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Pay-Per-Click Campaigns Aren’t Working? Try These Next Steps
23 September 2009
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Too many times-
Clients have come to me after their Google AdWords account got out of control and cost much more than they anticipated. What they know is that they spent $2,000, $4,000 or even just $700 and they have no idea how this spend helped them (or if it did). Or they might already know the AdWords investment did not help — but they aren’t sure how to fix the problem.

The answer to this “what should I do” question lives in the numbers.
The numbers will usually tell you what step to take next. You will want to track the following metrics at the very least:

1. Visitors to your website.
2. Clicks on your AdWords ad.
3. Number of sales.

Generally, you want at least 100-200 visitors to your website or landing page in order to make a fair determination of whether your sales page is working.

And if you have 100-200 visitors and no sales, most likely something is wrong with your sales page.

It’s time to test different pages and find out if you can make a sale with landing page changes.

Have someone read your copy and ask them to explain to you what you are selling.
Ask them how they would order (to find out if the landing page makes it easy to find the “buy” button). If they don’t understand what you are selling or how to buy it, you have found your problem.

Another potential source for improvement is your AdWords ad.
After you have 100 clicks on your ads, it’s time to review the statistics — click through rate (CTR), conversions — to find out if your ads are working. If your CTR is low, it’s probably time to edit your copy or test 2-3 ads to find copy that works better. If your CTR is acceptable and conversions are low, then it’s time to work on the landing pages.

Other areas that may need improvement in your pay-per-click marketing campaign:

  • Examine product price: Is it too high? Would a customer who has never done business with you before spend the amount you want?
  • Review your ads: Test ads against one another. Be sure to include the benefit and your keywords in the ad copy.
  • Take a look at your landing page quality score. Google AdWords provides this data for you, so you can improve. You would use the same strategies as used in search engine optimization.

Hopefully these tips get you on your way to maintaining an outstanding pay-per-click campaign. Have more ideas? Please post your questions and comments below.

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Deborah Ager founded ClickWisdom, which helps organizations use online marketing strategies to attract their ideal clients and increase revenue. She welcomes your visit to her site anytime, where her ongoing newsletter and more marketing tips await your feedback. Deborah can be reached via her website or www.Twitter.com/clickwisdom.


    1. Very sound, scientifica advice: isolate the distinct parts (adwords, ad text, landing page, etc.) of what you are doing and address the problem at that step that isn't effectively leading to the next. Thanks!

      1
    2. Very sound, scientifica advice: isolate the distinct parts (adwords, ad text, landing page, etc.) of what you are doing and address the problem at that step that isn't effectively leading to the next. Thanks!

      2
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