For most businesses running a pay per click (PPC) campaign can be a daunting experience. Platforms like Google AdWords have become increasingly complex and many small businesses, in particular, have had costs spiral out of control when attempting to manage accounts themselves. We’ve been managing client’s PPC accounts for over 10 years and we’ve put together answers to the top 8 questions our Google AdWords certified consultants get asked.
1. Why are we not seeing our PPC adverts?
This is number one on our list and the question we encounter the most. There is no single answer to this but a range of factors that might result in you not being able to see your adverts. Here are the most common in order:
Budget: The top reason for not seeing your advert is that your adverts are being limited by your daily budget meaning they are not eligible to show in every keyword auction. A simple check of your campaign’s lost impression share due to budget will show you if this is affecting your campaign.
Ad Rank: If your ad rank is low then this will affect the number of auctions that your ads are entered into. The higher your ad rank the more likely it is that your adverts will be placed in the results by outranking your competitors. You can check this by checking your campaign’s lost impression share due to rank.
Keyword: Are you searching for keywords that are not in your advertising campaign? Double checking what keywords you’re targeting will make sure that you’re not looking for a fictitious needle in a haystack.
Scheduling and bid adjustments: Your campaign might not be set to run during certain hours or times of the day or you may have lower bid adjustments set. Also if you have device bid adjustments setup these may exclude searches or limit them from devices such as mobile if your website is not mobile friendly.
IP exclusion: IP addresses can be excluded at the campaign level and if you’re not seeing your adverts from your business location then your IP address may have been excluded. This is often the case to stop employees accidentally clicking on your own adverts by clicking on the first paid result in searches when navigating to the company website.
2. Does AdWords help to increase our organic rankings on Google?
The short answer to this one is no. However a lot of businesses that use AdWords make improvements to their website over time to improve their ad ranks, keyword quality scores and landing page experiences. These improvements can help to make their website better suited to the needs of their users and in turn, lead to better organic rankings. It’s a common misconception that there is a direct link between AdWords and improved organic rankings where in reality this is not the case.
3. Can we use a competitor’s business name as a keyword?
Unless your competitors is a trademarked term then yes you can use a competitor’s business name as a keyword in your campaign but here’s the real question – should you? These clicks can often be expensive and with little benefit. Someone who is searching for your competitor by name already knows them and is probably a loyal customer and not likely to jump ship.
4. What happens if our competitors keep clicking our adverts?
Google has a sophisticated system that identifies invalid clicks and impressions that automatically removes them from your account data. The system looks at a range of things such as manual clicks from the same IP address, clicks by automated tools, robots or extraneous clicks that provide no value to the advertiser. You will not be charged for invalid clicks and most of these are filtered out of the data in your AdWords account.
5. Why has my cost-per-click increased?
There can be a number of reasons for increased PPC costs but here are the most common:
Competition: As more businesses enter a space and bid on key phrases this can cause costs to increase. Also if your competitors increase their bid prices then this, in turn, can lead to higher cost per click prices for your business.
Quality score: If your quality score drops then this can lead to an increase in your cost per clicks. Some factors that affect quality score include: click through rate, ad relevance and landing page relevance. So if you’ve changed your adverts or landing pages then this may have negatively impacted your quality score.
6. Will increasing my budget guarantee more traffic and sales?
This really does depend. If your campaign is currently well optimised and generating sales then increasing the budget should help get more traffic and sales. If your campaign is limited by budget then you could be losing out on potential sales. Spending more money on AdWords makes the most sense for campaigns which have a positive ROI.
7. We don’t have an ecommerce website so why do we need conversion tracking?
It’s not just ecommerce stores that can benefit from conversion tracking. Most websites have some form of call to action that is valuable to them. From a simple enquiry form submission or newsletter signup to a whitepaper download or call back request. All of these are examples of conversions that can be tracked to help evaluate the performance of your AdWords campaign.
8. Why are our adverts not at the top?
The main reason is that your ad rank is not high enough. There are two main factors that make up ad rank which is your maximum cost per click and quality score. A short term solution to get higher positioning is to increase your maximum cost per click but if your quality score is low then this may be a poor choice. Work to improve your quality score and ad rank and you should be able to get higher ad positions.
ROI should be a key driver in deciding on ad position as it may not make sense to be at the top if you are not getting a positive return from the higher ad position.