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Are Dead-End Leads Ruining Your Pay Per Click ROI?

September 25, 2013 By Sarah Kicinski
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Pay per click (PPC) advertising can be an amazing tool for generating revenue for your business. However, something that can sneak into your PPC advertising and ruin your return on investment (ROI): dead-end leads. They are pretty much the worst. I'll explain why in a moment, but first let me tell you about my "straw that broke the camel's back" moment with dead-end leads.

I am the Chief Marketing Officer of PostcardMania, a direct mail company based in Clearwater, Fla. With that job comes the responsibility of overseeing our PPC performance. One day I discovered we had paid for a click on one of our ads by a Google user who typed "How to Get on McDonald's Mailing List" into the search engine.

This is a problem for me, because obviously this user wasn't going to be interested in purchasing a targeted mailing list to use with a direct mail campaign (which is what we provide). He just wanted some McDonald's coupons, and we can be of no help in that area. He is an unqualified lead for us, and shouldn't have even seen our ad. However, because he had the words "mailing list" in his search query, he was shown one of our mailing list ads. I don't know why he clicked on it, but that's the least of my concerns. Maybe we're just so good at creating ads that even people with zero interest in our offerings want to click on them. I like that explanation.

Long story short, dead-end leads like this one were ruining our ROI, because we were paying for them without a prayer of generating revenue from them. I came up with two strategies to rectify the situation while maximizing our ROI at the same time. These strategies will improve the ROI of any PPC campaign by ridding you of dead-end leads and maximizing revenue generation.

1. Keep Out Dead-End Leads With Negative Keywords
PPC uses keywords to identify quality prospects based on what they are searching for. The terms you want Google to target for you are called "positive" keywords, because they target the prospects you want to see your ads. These prospects are likely to be interested in what you offer, so showing them your ad means a good chance of generating revenue or at least a hot lead.

 

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