The Surprisingly Common Mistakes That Drain Money From Text Ad Campaigns
Setting up paid search text ads seems quite straightforward. You have an ecommerce page with products, and you’ve identified the keywords you want to target to drive qualified traffic. But in practice, mistakes are surprisingly common because running a robust campaign requires diligent oversight. Let’s take a look at examples where smart retailers are throwing ad dollars out the window and creating a bad user experience.
Improper Keyword Matching and Lack of Negative Keywords
These are the most common errors you come across in the SERPs, and they’re usually easy to avoid. Two of our best tools to qualify a visitor before they click are 1) keyword match types and 2) negative keywords. For match type, the more specific we get, the lower the chances for error, but the search volume may be too small to get excited about. So opening up the match type means we get visibility for many keyword variations. Obviously, some of those variations will lead to poor targeting, which is where we apply negative keywords. Here are some examples of live ads from large retailers you can find in the SERPs today:
Landing Page Issues
Many ads have issues where the landing page is not ideal or it just doesn’t match the query at all. There are lots of ways this can happen. Here are some live examples:
Why Are These Mistakes Happening?
As noted in some of the examples above, a keyword match type and a landing page choice may have been appropriate when an ad went live. Many factors, including merchandising, seasonality, and inventory, will impact what your landing pages serve up.
It’s important to remember that once an ad is launched, many analysts will look only at data in tables and charts to identify issues, but this is a flawed system. If an ad targeting Polo Shirts is driving 50,000 sessions per month and 5,000 of those are not from qualified visitors, that 10% handicap can easily get lost in other noise for the ad group on a spreadsheet. Your analysts may be quite busy running robust campaigns with thousands of ad groups, but the larger the campaign, the more effort should go into reviewing keywords and landing pages.
- Review the keywords that are driving traffic regularly, and identify waste that can be prevented through improved match type and negative keyword usage.
- Review all keyword/landing-page combinations for your text ads to ensure that keyword intent is matched by what your destination URLs deliver.