Paid search advertising can be misleading in its apparent simplicity. With a little experience in running paid campaigns through search engines, you will quickly come to realize that there is a reliable set of best practices governing this campaign channel. Even better, there are tangible methods for measuring returns, which simplifies the task of gauging the campaign. When you're driving a return, you can call the campaign a success.
But a deeper look into paid ad practices reveals that certain pitfalls could be severely limiting those returns, and, in some cases, may be setting you up for diminishing returns down the road. Maximizing opportunity is a critical component of paid search, and it often requires the involvement of a paid search marketing expert or a firm dedicated to implementing these strategies.
Paid search only offers great returns when campaigns are run efficiently. Here are three common pitfalls that every business should avoid.
1. Using Extensions Excessively
Extensions to a paid search campaign can offer incredible value — as long as they are used carefully and in moderation. As Search Engine Land notes, Google is a big fan of its built-in extensions, which it claims can boost click-through rates by around 30 percent.
But you need to understand that not every extension — even when active — is used in every instance. You shouldn't be cluttering your current search campaigns with extensions that are rarely or never used. Instead, you need to consider which ad extensions align most closely with your campaign's specific goals. Due to the complexities of extensions, you might want to reach out to a search marketing expert who can help you decide which extensions to use and how to use them.
2. Advertising Too Broadly
You can drain your paid budget quickly with targeting that aims too broad. If your daily spending budgets are running out halfway through the day, it's not necessarily a sign that you need to increase spending. Instead, consider refining your targeting even further to increase the relevance of ad exposures. By focusing on specific products and services — instead of a larger brand or category of items — you will restrict the number of potential ad displays and ensure your ads are reaching a highly relevant audience.
If you spend more money, you will increase the volume of your ads, but you won't necessarily increase their value.
3. Constantly Rotating Ads
Ad rotation is very important when testing multiple types of ads and seeing which ones drive the best returns. But this rotation practice shouldn't be a nonstop feature. Once you identify the value of different ads, you should display those of the highest value at a much higher frequency and those of the lowest value at a much lower frequency. You may also choose to stop the lowest performing ads entirely.
It's easy to grow complacent when a search campaign is driving decent returns, but marketing demands a constant, determined effort to maximize opportunities. One of the best ways to avoid these pitfalls and squeeze more value from your budget is to consult with a paid search marketing expert.