Highly profitable PPC accounts aren’t for everyone. Here are some tongue-in-cheek tips you can implement to play it safe, reduce traffic and lower your profits with a PPC advertising campaign.
1. Set a low daily budget
If you can get a few conversions a day with a $100 daily budget, shouldn’t you just be content? If you raise your budget, some crazy clicking event may bankrupt you. Better to set your budgets low, then you’ll never have to worry about whether or not you can pay your PPC bill.
Yes, a worse-case scenario would also involve more traffic to your site and likely more conversions. But what if the extra traffic doesn’t convert? Play it safe: decide how many conversions will make you happy and set your budget accordingly. You won’t be able to take advantage of news-driven spikes in traffic, but what you don’t know won’t hurt you.
2. Don’t bid on keywords where you rank well organically
PPC should never be allowed to steal from SEO, even if it brings you more total traffic and makes you more money. You probably have pretty good organic listings for some keywords, especially your own brand name. This is free traffic. You spent a lot of time on SEO and now’s your chance to reap the rewards. It would be stupid to pay Google to have your ad listed in the search results when you are already there organically. Besides, “nobody” clicks on search ads. Google’s billions in annual revenue from paid search is just an anomaly that you should ignore.
If you were to bid on your company name, many people would click on your ad when they would have clicked on your free listing. Others are trying to grab all the profitable traffic they can get, even if they have to pay for it. Instead, why not just be happy with the money saved.
3. Stick with your current sales funnel
Are you currently making sales from your website? If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Too many people are discontent with their conversion rate and are always trying something new to get more conversions. There are so many things that could go wrong when you mess with what’s working… I go crazy even thinking about it.
Yes, if you had a higher conversion rate you could afford to increase your bids to get more traffic. Testing new landing pages, however can sometimes actually lower the conversion rate. Besides that, technical problems may arise when adding new pages, sometimes effectively breaking your website. So don’t mess with a working website that converts.
4. Don’t bid on competitor keywords
Big companies spend a large portion of their marketing budget on branding campaigns in hopes someone will search for them directly by name, land on their website and purchase a product. You can understand their frustration when another company stands in at the last second to take the sale. That’s why many PPC advertisers play nice and won’t bid on competitor brand terms. If you don’t like risk, this is the route you should take.
It doesn’t matter that some of your cheapest conversions from highly qualified traffic will likely come from competitor terms, or that your competitors are probably bidding on your brand name. Play it safe: competition is good so long as competitors don’t get mad at you.
5. Set bids low enough to leave a healthy initial profit
Once the initial sale takes place, there is only one thing that is certain: the initial sale. Why pay more for clicks than you can easily pay for with front-end sales. Additional sales to your customers may or may not happen. Past performance is no indication of future returns. So if you can’t make a sale, pay your PPC bill, and still have a healthy profit margin, you need to lower your bids. Any extra sales to your existing customers are gravy.
In fact, some high-spending companies actually plan to lose money on the initial sale. That’s why they can afford those outrageous bids at the top. Surely they are setting themselves up for disaster if those “future” sales don’t pan out. Not you. You’re safe with an average position of 6. Who needs a backend when you’ve got a good front-end?
Take these suggestions if you don’t like to upset the apple cart. If you’re a contrarian and think you can increase your PPC campaign’s effectiveness, read the converse view: 5 Calculated Risks to Strengthen Your PPC Advertising.
Opinions expressed in the article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Search Engine Land.