When it comes to digital marketing, paid search ads are a perennial staple for companies of all shapes and sizes.
Google's Adwords platform is largely responsible for making it the massive, successful industry titan it is today.
With PPC (pay per click) ads on a search engine, you can reach tons of people who are looking for exactly what you're selling.
Getting a lot of reach is a good thing, but what if you're reaching too many people?
You don't want to waste clicks and cash on people who probably won't convert.
One of the biggest mistakes beginners make with PPC is trying too hard to be all things to all people.
More isn't always better.
It's better to niche down than to try to attract everyone to your ads.
You want to target a specific spot in your sales funnel, not just anyone.
A recent post from SEMRush explains how to segment your audiences.
Trying to Attract Everyone
Think of your audience as three concentric circles: In the very middle, you have your bull's-eye — the keywords your ideal customer will be searching.
In the middle circle exists valid, somewhat qualified users.
Lastly, the outside circle can be considered more of your top-of-funnel prospects. With proper nurturing and additional brand education, they can become valid prospects.
Every penny of your paid search efforts should focus on the inside circle.
If you don’t know exactly what keywords, search terms or targeting the inside circle is comprised of, then 100 percent of your budget needs to be allocated to research and uncover your bulls-eye.
Employ the beta/alpha campaign structure where your “beta” campaigns act as your “test” campaigns, or your “R&D” campaigns are designed to uncover which search terms work.
Beta campaigns contain broader targeting.
Once your search terms have statistically significant data, build out your “alpha” campaigns, which contain SKAGs (single keyword ad groups), and use only exact match keywords with tightly aligned ad copy.
With your alphas, you will only be spending money on those bull's-eye keywords.
SEM is an exciting industry that will see a major overhaul in the next several years.
Winners will keep evolving with the industry and attack every new change with creativity.
And, trust me, there will be winners.
You can find three more examples of common PPC advertising mistakes in the full blog post from SEMRush.