Pay-per-click (PPC) is an extremely useful tool – when used properly. However, when not fully and carefully implemented, it can be not only useless but also costly. We have identified the five most common PPC mistakes made by online marketers, as well as some suggestions on how to give them a wide berth.

1. Not Recognising How Your Market Is Segmented

You need to know from the outset that not all clicks are alike. Your target market can be divided into three general segments: search, display and social. Search covers those audience members who are actively seeking out information on your brand. Display refers to those who might come across your ad purely by accident, as it displays among whatever content they may be looking at. Then there’s social, which obviously means those people who have come across your content on social networks. They could be searchers or displayers. These segments need to be targeted and measured separately and with tailored approaches. Divide your audience into silos and treat each one accordingly.

2. Not Having a Strategy

Doing anything without a strategy usually doesn’t turn out well. To use a fishing analogy, you can’t just throw out your line and wait for a bite. You need to carefully select your bait, put on your waders and perfect your fly fishing skills. You need to know who you’re aiming at, how to reach them and what your exact objectives are in doing so.

3. Using “Broad Match” with Short-Tail Search Terms

As we’ve mentioned elsewhere, short-tail keywords seldom render the best results. In PPC, you may want to bid on short-tail keywords anyway. But, if you do, you should never opt for broad match. Always opt for “exact match” and select all available modifiers. This will make your PPC spending far more cost-effective.

4. Writing Bland, Emotionless Content

You need to write your copy with your click-through rate (CTR) in mind. Generic-looking content with no emotional hook is guaranteed not to deliver a lot of click-throughs, as there is nothing to entice the reader. Make sure your ad content is attention-grabbing and, most importantly, emotionally charged. Give your audience a reason to click through.

5. Running Your Conversion Funnel without Testing

Finally, never ever run your site and conversion funnel without testing them. Use analytics to determine whether it meets all your objectives and is providing the kind of user experience that leads to conversion. Recruit a few test users and check out their responses, make sure that the funnel is working across all devices and check that your analytics are running accurately.PPC is not something you want to gamble on. By avoiding these primary missteps, you can ensure that your spending is always worth it.

WSI OMS is an expert at PPC. Contact us to discuss, strategise and implement an effective, high-conversion PPC plan.

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