Although it’s not technically part of search engine optimisation, paid advertising is often considered an important part of digital marketing for websites that can usually work in conjunction with an organic traffic-based strategy. There are some similarities with SEO and PPC (pay-per-click), although there are many key differences too. Here are some of the most common mistakes people make when starting out in the world of paid Google listings.
1) Not bidding high enough
Some people are overly cautious about spending too much on clicks, and they limit their spend too much which allows their competitors to get ahead of them. Higher bids mean higher positions, so if you’re saving money on bid amounts you’ll probably be too low down to see good results. If you set your maximum bid above what you are really willing to pay, this will give you a competitive advantage in terms of ad impressions, and you will rarely have to actually pay that much for every click.
2) Lacking focus in AdGroups
A single AdGroup should only apply to people searching for one specific solution. All ads within a group need to be close variations on a theme in terms of what they are promoting, even if the wording is totally different. With organic SEO, you want to have specific landing pages so you can optimise them for particular keywords. The same is true for paid ads, as you will get better results with a narrow focus.
3) Using search and display network together
By default, when you set up a campaign Google Adwords will assign the setting “Search network and display network” automatically. This is never the best solution, because your text ads on the search network will be aimed at people who are currently searching for your keywords, while your display network ads will be targeting people who are browsing other sites at the time. Since these users are at totally different points in their search, how could you possibly optimise ads for both of them? The answer is you can’t! Run separate campaigns for best results.
4) Ignoring AdWords features
If you are spending time optimising your campaign and you’re serious about getting the best results, you really need to commit to learning about all the additional tools and features on offer beyond the basics. You are very unlikely to get the best possible conversion rates from your paid listings if you only use the traditional text-based ads, while your competitors are exploring other options such as sitelinks, callouts, call-only adverts and so on.