With so many features and settings available in Google Ads, you may be tempted to just fiddle with stuff. Don’t! The efficient PPC minimalist will never do anything in an account without a clear reason.
Declining ROI is the mark of a successful ad campaign
Sometimes our digital marketing efforts fail. Despite our best efforts, we just can’t get a positive ROI. All too often when that happens I hear that same pernicious claim: it failed because the client wasn’t willing to spend enough money.
That is the kind of marketing myth that can only persist
because most marketers actually believe it. You may even believe it yourself.
If so, my goal is to convince you to never again tell a client they have to
spend more money in order to see results.
But before exposing the lie, let me acknowledge the limited
ways in which it can be true.
In an ideal world, the marketing team can optimize the customer journey all the way from discovery to sale. In most cases outside of ecommerce, however, we can only get them partway there and must leave it to the client to close the sale.
Our product is therefore usually qualified leads in the form of phone calls, form fills, sign-ups, or foot traffic. But what if we don’t even control that?
Sometimes we are asked to send traffic to a client site with poor conversion value. If the website looks ugly or confusing and lacks a clear call to action, even the most qualified visitors will bounce.
We can’t be held accountable for sending traffic to a page that doesn’t convert any more than we can be held accountable for sending leads to a salesperson who doesn’t close.
The fact that you are reading this now means you found this
blog title compelling enough to click on. It’s provocative, it’s coy, it may
even be clever.
But it would make a terrible PPC headline.
The key distinction between paid search and organic search is
marginal cost. Every additional visitor to my blog comes at zero additional
cost, so I can afford to be cute with my blog headlines if I think it will
increase my clickthrough rate. I want as much traffic as possible.
The incentive to lure in visitors with sexy or even misleading headlines is so great that there’s even a name for it: clickbait. How many of us have fallen prey to those headlines promising to tell us why Hollywood won’t hire that celebrity anymore, only to find ourselves clicking “next” through a series one-sentence breadcrumbs only to discover that we do not, in fact, care?
When the marginal cost per additional eyeball is zero, by all
means be as compelling as possible. But when you have to pay for each click,
you want to be very selective about who is compelled to click – and who is
When to call it quits with your paid media campaign
As I discuss in my post on declining ROI in a PPC campaign, a well-run campaign should experience diminishing marginal returns. But this post is not about squeezing every last drop out of a successful campaign. This post is about how to know when your campaign is a dud.
My rule of thumb is if the client has spent three times the Customer Lifetime Value (LTV) without a single qualified lead, that means further optimizations are unlikely to improve things enough to make the campaign profitable.