I want to see you get 5x the return that you get from your PPC marketing efforts today. Think I’m crazy? Let me explain.
If your account and the way you handle PPC is the way most people do it, whether you’re spending 6 figures or just a few thousand dollars a month, your opportunity for improvement is astronomical. There is no doubt that AdWords is one of the most powerful search marketing vehicles out there. But what seems so simple and intuitive on the surface is ripe with complexities and requires a lot of effort and resources.
PPC Management is not a Ronco Grill. You can’t just set it and forget it.
Advertisers typically start with a list of keywords they have generated by themselves and if they have taken an extra step, they’ve used the keyword suggestions tools offered by Google or other tools like WordTracker and WordStream. But choosing keywords is just the beginning. You have to sort through all the keyword opportunities and take the time to understand the searcher’s intent behind the phrase. It is the advertisers responsibility to bridge the gap from the searcher’s query, the keyword they choose to advertise on and delivering an experience that will help the searcher meet their wants and needs. However, most of the time, advertisers just take a bunch of loosely associated keywords, combine them into one adgroup, select match types, place a bid, set a budget, throw up some flaccid copy for their ads and point the ads to a URL (and still too frequently to their homepage).
This is where approximately 30% of advertisers think they’re done. There are still other advanced settings that could be look into, but most of these advertisers never dive under the hood and change any of their additional settings such as ad delivery methods, ad rotation, networks, etc. Covering the use of these is beyond the scope of this article.
Congratulations! Your ads are running. But don’t go out and celebrate just yet. The work has just begun. You’ll have to look at and distribute reports such impressions, Click-Through Rates (CTR), Cost per Click (CPCs), Conversions, and more advanced reports like Return on Ad Spend (ROAS), Impression share analysis, attribution analysis/search funnels and Quality Scores. And based on all that, you begin to adjust your bidding strategies, evaluate what your competitors are doing, and tweak ads and landing pages.
About 60% of advertisers come this far. Yet, most of them spend most of their resources manually going through reports, often spending several hours a day sorting through data, mining for new keyword opportunities and deciding next steps.
The remaining 10% of advertisers who get the highest ROI are those who create value. What those 10% have figured out is how to use the limited resources they have to improve their ads, increase their CTR, Quality Scores and most importantly, improve the user experience of their ads and landing pages. Unlike other advertisers, their resources are not eaten up by the robot work of manually managing their accounts or, even worse, setting their campaigns and forgetting about them.
If you know you’re not a robot, there’s no need to act like one. Instead of exhausting your resources on daily grunt work, you should be automating or semi-automating certain parts of your PPC management so you could dedicate your resources to creating value and improving areas where you are under-performing.
Success from online marketing comes from having the right mix of people, process and tools. A little something I like to call P.P.T. But very often, the mix is wrong.
When the mix is wrong
People who focus on creating value tend to have higher quality scores and better Click-through Rates (CTR). This is why search engines don’t penalize them. Did you know that if you have a quality score of 5 you can get penalized up to 40% on your Cost Per Click (CPC)? One client I reviewed was spending around 125K/month in Adwords, had dozens of campaigns and a keyword list of over 30,000 keywords. With an average quality score of around 4, Google and searchers found their ads and landing pages irrelevant for the most part. While the client didn’t have tools or processes in place, they did have a lot of people. People who were too focused on expanding their reach but not their relevancy, and who Google penalized approximately $60k on their CPCs.
But you don’t need to be that way.
If you want to take your PPC management to the next level, a 70-10-20 mix will do the trick.
• 70 in People: Those who have marketing intelligence and creativity to create engaging ads and persuasive landing page experiences.
• 10 in Process and process enhancement: Analyze and revise. And when you’re done, do it all over again.
• 20 in Tools: Analytics, PPC management, social media monitoring and keyword discovery are just a few.
Focus your resources in the right place to create value. Only then can you sit back and watch your conversion rate go up and your cost per click go down.
3 Simple Steps to Redemption
Get your people to focus on creating value and you win the battle. Show them how to do it and you win the PPC war. One of my favorite processes for improving your current ads and landing pages or generating new ones is the Conversion Trinity- a simple but very effective way to optimize your PPC landing pages by examining the following 3 dimensions:
1. Relevance: Focusing on understanding the intent of your visitors and delivering the most relevant content for their needs.
2. Value: Making sure your visitors understand the value of purchasing from you.
3. Call To Action: Making sure that your visitors not only know what action they should take next, but that they feel comfortable taking it as well.
If you’d like to see an example of the Conversion Trinity in action, check out my post on the Acquisio blog titled "3D Landing Pages."
Use this simple process and I guarantee you will lift your quality score, CTRs and conversions. And remember, it’s not just having a 70-10-20 mix. It’s having a 70-10-20 mix of the right things.