Don’t Let Your PPC Campaign Become a Leaky Bucket

PPC campaign…a leaky bucket? What are we talking about? Let us explain.


Picture yourself somewhere remote where you do not have access to running water. To retrieve water for cooking, bathing or drinking, you need to take your bucket on a five minute walk and fill it up at a well. Now this is a five minute walk each way, so it’s a fair amount of work for just one bucket of water. If you manage to fill the bucket to the brim and walk very carefully without spilling any, you won’t have to make another trip. However, if you’re careless on the walk or worse, only have a bucket with small holes that leak water, you’ll definitely have to make more than one trip to and from the well.


A crude example, but you get the idea. In our PPC scenario, the water is money and the bucket is your PPC campaign. One of the main strengths of paid search advertising is that it delivers quick and predictable results for a fixed cost. But what many people don’t understand is that they can’t just throw all their money in a PPC bucket and hope for the best. Just like carrying a full bucket of water, if you aren’t focused and attentive to your PPC campaign it’ll become a leaky bucket that slowly drips and wastes your marketing dollars.


We understand that running a PPC campaign the right way is very complex, which is why we don’t recommend doing it yourself. But just in case you’re already in too deep or want to develop a better understanding of PPC, we put together this infographic to highlight some of the ways PPC campaigns can become leaky buckets:


Most marketing tactics are more effective when implemented with a strategy, and PPC campaigns are no exception. Given how easy it is to set up and launch a PPC campaign, there are far too many people who jump into it without thinking about strategy. For example, considering which area of your conversion funnel you are targeting can make a huge difference to your campaign. It doesn’t make sense to select a general keyword and ad and serve it to people at both the top and bottom of your funnel; using separate ads and keywords for each target group is a great place to start with strategy.


With a leaky bucket, it’s very easy to tell that you’re losing water. It’s much more difficult to decipher whether your PPC campaign is leaking money because it doesn’t actually fall out of the bucket, it just becomes unintentionally wasted money. In order to properly assess your PPC campaigns and ensure they aren’t leaky buckets, you need to track and measure anything to do with conversions. This means keeping an eye the conversion rates of all of your keywords as well as tracking phone-calls to study and enhance the conversations you’re having with potential customers.


You can’t run a successful PPC campaign without the right keywords, but it’s also impossible to discover optimal keywords without running any campaigns. That’s why tracking and measuring which keywords are driving the most conversions is vital if you want to prevent a leak in your campaigns. You should constantly be searching for and testing new keywords to find that perfect mix. Also, don’t forget to add negative keywords to your campaign to avoid attracting the wrong target audiences.


If you create an ad to sell a specific product or service but then send the visitor to your homepage, you have a leaky bucket PPC campaign. This is such a critical error that we don’t need to look at any stats to confirm. The number one priority of your PPC campaigns must be to use landing pages. Once you’ve got the hang of using different landing pages for different keywords, you can graduate to A/B testing your landing pages to increase the Quality Score of your ads and plug all leaks.


Have you ever purchased a product only after returning to the store a second time? If you answered yes, think about your website as that store – don’t you want to give your visitors every opportunity to come back if they leave without making a purchase (or even if they do, they might want to buy something else!). Remarketing and display ads give you the chance to get back in front of potential customers and nudge them in the direction of your brand. Given that Google reported that display campaigns reached 80% of global internet users, this is an area you probably don’t want to overlook.


You might not think that how quickly you respond to your online leads is a very important part of your PPC campaign but the truth is, it might actually be the biggest leak you have. Studies have shown that the odds of qualifying a lead drop 21 times with a response in 30-minutes versus a quick, 5-minute response. Increasing your speed-to-lead time will make you more money. 30 minutes seems like a reasonable response time and even still, those 25 minutes mean the customer is 21 times less likely to convert. Work on improving your speed-to-lead time or risk a huge leak in your bucket.


Speed-to-lead is not the only significant component of customer service when it comes to PPC success. You (or your team members) must respond in a timely and professional matter or else your chances of making a sale decrease in a hurry. A good way to plug all the leaks in this department is to get the team trained so that you are presenting a uniformly great customer experience for everybody interested in your products and services.



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