19 Most Common PPC Mistakes
We Are The #1 Pool Builder Marketing Firm in the World!
Mistakes to Avoid to Save You Money and Get More Leads
Running a successful PPC campaign can be difficult, and frustrating. We have compiled a list of the 19 most common mistakes that we have seen businesses make. Avoid these items, and you will be 19 steps ahead of your competition!
1. Not Monitoring Campaign – #1 most common mistake in all PPC. If you don’t log in every week and adjust to the moving market, your campaign is stale and will get stale results. You need to monitor what is work, and what is not working, and adjust accordingly. You can and will lose some serious cash if you are not monitoring your campaign.
2. Not Tracking All Leads from PPC/No Reporting – How many phone calls/emails did you get this month from your PPC campaign? If you don’t know this, how you do know this is a good investment? Most businesses never track the actual leads that come from their PPC campaign. How can you calculate your return on investment or analyze whether or not you are improving your campaign? Most businesses never see actual reports sent to them outlining all the calls they received through PPC. Huge mistake is not having the right reports to analyze your campaigns effectiveness. Just knowing how many clicks and impressions is NOT enough.
3. Not Adding to Your Negative Keyword List – What is a negative keyword? How many negative keywords are in your campaign? Most businesses have never even been to this feature in Adwords. (I honestly don’t know how any PPC Campaign is run without an extensive list if negative keywords) We use over 200–500 negative keywords. If you’re a gunite pool builder, then you need to add negative keywords such as: “Above” “ FiberGlass” “YMCA” why, because you don’t want to show up for someone looking for an above ground pool. What if someone is looking for job working for a pool contractor. Then you need to make sure you add the word “employment” “job” etc, to your negative keyword set. 85% of pool builders running PPC are NOT even aware they show up for phrases and keywords like this. Waste of money.
4. Not Using The Right Keywords – Unfortunately, Google doesn’t have a pool builder category with Google Adwords, sorry guys. Only pool and spa. Which means your campaign will be built with every pool and spa keyword you can think of. The more clicks, the more Google makes money. Most companies just let the PPC rep build the campaign based on knowledge. I mean they’re the experts right? Wrong you’re. You have to make sure you explain the type of pool builder you’re, so your PPC rep makes sure and only adds keywords tailored to the way you build and sell pools. If you’re a pool and spa builder, well there is no need to spend money on the keyword “spa” You need to focus on new pool sales, and the spas will come with those new pools. Also, every pool builders PPC campaign will have the keyword “repair” and “service” added in them if not specified before the building of the campaign. If you don’t repair or service pools, you better use filters and options to make sure you don’t show up for that search. A business with a limited budget, only needs to be spending money on trying to acquire new pool sales. That is where you see the immediate ROI. From there you can start adding in keywords and phrases like “remodel” Renovation, etc.
5. Not Using Conversion Tracking – Lower your Cost per click. Which keyword is generating the most email form submissions? Which keyword generated the most phone calls this month? Better yet, which keyword cost you the most amount of money, and how many leads did you get off that keyword? Are you lowering your cost per click every month? Is your click through rate continuing to increase? They are questions most pool builders could NEVER answer about there PPC campaigns. Most companies have no clue which keywords produce the best return, but they can tell you the ones that cost you the most. And typically, the keywords that cost you the most, are the ones Google and the Big Box PPC companies LOVE. More money you spent, the more money they make. They are not focus on conversion, just clicks.
6. Not using all Extensions Features in Adwords – Call Extensions, Review Extension, Location Extension, Social extensions, & Seller extensions. These are all features inside Adwords that allow your text ad to stand out big and bold over competitors. O, did I mention most of the extensions are FREE. Yes, that’s right, FREE Clicks. Most companies will never tell you about these features, because the big box PPC companies only make money off the click. If you’re getting free clicks, there is no money for them to be made. Google has already come out publically and stated adding these features help with placement. Google also states we see 70% higher conversions with using extensions in your text ads. We care about calls and emails, the more people on your site, paying or free, the more chances you have at selling a pool.
7. Ad Schedule – What hours are you running your PPC Ads? Most of you’re probably running your ads 24 hours. That is a HUGE mistake and you will only be throwing away money. It is very rare you find someone on Google at 3:30 am looking to buy a pool. You need to track which hours return the best investment for you, and most of you are NOT doing that. Set your hours to 6am-Midnight. This allows customers plenty of time to see your ads, but also makes sure your not wasting money in the middle of the night.
8. Having your SEO person/company running your PPC – You can’t be an expert in everything. Most pool builders just hand off their PPC to there Website GUY or there SEO GUY. You might as well just throw money down the drain. PPC is a totally different world designed by Google best engineers. This program was not designed for everyone, you need to really understand the backend of adwords to run a dominate cost effective campaign. The best recommendation would be, Go with a company that only focuses on PPC Advertising. SEO/Websites, and PPC are three completely different worlds. You want someone that eats and breaths PPC everyday running your campaigns.
9. Not Using Geographical Targeting – Are you blocking out neighborhoods and zip codes you don’t build in. Most pool builders have no idea what that means. One of the biggest mistakes you can have, is showing up in areas, neighborhoods, developments, that you don’t want to build in. That will only lead to wasted money and headaches. Know your market, and make sure you don’t waste money in areas you don’t want to build in. Are you bidding on every city and neighbored you build in? You should.
10. Not having Google Plus and Google Places Page Verified – This is a must !!! Most pool builders have a Google Places and think they’re done. Wrong again. Your google profiles (yes there is more than 1) all need to be filled out 100% with new pictures, and updated content. This allows Google to see you’re still relevant in the market place. Think about it, the more Google products you use, the more Google will award you plain and simple. Heard of Youtube?? Use it!!!!
11. Not Running ReMarketing/ReTargeting – Every Pool Builder needs to be running this product no matter what. And the problem is, most pool builders have no idea what this feature inside Adwords does. It is a “Game Changer” if you ask me. We run it for 100% of all our Pool Builder PPC campaigns. You don’t sell an over the night transaction product. It takes sometimes months before someone decides to pull the trigger and build with you. This product allows your brand to follow the customer on the web during the decision making process. That way your brand is always staying top of mind and more important, being portrayed as an extremely creditable company. This product follows customers on the web for 30–60 days with HD banner ads, promoting your brand. You only see your ad on creditable websites, like Forbes, Wall Street Journal, Amazon, Yahoo Mail, Yahoo Finance etc. This technology is a no brainer in the pool industry. No one decides over night, you need to be there at all times.
12. Ignoring Mobile Traffic – Mobile traffic can account up to 35% of all of your clicks. Most companies have never created a mobile only text ad in there life. Guys, you are loosing out. If you’re a service, or repair company, you better get on mobile asap!!!! If you’re a high-end luxury custom pool builder, building 10 pools a year, mobile probably doesn’t need to be on the top of your priority list. You need to have mobile only text ads and mobile call extensions running at all times. You need to separate your keywords from desktop and mobile and optimize accordingly. You also need to make sure you’re constantly bidding aggressive enough for a 1–2 page position. Other than that, your ad will never be seen on a mobile device. Mobile device clicks can actually cost extremely less than desktop clicks. Take advantage.
13. Not Breaking Down Your Ad Groups Every Month – Most pool builders are running very simple adwords campaigns. I have my 20 keywords, and I show up, Im good. Wrong. You need to have at least 20 ad groups with 20 different ads running. Each ad group should have only 5 and no more than 15 keywords max in the ad group. The campaign needs to be broken down in order to get the best cost per click. If you’re building in multiple cities, there needs to be multiple campaigns tailored only to that city. Google is all about local, you have to show Google you’re local.
14. NOT Knowing the Different Keyword Types and How to Use Them: This common mistake will only waste away your entire budget very quickly. Who here has tried a free Google Adwords Coupon and blew through that free budget with no return?? That’s because you were using the wrong type of keywords. Are you using broad match, exact match, or phrase match? Which is better and when? Learn the different types, because they’re all usual in there own way. And they will save you money by increasing your quality score.
15. NOT Knowing your Quality Score for All Keywords – A big mistake is not identify which keywords are struggling in your campaign. You can tell this by the feature quality score inside Adwords. QS, is the whole game/mystery within Google Adwords. If you can win in this game, your campaign will dominate among your competition. You need to identify all the keywords that have a lower than 6 rated quality score and move them into separate campaigns and design landing pages/new text ads. Or write ads that are specific to the keywords that need help. Just leaving them alone and raising the bids, is NOT going to solve any problem Just make it worse.
16. NOT Bidding On Competitors Names – People this is a must!!! And I would say one of the most cleaver tricks inside adwords. Yet most pool builders never use this tactic. The clicks are actually much cheaper and I hate to break it to you, your competitor is probably already bidding on your name. Protect yourself, and if there is a way to piggy back off a larger company with a larger marketing budget, this is one way to take full advantage. Everyone gets a bid from at least 2 pool builders. You want to be there.
17. NOT Text Ad A/B Testing – Are you A/B testing your text ads every month? Which text ad has a higher click through rate? Which ad has the higher cost per click? Most companies create the ads during set up, and just leave them all year. That is stale and I can guarantee there is a text ad or 2 that is under performing. Don’t let your campaign get stale.
18. NOT Tying PPC Campaigns Into Google Analytics – How do you know if your PPC campaign is increasing year over year, month over month, if you don’t have the proper data to analyze? How do you know the reports you’re seeing from your PPC company are actual results and not inflated ? You have to protect yourself, and Google Analytics is the place to go. It is your home base for all online activity on your website. Use it, learn it, it will help you judge the ROI on your online investment. If you PPC company isn’t using Google Analytics and sending you monthly reports, there is someone wrong, or they’re just what we in the industry call “Rooks”. Imagine if you didn’t know the sales of your business for the last 2 years.
19. NOT Landing Buyers on the Right Landing Page – What is the conversion rate of your landing page? How many landing pages do you use? Most pool companies do the biggest mistake of landing everyone to their home page. You need to test out the conversion on your home page. If you build pools, custom landscape, outdoor living, etc, you need to have specific landing pages for all services you provide. If you service pools, You need a “Service Page” You need to test these multiple landing pages that you are using each month against Google’s quality score and cost per click metrics. This is how you make sure you are getting the cheapest click as well. If you service multiple cities, and have a large radius, you need to build specific landing pages for those cities. Google is about awarding the company that is most specific to the searcher. So if I am Googling “Swimming Pool Repair Ft. Worth” and I am a company out of Dallas, that’s services that area. I need a Ft. Worth page, for Google to give me the best placement and lowest cost.