I have been working in PPC management for a few years and I love my job, industry, clients – everything about it. For this reason, when anyone suggests PPC is a waste of time, a con, or really easy, it gets my goat a bit. Not that I have a goat to give, but y’know. I always feel that these comments undermine the industry and the clients who are elated with the results they get from PPC (see some of ours here). So here are 10 of the comments I’ve heard that drive me up the wall.
1. “I know how it works – Google just want my money.”
Firstly, Google is a business, of course they want your money. In the same way that the lovely man who washes your windows just wants your money – because that’s how he makes a living. BUT if you structure your account properly, clicks are cheaper. Google make clicks more expensive if you’re trying to cheat the system or if your activities on AdWords will lower the quality of the Google SERPs. They’re trying to keep the search results relevant and helpful – Not siphon off your pension fund.
2. “I can get your adverts showing in top position in a matter of minutes”, said the dodgy salesperson.
You know what? So can I. I’ll just put your max CPC bid up to £5,000 and we’ll see what happens. PPC agencies should never give guarantees like this because they will just waste your money. The way to reach top position is to improve quality score, play the Google game, and improve your account/site. Which leads me onto the next myth.
3.”The 20-Minute PPC Work Week.”
This, believe it or not, was the title of a blog posted by what is meant to be a site in a position of authority on the subject. This blog suggests 3 minutes a week is enough to ‘improve campaign relevancy’ which is the broadest way this could ever have been written. Dedicate time to your account – Don’t try to fit it into 20 minutes.
4. “I’ve tried the display network and it cost me a fortune. Never again.”
This is like saying “I tried to make my own bread once and it went wrong. So now I don’t eat bread.” Display campaigns need to be targeted and monitored in order for them to perform well. Don’t shy away from the idea just because it didn’t work the first time.
5. “You should organise your account by match type.”
No. No you shouldn’t. You should organise your account by grouping tightly themed keywords together, with a range of match types in each ad group. This is just plain wrong. There is no benefit of structuring your account by match type.
6. “Cookies? Urgh – not on MY computer.”
I’m sure people hear the work ‘cookie’ in this context and think of viruses and pop-ups. Cookies help us do our job. They help us see how our clients’ websites are performing to see how we can improve YOUR user experience. So stop being such a scaredy cat and accept them please!
7. “This keyword is performing badly so I’ll delete it.”
That’s it? No ad split testing? No bid changes? No search query report? Now that’s just lazy. If you keep working that way you’ll have no keywords left in your account. Try to improve the performance of keywords before getting rid of them.
8. “The more money I throw at it, the better the results.”
I agree to a certain extent, as a higher budget allows you to receive more clicks. However, if you put lipstick on a pig, it’s still a pig. Upping your budget t0 epic proportions does NOT mean you are a high flying go-getter, unless the account is performing well. If you want to spend stupid amounts of money, add the word ‘help’ or ‘cheap’ into your account on a broad match. If you want your account to perform well, pay it some attention as well.
9. “The more changes made to an account, the better.”
WRONG. Firstly, sometimes Google freaks out if you make too many changes in one go and your traffic can nosedive as a result. Secondly, if you increase budget, add new keywords and change your ads all in the same day and your traffic increases, how will you know what change caused this? This is why PPC is an ongoing strategy, it requires numerous small tweaks, not one massive overhaul.
10. “PPC spends too much and is a waste.”
Ironically, the people who say this are usually the same people who pay a magazine £20,000 to have an advert placed, assuming it will be successful because of the reader demographic. With PPC, you are targeting users literally the second that they are interested in what you have to offer. With print, broadcast, or other traditional methods, you pay to show an advert and cross your fingers that the 20k wont be a waste. With PPC, you only pay when a user clicks so it’s low risk and highly targeted. I know it’s still new and scary (over 10 years old but hey who’s counting?) but that doesn’t mean it wastes money or time.
What we’ve learnt:
Salespeople – Stop being dodgy. People are worried enough about money without you conning them. Do a good job and sell honestly.
Account owners – Don’t be worried. You can set a daily budget to make sure you don’t go overboard and if you employ an agency to manage your PPC, choose a Google Certified Parner (like RocketMill – shameless plug). This means they receive additional support and tips and tricks from Google so they’re always one step ahead of other advertisers.
Bloggers – Just remember, people rely on your advice so make sure it’s helpful and accurate.