Ever heard of StupidVideos.com?
If not, it’s one of those things you’ll want to check out. Basically, StupidVideos was the darker, more immature side of YouTube before YouTube was ever YouTube …
Did you catch all of that?
Growing up, when friends would come over, we’d spend countless hours huddled around my parents’ desktop computer, watching video clips of epic falls, face-plants and groin kicks.
By no means was this high-class comedy, but the rawness of it all was incredibly addictive.
That said, though many were the knee-slapping clips I consumed on StupidVideos as an awkward adolescent, there was one that stood high above the rest as my personal favorite …
“Grape Lady Falls!”
Remember this gem of a video? If not, allow me to refresh your memory:
Unfortunately, StupidVideos has gone the way of all the earth. Still, the hilarity of Grape Lady’s treacherous, three-foot tumble taught me a lesson about failure I’ll never forget …
It’s embarrassing, it hurts and it has people remembering you for all the wrong reasons.
As a pay-per-click (PPC) marketer, this kind of learning has more application than you might think. Simply put, many are the companies who take to PPC thinking they know how to drive traffic, build leads and increase annual revenue …
The vast majority of them, though? That’s right — come the end of the year, they’re left groaning on the ground as if they’ve followed in Grape Lady’s tragic footsteps.
Does any of this sound painfully (pun intended) familiar to you and your team?
If so, you’d best bet your bottom-dollar that I know precisely why — below, you’ll find five specific reasons for which your PPC campaigns are failing miserably:
1) You’ve Failed to Include a Call to Action
Due to its widespread efficiency, the PPC space is a crowded one.
As such, in an effort to distance themselves from their fiercest rivals, PPC marketers often get so caught up in choosing the right features or benefits for their ads that they forget to include one of their most key components — the call-to-action (CTA).
No, using a CTA isn’t a PPC requirement, but you can’t fault a consumer for not doing what you want them to, when you haven’t even told them what you want them to do …
Makes sense, right?
Whether it be to “call,” “click” or “stop by” a brick-and-mortar shop, tell your audience exactly what’s expected of them.
It’s a simple concept, but it’s one that can have a tremendous impact on an ad’s effectiveness.
2) You’ve Neglected Older Landing Pages
Here on The DigiMar Blog, I’ve written extensively about landing pages.
Well, much to the surprise of nobody, they play a critical role in the conversion process.
Believe it or not, though, for the purpose of today’s conversation, I’m not even talking about landing pages and conversion rate optimization (CRO) …
Incredibly enough, the PPC issue at hand is often much simpler than that ….
A dead or broken landing page.
Check your landing-page links — if they’re sending people to a 404, out-of-stock or “promotion no longer available” page, you’ll not only lose a customer’s attention, but their loyalty, as well.
Easy peasy, lemon squeezy — under Crawl Errors, take a quick gander at your Google Webmaster Tools. Additionally, to further help out, the Internet offers a number of free tools to find and fix unknown 404 errors on your website.
PPC fixes are often mind-numbingly stupid — this is one of them.
3) You’ve Dedicated Little Cash Up Front
Companies that are new to the world of PPC are often hesitant to dedicate much money to it.
And it makes sense — starting out with a marketing method that’s yet to have proven itself for them, why would they flirt with the idea of overspending?
Allow me to provide an answer — traffic volume.
Without a sizable data sample to work with, it’s all but impossible to make the necessary tweaks to bids, page design and ad copy to get things right.
You’ve heard it before, but with PPC, it’s wildly true — to make money, you’ve got to spend it.
Don’t get me wrong — if you’re new to PPC, I’m not saying you need to dedicate the entirety of a marketing budget to PPC advertising …
What I would recommend, however, is that you dedicate enough funding to make a smart, data-driven decision after your first two to three months of PPC marketing.
Still at a loss for how much to bid? Not an issue — use this free PPC bid calculator to help you pinpoint important metrics like the close rate and lifetime value of a new customer.
4) You’ve Forgotten to Track Lead Sources
Of the five points (one more to go) mentioned on this list, this one might very well be the biggest reason PPC initiatives fail …
You see, marketing teams often drive multiple marketing campaigns to the same landing page.
Naturally, a CRM report will show the total number of leads generated from said landing page, but what it won’t do is tell you which campaign is responsible for which lead.
The end result?
You’re left to blindly allocate marketing funds — this isn’t good for anybody.
There’s good news, though — tracking leads through a sales funnel is easy.
For each of your PPC channels, assign a unique URL to the page where traffic is being sent.
Or, if you’d like to use the same page (or website) for each of your marketing strategies, add a custom tag to the end of all campaign-specific URLs.
In time, as new leads make their way to your desk, you’ll know exactly where they came from.
Needless to say, if your PPC efforts aren’t holding their own, make the necessary adjustments to bring them back up to speed.
5) You’ve Overlooked the Importance of the Prompt Follow-Up
The business brainiacs at Harvard?
Yeah, you could say that they know a thing or two about entrepreneurship …
According to an infographic from the Harvard Business Review, sales representatives who follow up with a new lead within ten seconds of receiving their information have a 400 percent better chance of qualifying for a purchase than those who wait 10 minutes.
Because of this, for PPC-driven leads, it’s in your team’s best interest to call quickly, following up with them persistently.
After all, when all is said and done, close rate will determine the success of your PPC campaign.
Make certain that your in-house sales staff is aware of this, and that any marketing automation tools are set up to respond accordingly.
Keep Your PPC Footing, Dear Friends …
What’s the Grape Lady up to these days, you ask?
From the looks of it, after a few half-hearted Google inquiries, not many people seem to know …
Personally, however, what is well documented is the affect her viral shame has had on me as a leading PPC marketer.
Having finally found a strong foothold in the industry, I’ll do anything I can to keep it …
The same goes for you, dear friends.
By avoiding each of the above five PPC mistakes, you promise to do just that!
* Note: This post originally appeared (GIFs and all) on The DigiMar Blog.