8 mistakes that are destroying your paid search results

Paid search is an essential part of a modern marketing strategy. However, lots of marketing teams get it wrong. If you're tired of throwing money down the drain, this article will show you what you're getting wrong and what you can do about it.

Paid search is a cost-effective way to drive instant sales, leads, and conversions. But what are you meant to do when you aren’t getting good results? You can chalk it up to misfortune and take it on the chin. Or you can figure out what’s wrong and fight back.

In this article, we’ll explore some of the most common mistakes that marketing teams make with paid search and show what you can do to fix them.

#1. You don’t have specific objectives

If you set up your campaign with vague goals, it’s hard to manage and monitor your ads or even define what success looks like. High-level goals like more web traffic, brand awareness, or conversions are a good start. But you must dig deeper and work out a clear and strategic pathway to get there.

The solution:

Take your high-level objective and break it down into smaller tasks and metrics. For example:

Brand awareness:

  • Use top-of-funnel content
  • Use visual ads with big, bold creatives
  • Prioritize frequency and reach
  • Use Display ads

Web traffic:

  • Use middle-of-funnel content
  • Focus on click-through rate (CTR) with strong copy
  • Ensure you’ve got quality web content
  • Keep your focus on Search ads
  • Use keywords that fit the user’s intent

Conversions (sales & leads):

  • Use bottom-of-funnel content
  • Prioritize high-converting keywords
  • Use negative keywords to exclude showing ads that won’t convert
  • Leverage Google Ad lead forms

#2. You don’t know who your target audience is

This mistake is surprisingly common. Sometimes people get so into making their product or service good that they forget to think about their target audience. If you don’t know who your audience is, where they congregate, their pain points, and what they’d pay to solve their problems, setting up high-performing paid search ads will be challenging.

The solution:

If you haven’t done extensive audience research, do it at once. That will help you with your keyword research. Once you’ve done the work, do the following:

  • Use topics that will resonate with your target audience
  • Find ad placements that align with your target audience’s internet habits
  • Use smart bidding for Search and Display ads to do the work for you.

#3. You’re choosing the wrong keywords

When it comes to conversion, keyword intent is essential. One common mistake marketers make is blindly bidding on keywords loosely related to their product or service without considering the true meaning behind each term.

The solution:

Keyword intent is important. To illustrate the point, let’s look at two keywords:

  • “Best fridge”
  • “Buy fridge”

Now think about who would enter these terms. If you are researching and evaluating fridges for a potential purchase, “best fridge” might be your search query.

However, if you were ready to go — and had your credit card in hand — “buy fridge” would be more your style.

Check out these keywords in Google Ads.

The other thing to note is that the cost for each keyword is roughly the same. But one of them brings the user closer down the funnel.

#4. Your budget is too low

It’s competitive out there. Many businesses have monster budgets, and some pretty well-capitalized startups throw money around like confetti. You’ll get outbid a lot if you operate in a competitive niche.

The solution:

Just upping your ad budget isn’t a viable solution for many businesses. Which means you’ve got to outthink your rivals. There are a few things you can do here:

  • Improve your conversion rates with compelling landing pages so that you can justify a higher CPC
  • Focus on targeting a specific demographic or location
  • Do better keyword research involving a mix of general and long-tail keywords

#5. You’re not doing split testing

If your ads are performing inconsistently, with some copy getting clicks while others are getting nothing, you’re wasting money. If only there were a way to forecast your ads’ performance before you throw your budget away. Well, there is.

The solution:

Split testing, also known as A/B testing, is a great way to determine which ads actually work. So test your ads against each other simultaneously, and see which one gets results.

It’s a good idea to do it with PPC ads because you won’t get charged for impressions, meaning your failed experiments won’t break the bank.

#6. You’re not thinking about your landing page

If your ads get lots of clicks but few conversions, it’s probably got to do with where you’re sending the people who click on your ads.

The solution:

You’re wasting money if your ad copy is not aligned with your campaigns. Something’s got to give: either your ads or your landing page.

Also, don’t make the mistake of running a paid search ad to your home page unless your sole objective is brand awareness. Take them to a landing page with your slickest copy.

#7. You’re not remarketing

Do you find that you’re getting lots of brand awareness, impressions, and website visits, but it’s not turning into precious conversions? While that’s probably indicative of a range of different problems, one of them could be that you’re not remarketing.

The solution:

Start using your email contact list, CRM data, and other customer data to get your brand back in front of people you didn’t convert yet, customers who have gone cold, and leads that got away.

#8. You’re not using an AI to optimize your ads

Going it alone is admirable. But if you want to realize the full potential of your paid search, you need AI-based ad optimization. There are just too many variables and work involved in manual ads. Even if you already use Google or Meta ad automation, augmenting it with services like Amanda AI can help you get the maximum ROAS.

The solution:

Book a demo so we can show you how Amanda AI can increase your traffic, sales, leads, and conversions.

Final thoughts

Paid search ads can be a great source of traffic, leads, sales, and brand awareness. However, if you’re making common mistakes, you can’t get the ROAS you need for successful campaigns.

If you want to boost the effectiveness of your paid search, use a service like Amanda AI that was built for the job.

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