The world of pay-per-click (PPC) advertising campaigns can be especially daunting, even to those who are fairly familiar with it. The way digital platforms are utilized in marketing is constantly evolving, and there is a pressure on B2B marketers to be able to move with it all. Whether an expert or a beginner in PPC campaigns, there’s so much to think about, it can be very simple to overlook certain areas. When every click costs money - you can’t afford to make mistakes that could (and have) quite literally cost millions!.
We’ll guide you through some key mistakes made by anyone and everyone at one point or another on their PPC journey, so that you can learn from what went wrong and hit the internet with the strongest PPC campaign possible. PPC is definitely worth it - businesses can make $2 for every $1 spent on PPC when executed properly and running at its full potential.
For some finer details on PPC and how it can become a staple part of your marketing department, have a little look at our free guide Effective multi-channel models for marketing and sales.
For now though - here are eight key mistakes to avoid in your B2B PPC campaign…
1. Rushing to get it started
Every marketing department has deadlines, especially when launching a big campaign that’s expected to bring a high volume of interest to the business. This is where a majority of PPC campaigns slip up - in their rush to get started. It’s important to remember, that as soon as campaign is live (even if you’re still working on it behind the scenes), your performance within the search engines results is instantly effected and you’re charged per click straight away.
PPC is great because it’s so flexible, however this comes at a price as it’s easy to get complacent and think “oh we’ll, just go live now and change it later!”- a costly mistake that can be detrimental to your rankings. Needless to mention that rushing into a campaign can mean you end up using incomplete landing pages, or you forget to complete all of your integrations with other marketing channels. Jumping the gun on campaigns can also mean you don’t have the appropriate conversion tracking in place to measure your success - it’s a dangerous field covered in places you could slip up.
Take your time - be 110% sure you’re ready to go with PPC, and you’ll be very thankful in the long run you took that extra 24 hours to ensure everything was ready to go. PPC ads get 65% of all clicks when someone is actively looking for a B2B product or solution - so make sure you can convert those clicks properly.
2. Not bidding on your own brand
When starting a PPC journey, it seems foolish to bid on your own brand name, as surely you’ll come up organically through SEO if someone was to search specifically for you? It seems like a legitimate way of thinking, however in the world of PPC it’s just not the case.
There are several reasons you need to bid as rigorously on your own brand as you do on other keywords:
- Control – when people find you organically it’s hard for you to know about it and measure the success of your SEO. PPC gives you direct results to track when it comes to progress. Loads of people might be searching your brand name - but how will you know?
- Brand presence - blending organic results with PPC means your brand will dominate when you are directly searched. If there is a lack in PPC here, people may ask why, if you’re such a big player in the market, they can’t find your ad?
- They cost less - it’s true! Keywords that stem from your brand name cost you less than non-branded keywords. Definitely something to bear in mind if the purse-strings are tugging.
- Not letting your competitors overtake you - Arguably the most key reason of all - safe to say it looks pretty bad when someone types your business name into google and four other companies come up first… not good.
3. Setting all keywords to “broad match” to bidding on your own brand
When setting up AdWords, you have several options to play with including how broad the match is on searches. It’s common for people to select “broad match”, so they appear on more searches. Seems like great logic - but it can work very quickly against you in PPC.
If you’re selling a graphic design software, and have “broad match” on that keyword, then when people search “free graphic design software” your business would come up. As every click counts, you’d then spend a lot of money on trying to interest people who are after a free solution - which is both costly and intensely unhelpful. PPC has been proven to increase web traffic by as much as 300% - you don’t want to pay for all those clicks when nothing will come of it!
Look a little deeper into the options on offer, such as “phrase match” or “broad modified”, where people must match a specific phrase or certain wording for your add to come up - this way you’ll only gain the clicks that will be of use to you and may convert into that all important enquiry!
4. Making decisions without data
We all do it in marketing - when something isn’t going the way we want it to, we make change. This is important to PPC of course, but many businesses make the mistake of implementing changes based on time instead of data.
As a simple change on PPC takes instant effect on your placement and Quality Score (QS), you shouldn’t rush into making a change just because “it’s been a month and we’re not seeing the results we want”. Modify your way of thinking - make decisions based on the amount of activity driven data you have instead. Say to your team “we’ll change X when we reach Y number of conversions” as opposed to “we’ll change X next week”. This mentality could save you making hasty decisions that might prove detrimental to the hard work already done on your QS as well as your budget.
5. Going overboard on keywords
PPC can be a bit like going into a sweetshop, there’s loads of potential in front of you, and it all looks so good! But be warned - too much can be bad for you. This is very true when it comes to keywords - for the average account, only 12% of keywords in play will actually lead to a sale. That means 88% of them are not performing, and eat up around 61% of your overall spend on PPC!
When looking into keyword groups, go for 10 or less in each group and spend time regularly assessing their performance. After a sufficient run, get rid of any keywords bringing you the wring sort of clicks. When choosing your keywords select carefully - how many of them actually appear in your marketing campaigns now? The more closely linked the keyword is to your company’s ads and content - the better they’ll perform (see point 7 for more on that…).
6. Not using negative keywords
As well as cleverly selecting the words you want people to associate with your businesses, you also need to think of words you definitely don’t want associated. By not setting up negative keywords, you’re missing out on the opportunity to subtly target your PPC to an audience that you’re more likely to convert to a sale.
If you don’t want clicks from people looking for “free graphic design software”- then make the word “free” a negative keyword. It’s an easy aspect of PPC that many companies forget to look into and work to their advantage. This does mean you’ll see less overall clicks - but your rate of conversion will be far higher as you’re only attracting people who genuinely are searching the market for your product/solution. Make it part of your regular reviewing process - for every keyword in play, think of a negative that could work against you.
7. Forgetting to align every aspect
This is crucial, and so often not followed through thoroughly enough. For any AdWord campaign to reach its full potential, you need to align the keyword with the advert AND the copy. It sounds like an obvious point to make, however many people forget that Google gives a higher QS to PPC campaigns where the keyword appears in the ad and on the landing page as part of the main copy. The higher your QS, the better you’ll rank and (if your QS is between 6-10) the lower the cost!
Remember this in selecting keywords - if it’s hard to integrate a word into the landing page - then why are you encouraging people to associate it with you? Your landing page is like a quick sales pitch, pulling that prospect over the line. Ensure you have a contact form present on any landing pages in circulation so people can contact you! Nothing is worse than losing someone’s interest just because they can’t get to you.
8. Only checking on your campaign periodically
If you’re serious about having a PPC campaign that works, it needs daily attention from you and your team. The prices per clicks are constantly changing, and you need to know every day where your campaign stands as well as how you’re ranking. Tracking your results daily mean that you produce a hugely accurate report when it comes to making changes later (data-driven of course!), and you’ll know straight away if something goes wrong so you can change it before the cost reaches a danger zone.
It’s very easy with PPC to lose money and not realize - you need to keep your eye on the ball constantly. 95.3% of clicks go to the top 4 results from a search, so it’s never been more paramount to ensure you’re up there making yourself present.
PPC has been known to raise brand awareness by up to 80%, it’s definitely an area worth your time to look into if you’re not already doing it. As always, you just need to execute a little bit of care in making sure everything is how it should be, and be committed to your campaign the whole time its running.
Don’t forget - our free guide Marketing to the Modern B2B Buyer has plenty more information in about B2B marketing. If you found this interesting, you should definitely give it a read!
For further reading, head to our free resource hub and have a read of the eBook below.