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Recently I have been meeting with a lot of companies about Pay-Per-Click (PPC), and none of them seem to be happy with their PPC provider. I have heard of and seen atrocious campaign management, lack of thought put into phrase selection and too many PPC campaigns sending a potential customer to the homepage of a website.
Here are some of the most frequent complaints and warning signs you should be aware of when considering a PPC provider or reviewing your current PPC provider.
- Running on Autopilot – While technology is fantastic and can do many things, it can’t do everything. Sometimes human brain power is just better. For example, I’m writing this as I fly home from Memphis, Tennessee. Now since we have hit cruising altitude of 37,000 ft, I’m sure the pilots have set the plane on autopilot and that’s great—the plane is set on course, and that gives the pilots a break. But when the time comes to perform and land the plane, autopilot just won’t cut it, it’s time for the experienced pilot to take the controls and land the plane safely. The same holds true online. Your PPC campaign should be monitored by a human. Landing pages (just like landing the plane) should be done by an experienced person, You don’t want your landing pages just pointing to your homepage. That’s probably not the most cost effective way to spend your PPC budget.
- You Never Talk to or See the Sales Rep – Notice that I said “Sales Rep” if the person who you are dealing with is just a sales rep then that is exactly who you are going to get. A sales rep whose main concern is selling you something. Too many companies are outsourcing or using software to run your campaign. There is no magic Pay-Per-Click machine out there that automagically creates the perfect campaign and brings customers to you. If there were, everyone would use it and the economy would turn around and we would all live happily ever after!
- Bidding on Your Name is Branding – If you hear this turn and run!!! Run fast and never look back. Look, if people are searching for your name, they already know who you are, and that means your other advertising, marketing and branding has worked, so you don’t have to pay for it again. Secondly, you should come up in the natural (organic) search results for your unique name. You don’t need to brand people who already know you, you have already branded them. Move on and convert them to customers.
- Local Search is the Wave of the Future – Local search…more like searching locally is, and has been here for quite a while. Most people are not turning to local directories to start their search for things to do or services they may need in their area. They are still going to Google, Yahoo, and MSN and searching locallythen adding, “Chinese food in Branson” or “Electricians in Branson, MO” to get that local search. Most people are NOT going to Local.com or the YellowPages. Be wary of the deals that local search directories offer on their PPC services, they usually give you a deal if you pay for a listing in their directory they will give you a deal on the PPC Service. Being in their directory is suggested but not using their PPC services.
- Not Reporting on Conversions – I was recently given a report by another PPC company and they spoke nothing of actual conversions, visitors clicked on an ad and then filled out a form or called a unique phone number. The report had lots of pretty pie charts and spoke about the new search engine BING. Who cares! How many people actually did something from the PPC campaign? Ultimately, you need to know if you are making money or losing money on their PPC campaign dollars.
- You Came Up with the Keyphrase List – This one just blows my mind. If your PPC company asks you for your keyphrase list, they obviously aren’t doing their job. They are supposed to be helping you! Sure they can ask you for your OPINION, but the bottom line is, they should be doing research to identify what people are actually searching for online and develop a list of phrases for you, then, work with you to identify phrases that may or may not fit your product or service. Then they should be testing measuring and changing the campaign as time progresses.
- They Don’t Test and Measure – To my last point! The obvious answer isn’t always the best one or the one that converts the best. This is why you have to test and measure. In no other medium can you be so precise in your testing and measuring, you can know exactly how much each ad drives in revenue for you if you do your analytics correctly.
If you see any of these warning signs or have had any of these complaints about your PPC company, then you are wasting valuable marketing dollars by not taking a proper look at who is providing your PPC campaign. PPC is an extremely powerful method of driving new customers to you. Don’t blow it.
Pay attention to your Pay-Per-Click Campaign!