The information in this post was initially reported in the webinar “PPC Demystified: Get the Most from Your Campaigns.” Click here to watch now.
“75% of search engine users never scroll past the first page of search results” [source]. What does that mean? It means if you’re not on the first page, you’ve already lost.
This is where PPC comes in to play in marketing for a franchise. Before we dive in, keep in mind that even though PPC is a great strategy, it should be aligned with a great SEO strategy. PPC is not going to solve any SEO changes you need to make…but that’s a post for another time.
As many franchisors in the retail space know, where your physical locations are located matters. Real estate is a critical component of success. And it’s the same for online. Where you are matters. How much space you are taking up matters. In fact, online real estate is so important that brands advertise even when people search directly for their brand. Not only will your brand then take up more real estate on the first page of results, but if you’re not campaigning on your own brand, someone else will. Do you want another company showing up when someone searches for your brand? Probably not.
If you aren’t convinced, here are a few staggering statistics:
- 97% of consumer in the U.S. gather shopping information online before they buy (NPD Group)
- 86% of Internet users have used the web to find a local business (Moz)
- 73% of online activity is in one way or another related to local content (Google)
Looking to for insight on local marketing? Check out this franchise marketing ebook.
So now you know to care about PPC. You’re ready to jump online and start putting together campaigns. Or maybe you already have campaigns running, and you’re ready to make them work harder for your brand. Before you do, here are nine mistakes franchise marketers make when it comes to PPC. Don’t make them!
- Not doing your homework – What terms and phrases are people actually using in their search? Don’t spend money on search terms you would use. Put your dollars toward the keywords that prospects are actually using.
- No goal or plan – As with any marketing campaign, it’s important to set quantitative goals so you know what’s working. Have the call-to-action be an action, such as downloading a whitepaper or filling out a form. What’s your goal for number of downloads or form submissions?
- No targeting – Where are you willing to do business? Who are you willing to do business with? Target your ads directly to the people you want to work with.
- No negative-keyword strategy – In your PPC campaign, you want to include what keywords not to include as much as the keywords you do want to include. For example, a business selling wedding dresses would want to negate the keywords ‘dress,’ ‘summer dress,’ or ‘holiday dress.’ Instead, that business would want to focus solely on searches directly related to wedding dresses.
- No campaign structure – Set up a campaign for each of your main categories. This will help setting goals, testing, and general organization.
- Lack of call to action – Tell the user exactly what he/she is supposed to do. For example, “Download Now” or “Buy Now” makes it very clear what action the person will be taking.
- Using the homepage as a landing page – No! Don’t do it! Taking the user to a generic homepage is a recipe for immediate disengagement. Instead, create a dedicated landing page that guides the user into doing exactly what your call-to-action suggested – downloading an asset, making a purchase, filling out a form, etc.
- No measurement – Garner actionable insights from the data your PPC collects. Look at conversions, impressions, etc., and measure them against your goals.
- Lack of testing – This goes hand-in-hand with measurement. It’s doubtful that your campaigns are going to be perfect from the start. Or maybe they are, but that can change over time. Test keywords, ad copy, the color of your button on the landing page, the copy on your landing page, and the form. There are an infinite number of things you can test, and you should always be testing.