Many people treat Google AdWords (and other pay per click campaigns) like traditional search engine optimisation; they want as many clicks through to their website as possible.
This however can be a costly mistake because, as the name suggests, ‘pay per click’ is just that, you pay for every click, not every sale.
There are two tricks of the trade that can vastly improve the effectiveness your PPC (pay per click) campaigns.
Firstly, ensure that your advert is specific to what you are offering and only encourages potential customers to click. For example, if you sell printed t-shirts, but do not sell other printed merchandise, your advert should read “printed t-shirts” and not “printed clothing”.
Furthermore, this can be refined even further by only trying to encourage customers who are more likely to buy your premium products. Using a web design example, “premium web design in Salisbury” is likely to provide a web designer with local, affluent customers. Alternatively “cheap website design”, although it may be correct, and it will attract genuine customers, will not filter out local businesses, or those with a decent budget.
The idea is not to try and attract every customer, but to attract the better customers, i.e. those who are more likely to make you money.
Secondly ensure that, where possible, you set up goals. For an online shop this is easy, it can be the ‘thank you for your order page’, but for non-eCommerce websites this is slightly trickier.
By setting up a goal you can track exactly how much has been spent (in clicks) for each conversion or sale. By then comparing this marketing cost with the profit (importantly not the value of an order) of a sale you can easily determine whether it is worthwhile.
You can again refine this by directing specific adverts to specific products, and by setting different budgets so that each campaign can be independently analysed and controlled.
Google AdWords, other PPC campaigns, and in fact most forms of marketing, are only effective if they make you a profit. However, the advantage with PPC is it is can easily be analysed and modified and, when effective, can be scaled up.