In addition to guest posting on the UpCity blog, Monopoly Digital Marketing is featured as one of the Top Digital Marketing Agencies in Seattle. Check out their profile here.

I get it. Your business is not generating the volume of leads it once did, and you need new clients, like yesterday. So, you begin on your quest for new client acquisition. As you search for the answer, you see your competitors proudly display at the top of Google search results or featured in your Facebook newsfeed. Advertising with Google and Facebook seems to be working for them you must be missing out because of this.

Problem solved, right? Just hop into Google AdWords or Facebook ad manager, start your campaign and BOOM. Leads all day!

Not so fast. There is so much more to this.

Setup your ad campaign incorrectly, and you will be left with an empty wallet and low-quality leads or even worse, no leads. In truth, the vast majority of small businesses fall into this category. Despite what those masterful marketers say in their over-hyped YouTube videos or webinars, more ad campaigns fail than succeed.

Why Businesses Fail in Pay Per Click

Too Low of a Budget

Have you heard the saying ‘you have to spend money to make money’? Well, it’s true. I would LOVE to tell you that business is like the movie Field of Dreams if you build it, they will come. But this isn’t a movie and until people see you enough times no one will even know you exist.

Having an unrealistic or low ad budget ensures that you will blow through your ad spend before you see any results.

To help, let me ask you this. Have you seen an ad on Facebook with no engagement or maybe in Google or another site for the first time? Sure, you have. And like everyone else, you ignored it. Now, have you seen that same add a second time. But now it has likes, comments or closely relates to a service or product you been recently researching? You bet, and now your curiosity is piqued. So, you click the ad.

Well, guess what, they knew you would need more than a single impression before engaging with their ad. Knowing this, they created an ad budget that resulted in the best possible placement. The more we see something, the more we trust it. I have no idea why this is true, but it is.

Now, I am not suggesting nor saying you need thousands and thousands of dollars for your ad budget. What I am saying is that most business will set an ad budget that is too low, get little to no results and give up. Or worse, think PPC or SMM is a rip-off.

If digital marketing ads did not work, companies would not have spent a cool $111.14 billion for online ads in 2017. What this shows is, if your ad spend is too low all you are doing is throwing your hard-earned money away. I like to say if you spend $5 on something that provides you no ROI you are wasting your money. Do this long enough, and it adds up to a lot of wasted money.

So, do yourself a favor and plan appropriately for your ads. The minimum your business should be spending is $1,000 per month. Depending on your industry and how competitive it is, this might even be too low.

No Measurement of True ROI

This one, on the surface, seems simple. Measuring your ROI is critical for any business. You would be surprised how many business owners miss this. They are either tracking the wrong indicators or have no measurement in place other than leads and sales gained.

First impressions are a killer. If you heard of someone spending $20,000 in a month and gaining only ten clients, what would you think?

Let’s explore this example deeper and find the real ROI. Let’s say we are contractors wanting to advertise kitchen remodels. Here is how we could measure our ROI.

We can see the ads do cut into our bottom line profit, but we expected that. Even at an astonishing $2k CPA, we are still making money. Not to mention, many customers will likely spend above the national average. Here is where things get more exciting for our imaginary business: Customer Lifetime Value.

Customer Lifetime Value (or CLV), is the net profit attributed to the entire future relationship for each of your customers. Meaning, future work, and purchases. For contractors, did you know that 30% of customers use the same contractor for additional handyman services? Or that 19% of those customers used the same contractor for a bathroom remodel?

When measuring your ROI on ads, look beyond the surface. Seek out the real long-term impact ads can have on your business. In this scenario, the made-up businesses CLV could be $30,000 in gross profit. Meaning this single $2,000 online ad drove in an additional $28,000 to the business!

What looked questionable at first, now looks like a great investment.

Too Broad of an Audience

Without question, advertising online is not easy. But you are determined to make it work. You have a well-researched and proper budget, you know your CLV and have all ROI measurements ready. So, you fire up your ad campaign and POOF. Google or Facebook blows through your budget faster than it took you to hit submit. With no leads. What gives?

Well, more than likely you fell into the first trap. Target audience. For Google, this can get confusing and fast. Knowing and selecting target keywords is important, but you already know that. But what about negative keywords? Did you use those strategically?

Going back to our kitchen remodeling example, if our target keywords are:

  • Kitchen Remodel + city
  • Kitchen Remodel Contractors + city

Some negative keywords we would want to use would be:

  • Ideas
  • DIY
  • “Do It Yourself”
  • “How to”

The concept here is, narrow down your audience to those with a specific search intent for the product or service you are offering.

The same idea is used for Facebook as well. Our kitchen remodeling business will only want to advertise to homeowners. Advertising to renters or college students is more than likely the wrong demographic.

So, take your time and make sure you are targeting the keywords and audience that matters most for your business.

Still Not Seeing Results?

Just like you, I as well have nailed every step above and claimed the prize of no results. I felt bad. Like I wasted my time and money for nothing. Maybe that $114.4 billion businesses are spending on digital ads is a shame. Well, to be nice I was wrong. And so are you.

When

The problem? My ad and my offer stunk. I offered no value to the consumer. It was just my ad telling people to give me money. In truth, your target audience is educated and inundated with ads. They have learned how to quickly and effectively ignore the standard ad post. They also have high expectations.

For Facebook ads, this means putting together an ad copy that is engaging and drives a killer call to action. Your offer could be an insane one-time offer for new customers. If you are doing remarketing it could be an exceptional loyalty offer. Or you have a solution to a problem everyone has, and you are ready to help them.

Whatever it is, you need to capture their attention and get engagement going on your ad. Your goal is to stop the scroll and get them to engage. So, taking the time to create a well thought out ad copy with a got-to-get-it offer along with an attention-grabbing image is how to create a successful campaign.

When turning to Google Ads, it’s all about that landing page. Your landing page should have clear calls to action, content that is relevant to the users search terms and it must be fast-loading.

I often see companies spending $20-$50 per click and sending their audience to an outdated website. Some have it pointing to their homepage that does not reference the search term, so users would have to navigate to that specific page.

Others businesses forgot to add a web form, or do not list their phone number. This only results in poor user experience. As a result, you can expect a low-quality score and you’ll be forced to increase your bid amounts. All in hopes that you can rank in the top 3 Google Ads.

Save yourself that hassle, build yourself a landing page that is designed to convert leads. There are a number of websites that have easy to follow point and click landing page templates. Use them, or hire a pro to build a landing page for you.

Conclusion

Digital Marketing and advertising online are growing with no signs of slowing down. Companies are seeing huge drop-offs from native print and TV ads with mobile usage exploding. If your business wants to compete in 2019 and beyond, online marketing is a must -but be smart about this.

We would never jump head first into a lake with no knowledge of how deep the water is. Don’t make this mistake with PPC and SMM. Online marketing is not easy. You need to have a deep understanding of digital marketing trends, how to run A/B split tests and how to target the right audience. If you are like most business owners, hiring a digital marketing professional to help you is the right choice and can save you thousands in wasted efforts.

Jayson Rellis
Director of Operations at

Jayson has been working with marketing teams for almost two decades. He’s helped manage millions in ad budgets. Working with Fortune 100 companies has taught him a lot about business, marketing and success.  When it comes to PPC, SEM or otherwise paid search and advertising Jayson knows what it takes to create a winning campaign.