad copy, if you are driving users to a landing page where the message just doesn’t match the search or the ad, you are losing the attention of the user.

Using our previous example, if your ad is for a BMW serpentine belt, the best landing page should be for BMW serpentine belt. Forcing a user to navigate through menus of floor mats, vanity plates, accessories and fuel filters to get to the one product they were looking for can be a barrier to success.

3. Getting Attention

You got the click – the ad copy and the search term were in line driving the user to your landing page. You have the stats from your previous campaigns that show the increase in traffic to your site, but the campaign just never became fruitful? Then we need to look deeper.

Landing Page to Conversion

Truth is, not every click will lead to a sale. What can be done is to evaluate the attention ratio of your landing page and optimize the user experience to drive conversions.

Your digital agency can guide you through the process of careful planning, custom landing pages, tailored content and limiting both the number of calls to action and the exit points that do not lead to conversion on your landing pages where possible, and suggest appropriate site re-design suggestions to improve overall conversion.

4. Tracking the Experience

When you’ve got great ads and are driving to relevant content, there are still various factors that can be holding back a good paid search campaign and several can be outside the campaign itself. Tracking user experience throughout the process and understanding competition and competitive metrics are part of getting the information needed for success. Understanding and taking action upon those items make the difference.

There is a difference between agencies that will build and run paid ads, and an agency that will work with you to analyze the data and address core issues of the paid campaign that are affecting overall cost, quality and result. With a results focused approach, attention to detail and data, the right tools and an experienced team knocking down the barriers, there is no reason your next paid campaign should be anything less than a profitable success.

By: Jeff
  • Joshua Bains

    Commit this to memory and you’ll never go wrong re PPC. (I work next to Jeff, and can attest that he’s a vigilant PPC patrolman – if I had to run a PPC campaign I’d take it to him.) Don’t forget it’s not all about the analytics – he thinks through every single permutation of ad copy. And his advice about a landing page adheres to copywriting direct sales wisdom, which is to create a space where you’re going to answer EVERY DIFFICULTY of your prospect. Now, how are you going to do that without a landing page dedicated to what you’re trying to sell?

  • Patrick Price

    Love how businesses think they don’t have to spend money to make money! That’s key sometimes to get the spark you need to light the fire of your business! Once you’ve spent enough on your campaign, that’s when you can back down but there’s always an amount that you have to spend. Good read Jeff!

  • Chuniq Inpower

    PPC is just an amazing opportunity for business owners when used correctly. As I mentioned in my post on paid social ads, paid ad campaigns have great potential to bring in results with a relatively small investment. Being attentive to detail and data is key to devising a strategy that works.

  • Elizabeth Weaver

    Great stuff, Jeff. Glad to hear that so many of a campaign’s next steps rely on results. That’s a great way to alter the strategy and build up that online visibility in the right way. If I was a business, I’d have no hesitations in handing my PPC needs over to you guys. Keep up the great work!

  • Adam Baxter

    Blueprint has always been unique to the digital marketing industry. We give careful thought to the tasks we are given, and never do the bare minimum. Like you said, Jeff, we work with our clients to address core issues and we solve them.

  • John

    Making a campaign relevant to specific search users sounds like a tricky thing to master, but also the key to a good ppc campaign.

  • You make an excellent point about the role of the agency in PPC campaigns. While businesses have many choices, not just any agency do. Hiring an agency that takes a results-based approach can have a big impact on defining success in a campaign.

  • Victoria Vener

    As a writer, of course I’m going to zero in on the importance of relevant landing pages. If you’re not providing users with the information and products promised by your ad, what reason do they have to stay and explore your site?

  • Naima

    Any agency can claim to be the best in PPC, but very few know what they are doing. Great job explaining what businesses should know about PPC and how businesses can benefit from investing in PPC campaigns!

  • Soletia Owens

    Having a solid PPC campaign and keywords that are relevant to your product goes a long way. Starting as a PPC intern, I enjoyed learning all the new techniques of PPC. Wasting your money on non-related search engine results can cost your company a lot of money. It’s best to know your goals and accomplishments for the company. Good Job on the article Jeff.

  • Aaron Ward

    It’s amazing how a negative keyword can affect a PPC campaign. Make sure that your digital agency is targeting relevant keywords that lead to conversion. Once you are able to understand your target audience, you can capitalize on the mistakes that your competitors are making. PPC is a great tool to minimize risk and reach a larger audience.

  • PPC Marketing is one of the must-do marketing practices for a small to mid sized business, whether they are product or service driven. The data tells the marketer and the business what role PPC will specifically play from business to business; for some, PPC wears an awareness hat and for others it’s the closer. Finding how PPC speaks to where your customers are in the cycle will help you understand where to rank it on your “what to invest in” list. Good read, Jeff. Keep up the great work.

  • Erin Li

    Great article on PPC page. It explained the concepts and steps very clear for people who hasn’t heard of PPC before to get a clear image of it’s meaning and importance.

  • Erin Li

    Great article on PPC page. It explained the concepts and steps very clearly for people who haven’t heard of PPC before to get a clear image of its meaning and importance.

  • Erin Li

    Great article on PPC page. It explains the concepts and steps very clearly for people who haven’t heard of PPC before to get a clear image of its meaning and importance.

  • Samantha Torres

    People who have tried AdWords and it didn’t work either didn’t have appropriate expectations of budget or it was poorly implemented. I would guess it’s normally both. Negative keywords and appropriate keyword targeting are essential to getting a meaningful return. Too many companies want to rank for these broad terms without paying for it. As always, gotta pay to play!

  • Kara Lane

    Many companies feel like PPC Campaigns are a waste for these reasons you mentioned, when in fact they can be beneficial. I understand their hesitancy to start a new PPC campaign if the first time around their spend left them with no results. Jeff, your article touches all the important factors when creating a PPC campaign, and how to make adjustments, so you will get the best results. Great article!