Google Adwords is a massive minefield of things that you can do wrong and, because of those mistakes, easily waste a ton of cash. PPC management services developed specifically to fight this waste, and they work well — not so much the go-it-solo types who decide they don’t need PPC managers.
Here’s a short look at SOME of the pitfalls that they can stumble unwittingly into:
Content Targeting vs. Not
By default, Adwords leaves the Content Network on. This sounds like a good thing to most people, because it means their ads get more exposure. What they don’t realize is that AdSense (the ‘content network’ that their ads are getting displayed on) isn’t really all that great at targeting. And for every time your ad about water purifiers gets put up on a page about water parks, you run a risk of someone clicking on it even if they have zero interest in water purifiers. You just paid for a click you have no chance of converting, and that’s a waste of cash.
Geo-targeting vs. Not
If you have a business building swimming pools in Malabar, Florida, and you don’t turn Geo-Targeting on, you waste money every time someone from Vancouver, Washington clicks on your ads. Similarly, if you have a website that sells information and you DO turn Geo-Targeting on, you’d better be selling information about just that one town, or you’re missing out on 99.999% of your potential clients.
Choosing The Right Matching
You can choose broad matching (match any phrases that contain these words in any order), phrase matching (match any phrases that contain ONLY these words in any order), or exact matching (match only this precise phrase in this order.) Many people choose broad, figuring again that more exposure is better — but AdWords is about targeting, not about exposure. Oftentimes someone searching for “swimming pool repair” is looking to hire a crew, but someone searching for “how to repair a swimming pool” will rifle your site for information (costing you whatever you paid for his click) and then vanish without ever even potentially becoming a customer.
There are a ton of other ways to lose out with Adwords — we haven’t even gotten into the areas of keyword research, setting variables at the ad vs. groups vs. campaigns level, or how to track results so that you know what’s working and what’s not. In short, there’s only one consistent, correct way to do AdWords, and that’s to get your website’s SEO company to do it for you.