Often times, a PPC campaign runs like clockwork. They are so fully automated that we tend to just check the standard metrics for our periodic reports, but don’t look too deeply into what’s really going on in the user experience. Many marketers aren’t paying attention to the small details that can actually have a big impact on campaign performance.
PPC campaign strategies that fall into the “set and forget” category need a forensic review on a regular basis. As marketers, we need to make sure they don’t keep chugging mindlessly down tracks that are falling out of favor with the target audience.
Here, I offer some self-checklist questions and professional marketing tips using commonly available analytics tools that will help you improve PPC campaign performance.
1. Do your keywords actually match the search terms users are entering?
The closer these match, of course, the better your PPC performance. Using only one keyword, even if it tested well to begin with, may not keep up with search terms used more often today.
One way to address this is to create a keyword “ad group” using a basic search term and its most-used variations. For example:
Basic search term: HR software for small business
Variations: Small business HR software, HR apps for small business, HR software for <50 employees, small business employee HR app
Shoot for a 1:1 ratio of search terms to keywords within your ad group.
2. Using actual search terms in your ads is even more powerful.
Most digital ad channels give you options for rotating headlines in your ads, so by frequently rotating among variations you will reach the top 10 results for more of your target users in your paid search.
If you can lower your search term to keyword ratio to 1:1, you can take it one step further and do the same from keyword to ad. When this happens, you’re able to increase your clickthrough rate, which in turn:
- Increases quality score,
- Decreases cost-per-click,
- Increases impression share,
- Improves your average position.
3. Do you know which keywords, audiences, or placements are actually making you money?
If you don’t track the components of your campaign and attribute them to your sales, you might be missing out on the best places to focus your efforts.
By implementing Google’s ValueTrack parameters you can automatically track data within URLs when your visitors convert to a final sale.
Then, by tying your hidden field sales tracking back to your CRM, you can learn the specific details about which leads are making you actual revenue. (Sales will love you for this too, and it could start you down a road for better mutual cooperation.)
Hidden form fields can reveal things that happen during a conversion, like which landing page URL your conversion came from, where the visitor is located, or what keyword were typed.
Tracking your keyword search terms all the way through to sales (as opposed to stopping at initial conversions) gives you better insight into which ones are actually the most valuable.
4. Do your CTAs and offers resonate according to visitor origin?
Knowing where your visitors come from can help you immensely when it comes to matching your call-to-action with where they are in your conversion funnel.
The warmer your visitor’s intent, the warmer the CTA can (and ought to) be.
Traffic that comes in from the display network or YouTube channels will likely respond to bottom of the funnel CTAs, since those visitors are in the awareness stage. An example might be, “Sign up for our monthly tips newsletter.”
Traffic that comes in from rich content on your website (white papers, e-guides, etc.) would respond to warmer CTAs, such as “Schedule a demo.”
5. What are micro conversions telling you about your landing page?
Micro-conversions are the minutiae of keystrokes and mouse clicks that a user enters on a given page, all conveniently tracked for us by those data hounds at Google Analytics.
Unpacking the ones that really count toward sales conversions, here are some categories to look at:
Time On Site. How long are visitors spending on your landing page? If the time is brief, the conversion issue doesn’t have to do with your page design. The issue is probably happening in an earlier stage, like in your ad keywords or targeting options. People who aren’t actually interested in your offer are being sent there by bad targeting, then quickly abandoning.
Scroll Depth. How far are your visitors scrolling down your landing page? If they aren’t scrolling down very far, maybe you need to have a shorter landing page and a CTA that’s above the fold.
Form Field Completion. Are visitors abandoning your forms? If so, try testing out different formats and include a multi-step landing page with more form fields. The ideal number of form fields for a landing page in the B2B industry is between 3 and 5. That should be enough to properly sort prospects into your various sales funnels.
Button Click. Test out different CTA button colors and button copy; phrases that refer to the value work best, such as “Get my free template.”
6. Contact visitors that abandon
Email remarketing is powerful! People who abandon your online order process almost purchased from you. Research shows that on average, you have 90 minutes to re-contact the customer if you want to complete the sale.
Your back end should display partially completed forms. Automatically feed those email addresses into your email marketing software so they receive a “come back and get it” message, and include an offer to sweeten the pot further. One cruise booking company increased their sales conversions by over 60% when employing this method.
Leadit Marketing manages a variety of PPC campaigns for clients. We can help you setup and run your own successful PPC campaign. Questions always welcome!
Shannon Prager is recognized B2B marketing strategist and the President of Leadit Marketing. She is responsible for the daily operations and management of Leadit Marketing as well as the long term vision for the company.
A marketing leader with over 19 years of B2B demand generation and marketing experience, she understands the importance of a fully developed integrated marketing strategy. Shannon’s background includes demand generation, marketing automation, social media, digital marketing, customer marketing, account based marketing and marketing operations. You can follow her on LinkedIn via https://www.linkedin.com/in/shannonprager or Twitter @ https://twitter.com/LeaditMarketing
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