Few lead gen tactics are more complex and confusing to marketers than Google Ads. Without an in-house specialist in their back pocket, many tech companies find their paid advertising simply doesn't perform the way they were hoping.
Here are some of the most common PPC mistakes we see tech companies make…and how to fix them!
Mistake #1: Diving into PPC before you're ready.
Many tech companies believe paid search needs to be a part of their marketing strategy. But PPC isn't a magic bullet. If the rest of your business isn't ready to support those efforts, you'll just be wasting money.
Here are some scenarios when you're not ready for pay-per-click advertising…yet.
- You just launched your website (new, rebranded, or otherwise). Take a breather. Let your stats mellow out and monitor the performance of your website for a better picture on how to proceed with PPC. How you may ask? Look at what pages your audience gravitates toward, then focus your bids on keywords matching that content.
- Your sales team isn't prepared to take inquiries. Are you are offering a software demo with your sales team but they're too busy for new appointments? You're going to lose out on prospective leads because there simply isn't capacity to handle the influx. Using HubSpot can help by letting prospects book their own meetings online and sending automated email follow-ups, but even that might not be enough.
- You don't understand what makes your product/solution unique. In Google Ads, you're potentially bidding against a global audience of competitors. Yes, you can bid on more keywords than them. You can spend more money than them. You can even bid on their company name (which is completely legal and ethical, by the way). But you'll waste money and fail to convert qualified leads unless you truly understand what makes YOU special in the marketplace. If your product doesn't solve for a unique pain point and your website looks like everyone else, spend your money on branding and positioning instead.
Mistake #2: Not spending enough.
If you're working with just a few dollars a day, it's better to invest your money elsewhere. Anything less than $750-1,000/month for Google Ads likely won't produce meaningful results. That might seem like a high threshold, but it breaks down to only $25/day, which could be just 3-4 clicks.
If you have a baby budget but will want to try paid advertising, look to social media. LinkedIn or even Facebook ads may offer you the opportunity to get the results you need for a fraction of the cost.
Mistake #3: Linking to a subpar landing page.
You can have an awesome CTR for PPC, but if people aren't converting on your landing page then you've just wasted a ton of money. (Unless your purpose is simply brand awareness and not lead gen.)
Here are a few simple rules of thumb for building great landing pages for your PPC campaign:
- Have a worthwhile offer. Don't bother gating "boring" content, like case studies and data sheets. People will only give up their contact info for exciting and worthwhile offers, like free trials or self-assessment tools. Our rule of thumb? If it's not exciting to you, it won't be exciting to your audience!
- Match the landing page copy to the ad copy. Use the same language on the landing page as you did in the ad copy so people don't think they're in a bait and switch situation, which will cause immediate bounces.
- Showcase existing relationships. Use logos of trusted partners or satisfied clients to show that your company is knowledgeable and trustworthy.
- Use social proof. Did you help increase a client's productivity by 30% with your software? Do you have a killer testimonial with a glowing review of your product? Use it. People relate to people, not to company taglines or fluffy words.
- Define a clear path of conversion. Use a single CTA and an easy-to-fill form to ensure visitors know exactly what they're supposed to do on the page.
Mistake #4: Updating campaigns on a daily basis.
When you first launch a campaign, it makes sense to check in frequently for any glaring issues, especially regarding negative keywords or bidding errors. But after that, let your ads run for a couple weeks to ensure you're making decisions based on statistically valid data, not just knee-jerk reactions.