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10 Most Common Pay-Per-Click Mistakes

Since we manage a number of Servpro PPC campaigns, I have noticed that other franchises often make silly mistakes with their pay-per-click programs. Lack of testing, click fraud detection and mistakes while creating PPC ads are a few amongst them. Fixing all these mistakes could mean thousands of dollars worth savings every month or an extra revenue up to 70%.

Here is a list (since we all love these lists don’t we?) which consists of 10 most common mistakes committed by some franchises with their PPC (paid search) advertising campaigns.

1. Bidding Broad – when setting up your campaign it is extremely important to avoid any kind of laziness. In order to attract maximum traffic every industry has a giant keyword but there are lots of other keyword variations being searched. If you want to lessen your pay per click you should focus more on “long tail keywords”. In addition, your ads will be amongst the highest rankers if the keyword matches closely. Convert your 100 keywords into 200 by taking a look at your own web statistics to discover exact keyword variations used by people to search your product.

2. Geo-targeting – Even though what you sell is popular over the state, it is a psychological thing that people in general are more interested on seeking a local provider or at least a company which recognizes “their city”. Google and also some other search engines let you geo-target your PPC ads city wise. Create ads that include your city name in them. This way you will definitely get a greater click through rate (CTR) and consequently a lower CPC. Moreover, right from the beginning your visitors will be informed that you “recognize” and serve their location. One more “mistake related to geo-targeting, I have seen some franchises that have their ads displayed everywhere. If you don’t set-up geo-targeting, Google will automatically set your ads to display across the entire country.

3. Avoiding Display Networks – All paid search engines, be it Yahoo, Google, MSN, etc. distribute your ads to a network they have. Unfortunately, most of these networks don’t refer quality traffic. This in particular is true Servpro franchises – display clicks are wastage of money. You want consumers who are vigorously searching the search network for your service. The moment you sign up for Google Adwords, you automatically get placed in their display network. You need to opt out of each campaign, do this from the settings tab; by doing this you won’t have to pay for wasteful clicks.

4. Being Common and Boring – I have noticed many marketers go online to search a keyword, take a look at advertisers who are also competitors and produce ads accordingly to blend in with the “community”. Silly but true! Whenever you plan to generate a paid ad, first look at what all is being said by the advertisers and then come up with an idea which is unique yet relevant. It is tough but you have to realize what your unique qualities are and why people should opt for you. Just remember that it should be what your target market needs and cares about.

5. Not Bidding for Your Name – We have had great success with ads and campaigns tailored to the franchise name and cities that our customers serve. These terms are great because a homeowner may have been referred to these names by an insurance adjustor or neighbor that has had a water or fire damage.  Another benefit is that these terms are usually significantly less than the service terms of water and fire damage.

6. Lack of “Exact Tracking” – You should be capable of tracking every single visit to your website from PPC advertising through the exact keyword, ad group and campaign used. In order to do so you can combine your PPC campaigns with website analytics software or set variables such as “”. This is the only way to determine the efficiency of each keyword used to get traffic.

7. Paying for Negative and Worthless Keywords – Some search engines like Google let you report keywords for which you don’t want your ad to be displayed. If you are paying for keywords that are a “broad match” you will notice loads of visits from people who have typed your keyword along with another word like “Servpro jobs” or “Servpro stock” or “water damaged iPhone”. These are the visitors who are willing to pay $0 for your product or service; you don’t want to pay money for them. You don’t want to pay for visitors who are looking for ways to fix their iPhone. Make sure that you make use of “negative keyword folder” to prevent these worthless clicks.

8. Not Making use of Keywords in Ad Copy – Add keywords to your ad copy as they are the reason you are serving the ad. This makes your ad more relevant and also the keyword will be highlighted in bold. Simple!

9. Not Calling Google – Ok, I agree that it’s not nice to tell on someone, but my dear friends everything is fair in love and business also you have to play fair, you have complete rights to raise your voice when you notice a competitor employing bad techniques. You will see that on Google PPC result page some competitors have created various accounts and placed two ads simultaneously. This is against Google’s policy. Call Google and inform them if your competitor is going against the search engine’s rules and policies. You will be surprised to see how promptly they take care of the situation.

10. Keeping away from Brand Name Keywords – Unfortunately, there are many companies that don’t know how to take advantage of their competitors. How can this be done? Bid on their company/brand name. Just imagine…anybody who searches your competitors can instead become your customers easily. Why not make you ad turn up under those keywords? What if they saw their radio or TV ad and are looking especially for the competitor’s name? So the main thing is, bid on the brand name of your competitor. The ROI on these keywords is usually excellent.

If you’re interested, we can create a turn-key campaign based on all of these best practices. Please feel free to contact us anytime at (877) 690-6467.

Push Local specializes in online marketing for small businesses including Servpro Franchises.  Our services include search engine optimization, pay-per-click advertising, map marketing, and local directory submissions.  Some of the organic terms we go after for Servpro franchises include: Austin water damage, Hyde Park water damage, Austin fire damage, Austin smoke damage, Austin Servpro, and Austin mold.  Push Local has shown continued success marketing for Servpro franchises with a number of clients currently ranking number one for their targeted organic search terms.