The Most Expensive Mistakes in PPC – Part 2

Last week, I introduced two of the most expensive mistakes in PPC, leaving off with targeting “expensive” keywords that aren’t even likely to bear fruit. But while some PPC advertisers aim too high with their keyword goals, the opposite can be just as problematic.

Mistake #3: Setting your sights on being mediocre (or worse).

If well-written ads, wisely chosen keywords, logical bids and a great landing page all lower an advertiser’s average cost-per-click (CPC), what does an “expensive” cost-per-click indicate? When you look at the list presented by WebpageFX, you might very well be looking at costs-per-click from some of the worst-managed PPC campaigns on AdWords. For example, “car accident attorneys Houston” appears on their list as having a cost-per-click of $338.48. If you base your PPC goals off of an “expensive keywords” list, you might think that you’re doing really well if you end up only paying $300 per click for the same keyword. When you widen your perspective, though, you can see the mediocrity of your goals. In contrast, one of the accounts FindLaw manages is paying about $100 per click for “car accident attorney” with location targeting set on Houston. If you could choose between paying $100 or $340 for the same Houston car accident case, which would you prefer? More importantly, which would leave enough money in your account to possibly attract two more cases? Rather than viewing “expensive keyword” lists as an unattainable dream (“I wish I could afford to get those kinds of words.”), you should be looking at their CPCs as the ceiling you don’t want to get anywhere near.

Mistake #4: Putting the wrong people in charge of your PPC.

All of the mistakes I’ve mentioned will cost you – some of those costs may be upfront, others will have long-term impacts – but if appropriate action is taken, they are relatively easy to remedy. Some mistakes are harder to reverse and can be even harder to identify before you’ve racked up significant expenses. The most expensive mistake you can make with PPC is not being selective about who manages your campaigns. Just like organic search marketing, paid search marketing is part science and part art, but PPC has a more immediate impact on your budget. Remember, you will be charged every time someone clicks on your ads so the costs of even minor mistakes in your keyword targeting, location targeting, bid amounts, ad copy, landing pages, campaign settings and so on will really start to add up. What’s more, your PPC manager might not necessarily recognize the mistakes they’re making, especially if yours is the only legal campaign they are managing. If they were to compare your CPCs to “most expensive” lists, they might think they’re doing an excellent job. If you’re not a PPC expert, you’re likely to agree. However, your PPC manager can be good at PPC without necessarily understanding the legal industry well enough to leverage one for the other. It takes a deep understanding of legal consumer behavior to create PPC campaigns that will be cost-effective, attract the right kinds of cases and ultimately produce an attractive return on your investment. For example, let’s compare the “most expensive keyword” on WebpageFX’s list to our experience here at FindLaw. “San Antonio car wreck attorney” appears at a whopping $670.44 cost-per-click. Now maybe someone, somewhere is paying that much for a click, but here at FindLaw, we manage campaigns in the most competitive markets in the country and our highest cost per click ever on any individual keyword is less than that. This is because our expertise encompasses both PPC management and legal marketing. It’s a winning combination for driving down PPC costs and maximizing legal marketing budgets. Now that you know that PPC expenses are relative to the talent (or unfortunate lack thereof) of whoever is responsible for your campaign performance, you can hopefully avoid some common mistakes that drive up costs-per-click and make “most expensive” keyword lists seem so discouraging. Such lists should always be taken with a grain of salt. At its core, PPC is a simple concept that simply requires proper execution and fastidious ongoing management if it’s going to yield a positive ROI. When you are getting back as much as or more than you are putting in, PPC feels significantly less like a luxury and more like the true marketing essential that it is. Ready to see just how affordable smart PPC can be? Schedule an appointment to speak to your local consultant.

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