Damaging Local Business Pay-Per-Click Mistakes (Part 2)

Last month, we shared the first list of unforgivable text ad mistakes we see local businesses making. In addition to forgetting basics when setting up their campaigns, like target keywords, geo-targeting, and ad extensions, local businesses often overlook some other important details of their search ads — details that can be detrimental to their advertising results.

Mistake #6: Failing to Remove Outdated Offers

Nothing will deter someone from clicking on your ad faster than an outdated offer. If it is two weeks into November and you’re still promoting back-to-school specials, you’ll likely stop many consumers from clicking on your ad. Make sure all of your offers are up to date, and if you want to boost conversions even more, incorporate countdown timers in the ad for any offers you’re running.

Mistake #7: Failing to Tell Consumers What’s In It for Them

When writing text ads, don’t lose focus of the end goal for your consumers. For example, if you offer cash for cars, interested prospects might discover your business by searching “sell my car.” While you would want to incorporate this into the ad for relevance, it’s just as important to point out what’s in it for them with text such as “We Buy Your Car – 2 Hours” or “Sell Us Your Car for Instant Cash.” Another way to appeal to consumers is by making your ad personal. Using the word “you” in your text such as “Start Your Free Trial” or “Schedule Your Free Estimate” Building this personal connections keeps the focus on the end benefit for a consumer, and helps your ad get chosen over the competition.

Mistake #8: Directly Copying a Competitor’s Ads

It’s enticing to want to copy your competitors’ ads, but it’s more enticing to consumers when you create a unique ad that highlights your differentiators and offers. It’s acceptable, and encouraged, to know what your competitors are offering in their ad, but don’t make the mistake of thinking you’ll get great results by copying them. To get the best results, incorporate highly specific differentiators for your business. For instance, your competition may use “Affordable Dental Implants” in their text ad. Instead of copying them, use a very specific offer, such as “$1999 Dental Implants.” Focus on what you can uniquely offer consumers, not what your competitors can.

Mistake #9: Using Misleading Information

Don’t confuse potential customers by saying one thing in your text ad and another (or nothing at all) on your website or landing page. For example, if you offer $1999 dental implants in your text ad and your website has a different price point or no mention of it at all, odds are that potential patient will hit the “back” button on their browser and click on the next dentist on the search engine results page. In order to not confuse customers and generate more leads, it’s essential to mimic the information in your text ads on the landing page.

Mistake #10: Not A/B Testing Their Text Ads

If you aren’t testing elements like keywords, offers, extensions, and calls to action, how do you know you can’t generate more clicks, visits, and leads from your search advertising? Every campaign should have at least two text ads with different calls to action and messages, so you can see which one works better for that keyword group. For instance, if one ad asks customers to book an exam, the other ad can focus on an offer like free teeth whitening with an exam. This way, you can see see if a different benefit or call to action can help you get more appointments. When testing ad variations, only test one element of your ad at a time to ensure you can pinpoint success, and allow the ads to run long enough to collect enough data for accurate results.

What common text ad mistakes have you seen from local businesses? Let us know in the comments!