Damaging Local Business Pay-Per-Click Mistakes (Part 1)

Search engine advertising, or pay-per-click advertising, is a fantastic way to drive traffic to your website and, ultimately, create more leads for your business. However, the first step in getting new leads through pay-per-click advertising is to get potential customers to notice your text ad.

But with more than 1.2 million businesses advertising via pay-per-click advertising, competition for visibility on search engines is fierce. All the more reason to avoid these 10 common text ad mistakes that can cost your business new leads, and instead focus on making sure your text ads are, in Google’s words, “specific, relevant, attractive, and empowering.”

Mistake #1: Failure to Include Target Keywords in Your Ads

As stated by Google, successful text ads are relevant and specific. Not incorporating a relevant and specific keyword or phrase at least once can be damaging to your campaign. You should always include your target keyword in the headline and/or the first line of body text. By incorporating target keywords, you’ll not only make your ad more specific and relevant for searchers, but also help search engines find and show your ad when a search is conducted, which can result in a better click through rate and quality score and a lower cost per click.

Mistake #2: Failure to Use Geographic Targeting

Letting searchers know that you are right around the corner with your ad can significantly boost your clicks and even website conversions. Start by geo-targeting your ads to local searchers when you set up your ads. To make your text ad even more hyper local, use your city or neighborhood name in the ad’s body copy. For example, instead of “Car Repair” for the headline, use “Car Repair Tulsa” to let consumers know exactly where you are located and the area you service. Not only can this boost your click through rate for people in your targeted area, it can also prevent people from outside your target area from clicking on your ad.

Mistake #3: Not Using Ad Extensions

Incorporating ad extensions in your text ads  allows you go take your ad beyond the character limit to create even more reasons for consumers to find and click on your ad and can improve both your visibility and click through rate. Ad extensions provide consumers with details such as your location, phone number, special offers, and credibility-boosting information such as reviews.

Google currently offers the following ad extensions:

  • App extensions
  • Call extensions
  • Location extensions
  • Review extensions
  • Sitelink extensions
  • Callout extensions

Mistake #4: Not Using a Strong Call to Action

A call to action is an instruction to the consumer on what steps to take and should always point the consumer to the next step in the sales funnel. Take a look at the usual next steps your actual customers make and point your potential customers in that same direction. By using the logical next step in the sales funnel, you’ll empower customers to take an action that makes sense, which will boost the conversions from your text ads.

Some common calls to action include:

  • Call Today
  • Schedule Appointment
  • Book Your Free Consultation
  • Browse Inventory
  • Book New Patient Exam

Mistake #5: Using Poor Grammar & Punctuation

With only 95 characters and a lot of information to convey, it’s tempting to use abbreviations or “forget” to include punctuation. Even though technology has made it all about “bite-size” communication, odd or missing punctuation can also skew your message. For instance, Google will occasionally merge the headline and the first line of text or the first and second line of text, and incorrect punctuation could lead to a singular line that may not make sense to a reader.

Stay tuned for the second part of our series Unforgivable Text Ad Mistakes from Local Businesses, where you’ll see even more ad mistakes that can cost your local business new leads.