Pay per click works if performed properly

How sad it is when you see examples of online marketing failing to work, and sigh when you think of how much money is wasted.

I suppose this is the same for other forms of advertising, which brings to mind a local magazine that is delivered monthly through my letterbox full of hopeful advertisers actively publicising their services. But that is a subject for another post.

Let’s get back to online advertising. I wanted to get a galvanised metal watering can for my husband’s birthday, a big sturdy one rather than one of those delicate versions you daintily water your house plants with.

So I typed in ‘metal watering can’ into Google and surveyed the screen in front of me. (Please bear in mind that entries on Google continuously change, so if you do this you may see something different.) The top five links seemed likely possibilities.

How annoying! Amongst small dainty examples that I didn’t want, there were some sites that didn’t even have ordinary watering cans available. Eh? I didn’t want to buy discounted garden furniture or a 100 ft hose. And further investigation revealed the company didn’t sell watering cans because their search mechanisms didn’t bring any up.

So I looked at the paid for links in the shaded areas, and started to receive the same treatment – and this struck me: why did they compose these pay per click adverts that didn’t deliver what they said on the tin? Surely it would be a waste of money if the visitor ends up being confronted with something they didn’t ask for?

Pay per click advertising is only effective if it is properly targeted. If your ad mentions metal watering cans then you should be directed to a page with metal watering cans in it. The index page of the garden centre is not the answer, as it is not what the clicker wanted.  A webpage offering another special offer is a complete no-no! And if your company’s website doesn’t bring up watering cans via searching, then there is definitely something wrong with your search engine optimisation.

I did find a website that had the watering can I wanted. Their concisely written pay per click ad directed me straight to a page that offered three metal watering cans. I made my selection, paid through an efficient shopping cart system, and received confirmation of my purchase plus tracking information for my watering can’s delivery progress. The watering can arrived before the time specified, and I have a happy husband.

That’s the way to succeed through PPC.

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For more common-sense advice on online marketing, Alice Elliott offers a free half-hour health check for your business.

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