7 Reasons Why Your PPC Search Ads Are Not Performing Well

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7 Reasons Why Your PPC Search Ads Are Not Performing Well 1

Here’s what we’ll look at:

  • Driving traffic to a landing page not optimised for lead conversion

  • Not spending enough upfront to generate sufficient traffic volumes

  • Not having correct and effective conversion tracking set up

  • Not having an effective process to follow-up and chase leads

  • Not knowing your target cost-per-acquisition (CPA)

  • Not adding strong negative keywords lists

  • Not having keywords in your ad copy

Approximate reading time: 10 minutes

Google ads, or PPC, is a tried and tested way to drive traffic to your website.

It allows almost anyone with an Internet connection and a credit card to make their business competitive in the online marketplace.

Businesses of any size can now compete for online exposure against brands that traditionally had an inherent advantage with offline customer acquisition. However, just because the opportunity to advertise is there for any business, it doesn’t mean that your return on investment will be high or that you’ll get good quality leads over time. With the sheer volume of businesses advertising online today, having a well-made PPC campaign is essential. Today we’ll be exploring the reasons why your PPC search campaign may not be performing as well as you expected to.

1. Driving traffic to a landing page not optimised for lead conversion

The first reason why your PPC search campaign won’t be performing as well as you expected is that it’s sending traffic to a landing page that is not optimised for converting leads. In our experience, this accounts for roughly 40% of PPC search campaigns’ lacklustre performance. There are two main reasons why sending PPC traffic to a non-optimised landing page can have a negative effect on your PPC campaign performance: Reason 1: Other businesses in your industry who are sending PPC traffic to their website will be monitored by Google (as will you) and ranked on the quality of the landing page. Google will pick up on things like page load speed, relevance, and time on site. This means that Google will check how well your ads and landing pages compare with those of similar PPC campaigns. If you’re worse off, you’ll be paying more in the auction, meaning fewer profitability. Reason 2: Your PPC landing page isn’t offering a compelling or satisfactory reason for the visitor to convert. If the content/CTA isn’t clear, concise, or relevant and there’s no easy conversion journey, how can you expect a visitor to convert? Both of these reasons can be avoided by having unique PPC landing pages that are highly optimised for lead conversion.

2. Not spending enough up front to generate sufficient traffic volumes

The second reason why PPC search campaigns are not performing as well is that businesses are investing too low an amount of money up front to generate sufficient traffic. If you’re spending little on PPC, you will therefore get little traffic, which means fewer data. How will you know what is a profitable keyword and what isn’t if you’ve only got five clicks? A low budget can also limit how much you can bid and therefore makes it harder for PPC ads to reach decent positions in Google results pages, limiting their exposure and resulting in fewer conversions. You need to make sure that you’re investing enough into PPC straight away to discover if PPC advertising can be successful for you and your business.

3. Not having correct and effective conversion tracking set up

The third reason why PPC search campaigns are not performing well is that businesses either don’t have the correct and effective conversion tracking set up or they don’t know how to use it. You can waste a lot of time, money, and effort on PPC if you’re not successfully monitoring your campaign performance. You’ll need to create tracking events in Google Tag Manager, create goals in Google Analytics and import them into Google Ads. If you’re unsure about any of what’s just been mentioned, then take the time to speak with a PPC specialist who can help set up PPC conversion tracking in order to measure your PPC effectiveness. This will help you identify opportunities for improvement and make more informed business decisions when it comes to bidding.

4. Not having an effective process to follow-up and chase leads

Getting PPC search campaigns right takes effort, time, and significant resources. once you have PPC search ads traffic coming in you need to be proactive and chase potential customers through phone calls, email follow-ups, and social media messaging. Having an effective process in order to provide a framework for how to follow up with leads generated through PPC will help you maximise the profitability of your paid advertising.

5. Not knowing your target cost-per-acquisition (CPA)

Another PPC performance killer is ignorance about your target CPA. Not knowing your target cost-per-acquisition (CPA) will result in PPC campaigns running forever as you chase conversions that are never profitable. In order to maximise profitability, make sure that you know what a good CPA looks like for PPC search campaigns. Even if it is just an estimate. Setting a target cost-per-acquisition (CPA) means you can calculate how much you’re willing to pay per conversion and stop PPC search campaigns that are costing your company money.

6. Not adding strong negative keywords lists

Make sure that PPC ad groups include an effective list of negative keywords, otherwise, PPC search ads will continue to target irrelevant people which will be a waste of valuable time and money. PPC search ads that don’t include negative keywords can also struggle with ad rank and quality score. This will have an impact on how high your position on the search engine results pages will be and therefore potentially see fewer conversions. A PPC specialist can help you create effective PPC ad groups with effective PPC negative keyword lists to maximise the performance of your PPC search ads.

7. Not having keywords in your ad copy

The PPC search campaign mistake that catches most PPC advertisers out is not having the right keywords in their ad copy. If you have PPC ads running but they’re not generating a good quality score or have a low click-through-rate (CTR), then one of the main reasons could be that they’re not targeting the right keywords. If PPC ads aren’t performing well, then it’s time to analyse what keywords you’re using in your ad copy. Whilst you don’t ever want to stuff your copy with keywords, you need to be mindful that Google is comparing the relevance of the search term with the content of your ad. The most effective ads have that fine balance between effective sales copy enticing visitors in and the right keywords matching the relevant, high-intent search terms coming through.

Conclusion

Paid advertising can be a great way to gain new customers and PPC search ads are no exception. If you have PPC ads running but they're not generating a good quality score or have a low click-through-rate (CTR), then hopefully the list above will help you start analysing your own campaigns and how you may go about improving them moving forward.

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