Your pay per click campaign drives a huge amount of traffic to your site. These are the kind of numbers that you brag to your friends about, and the best part is you are spending so little for each of these clicks that you can purchase this level of traffic for a long time. With these numbers it is only a matter of time until your business starts making a tidy profit.

Except, all too often it isn’t. It doesn’t matter how long you let your pay per click campaign run – it will never be successful.

This is the frustrating experience of far too many business owners.

You receive huge amounts of cheap traffic from pay per click/Internet advertising and never get a single lead or a sale. You assume that you are being deceived by the systems that they use, but the numbers in your analytics do not lie. You really may be receiving 15,000 visitors to your site every week and every single one of them really does go to your page and immediately leaves without ever making you a single profit or dollar.

It is frustrating, it is unfair, and it is because you are making one of the most common mistakes in Internet advertising….

So Many Clicks With Such Few Results

For Internet Advertising, all clicks are not equal. Some clicks hold immense business value while others are worthless to you in the business sense. No matter how many you of these worthless clicks you receive, they will never produce a business result. Judging your campaign by the quantity of the clicks you receive from your ad spend rather than the quality of the clicks sets you up for failure.

Cheap clicks are often not targeted, come from users (oftentimes in other countries) who are uninterested in your business, and even if they were interested they do no have the means to purchase the product or service. They are a complete waste of ad spend. More expensive clicks are from users who are highly targeted, genuinely looking for a solution to a problem and have the means to make the purchase.

I have seen cheap clicks used as a measuring stick by many smart business people. It is not necessarily your fault – unethical PPC companies often use, as part of their sales process, the number of cheap clicks they can drive to your site to sign their clients.

As an example: About two months ago I had a potential client call me and inform me that a competing Internet Advertising company informed him that they could get him 1,000 clicks for $50.00 in ad spend and he wanted to know if I could match those numbers. Since I get these types of questions all the time, I tried to steer him in the right direction by saying:

 “I could get you that many clicks for that price, but is does that matter for your business? Success in pay per click isn’t measured by the number of clicks, it is measured in business terms. I would rather get you 10 qualified clicks from users that are actually interested in your service and have the means to buy it than give you 1,000 low quality clicks that will never help your business”

Get Qualified Clicks

When you think of clicks in PPC the goal is to get qualified users rather than a quantity of users. Even the best product or service will fail to achieve a return on ad spend if the person who clicked on the ad is unable or unwilling to make the purchase. The best way to do this is to disqualify and exclude users who are not of business value and only show ads to potential customers that you deem qualified. This is done by using the available tools in the AdWords and facebook interface to perform a heavy screening process.

How To Screen To Get Qualified Clicks

You can follow the same screening process that I do, which eliminates 80% of the bad clicks and lets you serve more ads to qualified prospects who can actually increase revenue for your business. You simply need to screen for three things:

1. Screen for Your Target Market

Oftentimes this is where cheap clicks hurt you the worst. If you are a carpenter who serves New York City, paying for a cheap click from India is not going to help your business. In the same way paying for even 1,000 cheap clicks from India won’t help your business. In all the major advertising platforms you can exclude people from seeing your ad and do it by such demographics as: sex, geography, age, and even device. For example, if you sell a product that is only for iPhones than people on Androids are disqualified customers and you do not want to pay for those clicks. You could also instruct the system to only include an area – with the example you may want to only have your ad show in New York City or you can even do certain zip codes within New York City.

2. Screen for Interest

You want the user to type in specific phrases to trigger your ad that show they are interested. For example, if you are a personal trainer in Boston some of the phrases that show user interest and would qualify a user include: find a personal trainer in Boston, how to get in shape, and learn to workout. You would want to disqualify and exclude users who search for phrases that include personal trainer, but are not of business value to you such as how to become a personal trainer. The tool to use for this is negative keywords within Google AdWords, by adding a word as a negative keyword you are instructing the system not to show it. Using the personal training example you would add how to become as a negative and anytime someone typed in how to become a personal trainer your ad would not show

3. Screen For The Ability To Pay

My favorite way to do this screening is to focus on the language in the search query. There is a huge difference in what a person will pay between a user who types in best salon in Philadelphia and cheap haircut Philadelphia. If I was running a high end salon then I wouldn’t want to pay for a clicks on the search query cheap haircut Philadelphia – I would disqualify any users who types that in. Again, this is relies on the negative keyword abilities of the Google AdWords interface. In the example I would add the word cheap as a negative keyword and your ad wouldn’t show for cheap haircut Philadelphia or cheap haircut salons.

How do you qualify your customers?

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