More than 88% of pay-per-click advertising is money down the drain according to a recent survey conducted by search engine marketing specialist, Vertical Leap.

From a survey that analysed the success of non-client pay-per-click (PPC) campaigns Vertical Leap had been asked to review over 12 months, just 12% of them were achieving anywhere near the level of increased revenue the spend could potentially generate.

The survey revealed that PPC campaigns were largely failing on two counts; firstly by not driving the enough traffic to the site and secondly, by targeting the wrong keywords leading to poor conversion rate of traffic to sales. The average conversion rate from the PPC campaigns surveyed was significantly lower than Vertical Leap would deem an acceptable level from any of their own PPC campaigns.

Vertical Leap's Managing Director, Matt Hopkins said: "If any of our PPC campaigns were generating such a low conversion rate of traffic to sales we would take immediate action so our client’s pay-per-click advertising budget was being fully utilised. It's no wonder that Google is so profitable when companies are just giving away their marketing budget and getting very little in return."

"Companies who have switched their PPC campaigns to Vertical Leap have seen an average increase in traffic to their website of 26%."

Since Vertical Leap was founded in 2001, it has been able to monitor precisely the effectiveness of its PPC campaigns through its bespoke software Apollo. This custom-built software gives regular updates to Vertical Leap's Campaign Managers and clients as to how the campaign is performing and highlighting any pitfalls in the strategy.

"There are many reasons why a PPC campaign may be underperforming" suggests Matt. "The main cause of a poor traffic-to-sales conversion is that the wrong keywords have been assigned to the ad. This means it will be attracting customers who would not be the site's intended market making it significantly more difficult to convert the traffic to sales. Our software allows us to see exactly which keywords produce the best conversion rates so that we know where to focus our attention.

Another major cause of a failing PPC campaign is an inadequate landing page. The result of this is that even if a PPC ad is attracting the right market, a sub-standard landing page could be driving away valuable potential custom."

Realising the precision needed to make a successful landing site, Vertical Leap includes its design within their service. With this all encompassing service Vertical Leap is able to combine the data Apollo provides with the design of a landing page allowing for fine-tuning and constant re-evaluation of the campaign's success.

"Combining all the aspects of a PPC campaign has huge benefits for the client. Through our software we are able to see the effect each amendment to the landing page has on traffic levels and conversion rates allowing us to create the most successful landing page for each of the campaign's keywords.

"It's worrying that so many businesses are wasting so much money online. Our mission is to make sure that our clients don't fall into that trap. It's not just our unique software that sets us apart from other online marketers, it's how we combine it with our understanding of online marketing to constantly re-assess our clients' campaigns and ensure they are maximising their full potential."

Vertical Leap has more than 120 active campaigns and throughout their history have work with clients in almost every industry giving them an expert understanding of search marketing in almost every field.

Ends. Notes: Vertical Leap is a leading search engine marketing company, providing its clients with a fully managed and comprehensive campaign to improve ranking results and website performance. At the heart of Vertical Leap is TotalPropulsion, a unique concept and relentless methodology that gets results and guarantees high service. Vertical Leap is committed to providing unrivalled search intelligence to enhance that service with its own proprietary technology, Apollo, the ultimate campaign management system, delivering informed data in real time to maximise return on investment. Vertical Leap is an Adwords Qualified Company. Find out more at 
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Vertical Leap Ltd, Customs House, 10 Hampshire Terrace, Portsmouth, Hampshire PO1 2QF Tel 0845 123 2753

Published on: 10:51AM on 8th June 2009