You don’t just hope to launch paid campaigns on Google Ads or Facebook Ads, let them run for a day and make sales. If that were true, everyone would do it.

Jacob Baadsgaard of Search Engine Journal analyzed over 2000+ Google ad accounts — millions of dollars in total ad spend, 100 billion ad impressions, and at least over 500 million ad clicks — and concluded that at least 76% of ad accounts have wasted ad spend.

That number could be higher, since not every ad account has been audited. Chances are that you don’t even know if you are doing the right thing with your paid ads.

Paid ads

Here are a few instances where you can bet that your paid ads won’t work no matter how much money you throw at them.

1. Spending too much, too early

The trouble with all of us? Give us hope, and we are willing to jump right off the cliff. So, much that we’d jump even without a parachute.

Too many businesses spend too much money, too fast.

When you first get started with Google Ads, Facebook Ads, or with any other paid advertising channel, it is critical to keep your budgets low.

Starting with low budgets gives you breathing room, more mileage (as far as time that the campaigns are live is concerned), and allow you to split-test ads and funnels (see below).

2. Ads pointing to your homepage

If you are already running paid campaigns on Google Ads or Facebook Ads, check to see if your destination URL is that of your homepage or a random page on your website.

If so, you’d be lucky to get any results at all. Even if you do manage to convince your visitors to take action, it will basically be out of sheer luck. However, luck is not strategy.

As you get more web visitors, you will need a more compelling, focused, and absolutely relevant landing page to nudge your visitors to sign up for your offer.

Pages with distracting elements, like other links to click on, social buttons, irrelevant images and anything else that takes the focus away from what you want web visitors to do on your page, are a major mistake.

To make the most out of your paid traffic you need landing pages. Any campaigns without relevant landing pages, that match your advertising message to a targeted audience, are likely to fail.

3. Campaigns with no offers

Call to action

Customers have choices today. More choices than anyone could have ever imagined. Within your own industry, your competitors are already wooing your potential customers with all sorts of offers, discounts, or some sort of value addition upfront even before asking them to part with their money.

Campaigns that focus on direct sales by pointing to pages with a “buy now” button on them, campaigns that try to get to a sale before trust is established are bound to fail. You’d be lucky if you get sales this way, but not before hundreds or thousands of dollars are spent on your campaigns.

There’s only one sustainable and dependable way to run campaigns: generate leads first.

Then, use email marketing campaigns, upsells, or cross-selling to achieve your goals.

4. No funnels. No campaigns.

If there is a paid ad out there, that ad should have a singular goal: capture details of the person interested in your ad. This is lead generation at its most basic, and there’s no escaping that path.

Transactions happen when your customers are convinced that your products, services, or your brand is the solution to their problem. Customers need to be convinced that you are better than your competition and that you have enough chops that your customer can trust you with their hard-earned money.

For a business to develop trust, the window of opportunity from an ad to a landing page is too short. You need to do more with nurturing and to establish trust.

Sales funnels exist for that reason. Sales funnels could be built in any way that makes sense for your business.

Here are a few examples:

  • Ad > Landing Page > Email Autoresponder sequence
  • Facebook Ad > Facebook Messenger > Chatbot message sequence
  • Google Ad > Landing Page > Intercom chat
  • Ad > Landing Page > SMS messages

No matter how you build your sales funnels, the premise of your sales funnels is to push visitors down the path to a purchase.

5. No tracking & analytics

Someone wise said, “You can’t improve what you can’t measure”. Most businesses don’t bother with the unending list of things to do to measure, track, and analyze campaigns.

Both Google and Facebook have robust tracking and analytics tools built-in. You have Google Analytics, our own Advanced Analytics Engine, and plenty of other third-party tools such as Mixpanel, Visual Website Optimizer, Mouseflow, and Hotjar.

Starting with Google Analytics and then using other analytics and tracking tools will help you stay on top of your campaigns, analyze what works and what doesn’t, and make decisions based on data (and not opinions, whims, or preconceived notions).

Good tracking and analytics practices allow you to practice data-driven marketing.

6. Not split testing (a.k.a. A/B testing)

There’s no way in the world to know if your existing ads, landing pages, funnels, audience selection, or any other elements of your campaigns or sales funnels are the best they could be. The only way to know is to use data to make high-impact decisions to make your advertising work for you.

By split testing your ads, creatives, assets, landing pages, and funnels, you embrace data-driven marketing without letting emotions get in the way.

If you don’t test ads, for instance, you’d never know if one ad performs better against another. Not doing A/B testing is one of the reasons why most paid ads never see the light of the day.

Don’t let your marketing dollars go waste. Get professional help to help manage your campaigns. If you’d like our help, click here to learn more about how our experts can help optimize your campaigns.