Losing Money on Ad Campaigns and Sub-optimal Pages

by Gary on February 6, 2008

in Pay-Per-Click,SEO

Sometimes even after redesigning and optimising ones pages and they look pretty good statistics will show you that you still need to do some tweaking and that it isn’t really as optimised as you want it to be. This wouldn’t be a problem if you are merely going for one-time visitors but is a big problem if you want visitors to perform certain actions such as subscribing to your service of purchasing some item. This is an even bigger problem if, after your have “optimised the page” you run an ad campaign in order to get more traffic hoping to increase your site’s traffic. It is a problem because if you don’t realise that your page needs further optimisation you will be losing money on an ad campaign that leads to pages that do not really generate profit.

Rebecca of SEOmoz said it right when she wrote that “it’s imperative to know when to hold ’em and when to fold ’em… If something is wrong with your campaign, sometimes the right thing to do is pause your ads and figure out what’s causing the problem, then make those changes and resume for testing.” Whatever your budget for your ad campaign is it is very important that you realise when it is time to suspend your campaign to do some necessary tweaking. This is also the reason why it is critical to continuously gather and analyse conversion data throughout the campaign process. After all, without the data you wouldn’t know if your site is doing well or not and if the money you are pouring on your PPC ads are worth it.

What this means for those running ad campaign is simple. You should…

  1. make sure you use analytics tools to help you track conversion rates (This is easier, but not as easy as it sounds, with AdWords);
  2. make sure you track your conversion rates/clickthrough rates for every step in the process (including the landing page, entire sign up process, referral page, etc.) to see which pages you need to optimise further; and
  3. do usability testing to be able to address problematic pages.

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