Excuse my title but the only thing worse than not including Pay Per Click as part of your marketing arsenal is doing it all wrong. Setting up a campaign by yourself without research, paying big bucks for a so-called professional or blindly letting Google do it for you is throwing money away.
The vast majority of campaigns I see are really missing the point.
This is not intended to be an all-inclusive article about Pay Per Click. My goal is to make people think before blindly jumping into PPC without understanding a few tactics and doing some research. I will tell you a couple of things to consider and a few resources check out.
In my examples here we will be working with and exclusive aircraft charter company. Three months ago I was contacted by a company that was spending $10,000 per month on Google PPC. The charter business has really been spanked by the economy lately. This client was like most. They wanted to reduce cost while improving performance. They actually wanted me to do SEO work for them but I was flabbergasted by their PPC campaign.
To do a little research I went to adwords.google.com/select/KeywordToolExternal. This is Google's free keyword research tool. I always start my research here because this is the up-to-date information on what words viewers are using to search your given product or service. Google does its best to help you here however they may unintentionally mislead you elsewhere. I will explain later.
The owner was convinced that "private jets" was his most important keyword/phrase because of the number of searches. Now, here is one of my strategies. I always suggest using and action rather an object. By this I mean "private jet" is an object and "charter private jet" is an action. The person searching an action phrase is more likely to take action. He's a more likely buyer.
My client was really stuck on his "private jets" keyword so I had him do the following searches: "private jet crash", "private jet pictures" and "private jet jobs". Well, the light came on when he saw his company #1 for crashes, #3 for people looking to steel his pictures and he also found why every out of work pilot was calling him for jobs. And remember, he was paying for these people to find him.
Negative words are words added to the campaign's list that will block your ad from showing in search results. Simply adding a minus sign in front of a word will make it a negative word. I added the following to correct the issue above; -crash, -crashes, -pictures, -graphics, -jobs, - employment (This saves big money on your PPC campaign). Be creative and work as hard on your negative words as you do on your keywords.
Misleading Google advice
Here is a tactic Google will use to try to get your client to do business with them or to get you to pay additional money for their service. Let's say your keyword had 1.2 million impressions (views) and you received 850 clicks. Google will tell your client they are loosing big time because 1,999,200 people didn't click on their listing. While that is true, it is very misleading. It is like telling Bank of America that 1.2 million cars are driving by their billboard on the freeway and most are not calling to open an account. High impressions help build name recognition. You also don't want every viewer to click on the ad you are paying for. You only want the likely buyers.
I hope this gives you a few things to think about before jumping in. However I strongly suggest you do jump. It is much smarter to do some promotion than to just sit back and hope some business comes your way.