Google Adwords is a great tool! Careful use can lead to
legions of highly targeted visitors breaching the moat
around your site, and demanding to pillage your products! On
the other hand...
Adwords is also a great place to drain your advertising
dollars if you're not careful. Like any other automated
system, it requires constant feeding and attention to keep
you from wondering just why you spent hundreds of dollars
and received a paltry return on your investment. Here's 7
great ways I've found to do just that, (and yes I've been
guilty of several of these to one degree or another.)
1. - Not getting enough keywords, and I don't mean just
numbers. Good ones. A lot of people run a search on their
favorite keyword tool and pick the top ten or twenty words
or phrases getting the most traffic, thinking somehow that
THEY will beat all the others using these keywords. There is
a reason why these keywords are so popular: everybody and
their grandmother are bidding on them! A much better
approach is to come up with at least a couple hundred,
better a couple thousand words that you have a shot at
getting a high ranking for. After all, if you have 1800
keywords and can get a top 8 (first page) position for most
of them, you'll see a lot more clicks than you will chasing
the top dollar words. If you get a hundred of the lower tier
words giving you a couple of visitors a day, well, you do
the math. Not only that, but often the less expensive words
are altogether more specific, delivering far more targeted
2. - Not creating adgroups. You should use this function! It
can help you focus your advertising much more effectively.
By arranging your keywords in tightly focused groups of 10-
30 phrases, and writing a keyword-specific headline for each
of them, you have a much greater ability to see what's
working and what's not. Also gives you a chance to test
different headlines and text copy.
3. - No negative keywords. This you gotta do. And it's so
easy. Simply add -free (or whatever else you don't want
associated with your searches) and you won't end up paying
for a lot of clicks for people who weren't interested in the
4. - Using only broad keyword searches for their keywords.
When you're paying for this stuff, you want to be as
specific as you can, particularly if you're playing in a
very competitive market. Why hope that a broad search will
return someone interested in what you're selling? Better to
get as focused as you can on the words they may be searching
for. Google helps you with this by giving you more
information on the impressions and click-throughs than you
can handle, but be pro-active, and prune the dead wood after
100 or so impressions. If they haven't produced by then, the
odds of them improving by leaps and bounds are not great.
5. - Not testing and rotating your ads. Even a small change
in a headline or ad text can make a HUGE difference!
Particularly headlines. Your ad text won't be read if the
headline is boring or uninviting. Learn to write killer
headlines, and do not be afraid to test and rotate your ads.
Also don't be shy about deleting ad groups if they're not
clicking through enough. Remember, you've got a list of
several hundred words; either these aren't right or the
headline/text need tweaking. Test, test, test!
6. - Not using the content targeted feature wisely. This is
a tricky one. Google, in it's infinite wisdom, seeks out
alternate avenues to show your ads, thus delivering
substantially more clicks to your campaign. Trouble is,
though, you have no control over this, and it IS your money.
If you are attempting to run a tightly focused campaign on
limited funds, this one is a potential budget buster. It can
easily rack up a lot of clicks, but are they of worth to
you? In my experience, the CTR is ALWAYS a lot lower. I
guess it could make sense for large campaigns with a very
popular product, but for the most part, you'll want to be
very careful. Which leads me to my last, and most important
dollar-drainer of all.
7. - Not having a GREAT sales page. This one is the hardest
to fix, but without doubt the most important. All the clicks
in the world won't mean a thing if the sales page you're
sending your hard-earned visitors to doesn't get the job
done. If it's your product, there's hope! You can address
these issues, and after testing and more testing, can
correct and come up with a page that sings! If you're an
affiliate, you might consider a separate landing page, where
you might offer a sincere testimonial in an attempt to
presell the product more effectively. (That is not a bad
strategy even with a good sales page, as personal
recommendations go a long way!)
There you have it. 7 Great ways to lose infinitely more than
Keith Thompson is the webmaster at Internet Marketing Here & Now, where you can find all sorts of information concerning pay-per-click advertising.