5 Reasons Your PPC Campaigns Are Not Performing

Posted by Mark Thompson - November 29, 2010 - SEM - No Comments

With pay-per-click advertising becoming more and more expensive, it is important to understand how to make sure your campaigns perform to their full potential.  There could be a number of  things you are doing that are prohibiting the performance of your campaigns.

1.  Your Budget is Too Low

Let’s say you are a personal injury lawyer and you are using Google Adwords to try and increase the number of leads you generate via the web.  For one, that is an extremely saturated industry, with lots of competitors who are trying to do the same thing you are.

In order to actually see results, you are going to need to have a pretty large budget.  With PPC, it is all relative; the more you spend, the more traffic you can drive to your site.  If this lawyer only has $500/month to spend and his average CPC is $10.00, that is only around 50 visitors you can drive to your site.  Not a lot, when you still need to be able to convert those user once they get to your site.

Of course, every industry is going to be different and have different CPC, but the point is if your budget is very low, you are not going to generate enough traffic to see an impact.  It is true that you can see an impact with paid search even with a small budget, but at least in the beginning you need to get enough traffic to be able to test keywords, ad copy, landing pages, etc…  Then once you have a campaign dialed in, you can see results through small budgets.

2.  You Are Bidding on the Wrong Keywords

Have you done the proper keyword research to understand what your target market is searching to find what you do?  Even if you did the keyword research, how do you know they are the correct terms?  One way to do this is to test different keywords and monitor your CTR and conversions.  Just because you are gaining a lot of traffic through a certain set of terms, doesn’t mean you are bidding on the correct terms.

Yes, you are probably on the right track if you are seeing high click-through rates, but the other side of that are your conversion rates.  It may be that the keyword is relevant, but your ad copy is too broad for the user to truly understand what it is you are offering.  Make sure you are using ad copy that reflects the landing page offer.  Try to find the keywords that not only bring high CTR, but high conversion rates.

3.  Your Campaigns are Too Narrow or Too Broad

Depending on the clients budget, will help you decide on how narrow or how broad I want to start the PPC campaigns.  If they have a small monthly budget, create a campaign that is very narrowed and focused.  From there build your campaign out by adding keywords and testing ad copy if needed.  This way you can keep the campaigns targeted and minimize the wasted ad spend.

If the client has a larger budget, there is more room for testing keywords.  Try creating multiple campaigns, ad groups and keywords to cast a wider net and gain more search volume and data to analyze.  By having a larger budget you can expand your campaigns faster and dial in on campaigns that are working, because you were able to test a larger set of keywords.

Either direction you go, you want to make sure that your campaigns are not too narrow, where you are not receiving any impressions/clicks…or else you will not get any conversions.  On the other hand if your campaigns are too broad, you can bring non-targeted traffic that can equal wasted ad spend.

4.  Your Landing Page Isn’t Set to Convert

So you have outstanding click-through rates, have tested lots of ad copy to see what increases clicks, and added/removed keywords to dial in your campaigns.  However even with that, you are still not seeing leads/sales.  Have you thought it could be your landing page or a the specific area you are sending people on your site?

If you want people to complete your ultimate goal on your site, you need to make it painfully easy for the user.  Your landing page needs to include:

  • Appealing Design
  • Great Usability
  • Limited Options
  • Compelling Copy and Offer
  • A Lead Generation Form or Contact Number
  • A Competitive Advantage
  • Demand for Your Product/Service (a MUST)

5.  You Didn’t Offer Anything of Value

Ok, so now you have dialed in campaigns and a well designed landing page…but still you are not seeing good results, now what?  Are you offering anything of value?

A potential client I am talking to is in the shaving industry.  He provides all natural shaving products that he is converting from retail stores to an e-commerce site.  The client says that the biggest problem his market has is they don’t know the proper way to shave and why his all natural products will give you a superior shave over other products.  So what do you think he needs to do?  He needs to EDUCATE his users and potential customers about why it is important to use his products.

Content sells!  So in order to sell more of his products, he needs to educate the user on the proper way to shave and why by using his products it will give them a closer and smoother shave.  Creating an instructional video or downloadable PDF on the proper way to shave, along with free shaving tips would help establish credibility and give the user the knowledge to understand why they need to buy his shaving products.

The point is that you need to understand what your audience needs, then give them the resources and tools needed to educate them on why they NEED your product.

About the Author

Mark Thompson

Mark is the creator of StayOnSearch and president of Search Creatively, a full-service Internet Marketing Company located in Raleigh, North Carolina. He also contributes to many industry related blogs including Search Engine Journal and is active on Facebook and Twitter. Follow Mark on Twitter