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The Biggest PPC Advertising Mistakes

Doing PPC advertising can be very complex and focuses a lot of time and effort in order to be effective. Melissa Mackey, writer for informs us that one of the biggest mistakes PPC advertisers make is not focusing on conversions, which is one of the fundamental factors and outcomes of PPC advertising.

Even in 2014, where conversion tracking should be robust, many advertisers aren’t even focused on it at all. Mackey provides us with some of the conversion errors she frequently notices.

No Conversion Tracking

Mackey says there’s a lack of any type of analytics or conversion tracking and it’s actually fairly common. She sees this the most frequently with traditional advertisers who are used to offline methods of advertising. Even if they do have a web presence, most of their traffic comes from offline channels that cannot be easily tracked to their source. As a result of this, these advertisers don’t have a good tracking system in place. Because these advertisers probably know they are behind the times, they’re anxious to try PPC. However, Mackey suggests that the first order of business to take care of when launching a campaign is to set up the tracking before even launching so you’re able to track the impact of the PPC investment.

Tracking Code Installation Errors

Mackey says that although analytics vendors make it seem simple and easy to install conversion tracking, it’s actually very technical and challenging.

URL Tagging Errors

This mistake can be minor, yet expensive. Mackey says that the best case scenario for a URL tagging error is that visitors will reach the correct landing page, but their visit won’t properly track. On the other hand, Mackey says the worst case is that the tagging error actually causes the entire URL to break, sending the visitor (whose click you paid for) to a 404 error page.

Not Going Deep Enough

Auto-tagging can be a simple way to get all the detailed data you need in order to properly optimize your campaigns. But some third-party analytics programs require manual URL tagging.

Mackey suggests that we should resist this temptation to simplify this tagging process by only tracking at the engine or campaign level. She says that we must tag down to the keyword level at a minimum in order to successfully optimize our PPC campaigns.

Not Setting Goals

In order to be the most efficient and effective, Mackey suggests setting goals before taking on a PPC advertising campaign. Take the time to define the actions on your website that indicate a conversion has taken place. For example, for eCommerce, it’s usually sales. For lead generation, you’ll want to track leads from fills.

Even if you’re using PPC simply for awareness, you should be tracking actions that indicate visitor interest. Examples of metrics that can be used to indicate conversions could be things such as white paper downloads, views of a key page, or time on a site. Basically, Mackey defines the point is that we must determine the point of your PPC campaign, and then set up the tracking accordingly.

Mackey asks us: “Are you making the biggest PPC mistake by not focusing on conversions?” Don’t forget to keep conversions in mind when implementing your PPC advertising campaign.

If your business would like help setting up your PPC advertising strategy, we’re here to help.

Read the full article by Melissa Mackey.

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