The ROI Revolution Blog

Are Your Paid Search Ads Hurting Your Bottom Line?

January 9, 2012

searchadsI've managed paid search accounts here at ROI Revolution since 2005, and 99% of the time when I look at a new account there is room to improve results through ad testing. Over the years much has changed in paid search, but the need to continually test and optimize ad text has stayed constant.

Ask yourself if any of the following top 4 pitfalls are currently hurting your paid search performance.

Do you assume you've got the best ad variation running already?
Many advertisers test 5-10 ad variations and then feel like they've got the best performing ad that they can achieve. It's easy to get stuck in a rut testing the same messages and ad formats, and sometimes it takes some pretty intense brainstorming sessions to come up with clever ads that change your account's performance. "Never stop testing" is our motto here at ROI Revolution, Inc. - and we encourage you to adopt this practice also.

Are you constantly monitoring your competitors' ads and promotions?
Often times folks get stuck monitoring their account through the AdWords interface and forget to take a look at the other ads they are running against on the search engine results page. Let's discuss a situation where this could hurt you. Let's say you have a 10% off ad that is a long time best performing ad. Suddenly this ad variation has stopped performing as well. All you know to do is pause the ad and test something new. If you were not constantly monitoring your competitors, you would not know that two other advertisers had adopted the same 10% off promotion + free shipping. You actually have free shipping on your site but it is not in your ad copy. You are leaving money on the table by not constantly monitoring your competitors and sizing up their offers against yours.

Are all of your ad destination URLs the most relevant they can be?
When you add new category pages, product pages, and change the structure of your website you need to ensure you update your ad destination URLs. This can be a tedious task, but not doing so means lowered conversion rates and sometimes ad disapprovals (if the old pages are broken). It's a good idea to check your destination URLs every month or so to ensure all ads are pointing to the best possible landing page.

Are you basing your ad tests on the wrong metric?
If you want to run ad tests that really improve your bottom line then focus your ad wins on a combination of click-through-rate and conversion rate. You may be thinking "Why not just conversion rate". See, your click-through-rate affects the amount of traffic you are getting. If you look solely at conversion rate you could actually decrease your sales volume.

It takes constant monitoring and due diligence to run effective ad tests, but it's totally worth it. Since the ad is the first thing a prospective customer or client sees from you, having the right message on the search engine results page cannot be undersold.

Are you concerned that you are not testing your paid ads often enough? Sign up for our free 30 minute strategy session, and one of our seasoned paid search analysts will review your ads to see if your ads are hurting your bottom line.

Take the next step. Ecommerce retailers spending at least $500/mo. in AdWords qualify for a free 20-minute Google AdWords account review.

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