Getting the fundamentals of Google Adwords management right is easy to achieve if you understand the Adwords system and a handful of best practices. I’m not talking about advanced tactics, or the type of professional management advantages that an expert PPC manager provides. I’m just talking about the basics.
Unfortunately, poor Adwords management is all around us and it isn’t just a handful of amateur PPC managers that are making fundamental mistakes.
The worst mistake is the easiest to avoid
The worst thing a pay-per-click account manager can do is to link a PPC ad to a broken page (landing page) and yet I still end up clicking on several such ads per week. It’s crazy.
There is no better way to waste money or annoy potential customers than by getting them to click on your ads, and then present them with an error page or something completely unrelated to the ad. It isn’t much better if you link to a related page that is poorly designed.
Creating effective landing pages is one of the crucial elements of conversion rate optimisation.
So, make the effort to choose the best, most appropriate landing page for each and every pay-per-click ad that you use in Adwords.
Google Adwords doesn’t prevent poor landing page decisions
Most PPC marketing platforms, Adwords included, have checks and balances in place to prevent managers making basic mistakes such as exceeding character limits, excessive capitalisation or poor grammar. Landing pages are different in this regard.
Although choosing a suitable landing page is a topic considered so important that it is part of the Google Adwords Partners Certification exam, the platform won’t stop you messing this up.
Google Adwords will let you link your ads to any page on your website – even those that don’t actually exist. This is why account managers also need to watch out for pages that get removed from a website that were being used as landing pages for Adwords campaigns.
Even the big players make mistakes
I should mention that it isn’t just small PPC advertisers that are not managing their ad landing pages effectively.
Many of the ads with broken landing pages that I have encountered recently were actually for big name brands that have large budgets and, I assume, managed by professional search engine marketers. Queue the disappointment.
When managing large Google Adwords accounts many managers will use advanced, and somewhat expensive, software tools to help handle the scale. Some of us also write custom scripts that interact with the Adwords servers directly. Anyone using such tools should not be making the mistake of linking to broken landing pages.
Get real, or get out
While there may be the occasional broken link found in a PPC account because an existing landing page is removed, there are very few acceptable reasons for landing page errors.
Until you have a strategy or work-flow that eliminates the problem, stop your PPC advertising. You are wasting money.
If you hire a Google Adwords expert to manage your campaigns then the landing page issue discussed here should not be something you ever need to worry about.
The landing pages that you choose to use with your Google Adwords ads at are extremely important. Not only does pointing these ads at broken landing pages waste your marketing budget, it also makes you look really amateurish or incapable.
Fortunately this problem is easy to avoid.
Going forward, just make sure that anyone charged with managing your Adwords account is monitoring landing pages as part of their routine management process. No excuses.