Many things in your life fly under the radar because you get busy and your brain automatically shuts off excess noise all together. It’s just not you, I develop the same blind spots from my busy day. We all do and you can count on your audience and future clients being no different. We all see problems more than we see solutions throughout our day, it’s what gets our attention. So to understand you visitor and prospect better you will need data, data is a snapshot of events in the past, present and what may happen in the future. It predicts and gives us baselines to understand the otherwise hidden details.
We are creators of habit
Patterns are formed out of everything in life, we all make them by forming habits. For what I do, I can go through a high level of interruptions a day, so the typical patterns never emerge or so I think. Patterns are like micro tears in our brains that heal from use and form strong connections with that pattern for the future. Yes it’s abstract but it stands to reason, we need to look at our websites traffic, conversion data and find what works, the patterns and take close notice of them.
Interrupting the flow of your visitors day
You can formulate a plan to interrupt your visitors pattern, draw their attention toward the product or your service. Their typical behaviour will only be known from digging deep into your database or metrics program. That is why data is so important, how else will you know emerging buying patterns and how to leverage them. With PPC a lot of money can be spent and quickly. You never want your efforts to be in vain, so take hold of every advantage you can get.
So how to quantify data from a source like PPC?
It’s a huge undertaking but my advice, read the article and take it one step at a time. Data helps predict the future and gives us insight into the present overall collective mood of our site visitor. If I say glass you say ____. Our answers will not all be the same 100% of the time but it proves many of us think alike. The danger comes from thinking we have invented something new under the sun when the concept is hundreds of years old.
Consider the following a starting point to get creative with your ppc data, it’s to get the bells ringing in your mind. Granted many companies may not swim in such deep waters of what I will be sharing. This is a more advanced overview and comes only after living with your paid accounts data over time, meaning you pour over and micro managed every nook and cranny. This post is geared toward site landing pages used for marketing purposes but can also work the same for email campaigns or any page on your site.
Lead tracking reference point and data collection
Conversion data needs to have a point of origin, some mechanism to collect the data. Whether you are using Google Analytics, Adobe Sitecatalyst (formerly known as Ominture) or something similar. At this point it’s more important that you capture the data than what you use to gather it. You will need a point of reference so when a lead is submitted on your form than tracking per email or phone number should be used (point of reference), it all depends what information you collect and can refer back to. The more information you can collect the better, lead source, keyword, ad title, location and plus any data you need to make contact with your new prospect. I am not a big fan of data collection agencies, so I advocate that companies only use their own data for internal purposes. Again I do not advocate the use of collecting information by lead or list brokers, turn back now if that is what you do.
Multiple form submitted by the same person
If you have multiple landing pages running across various related keywords in your PPC campaign. If it’s all for the same product but simply the landing pages have a different urls with different appearances. Then your company is bound to have duplicates. There are people that will search multiple ways and submit a form to many of your various landing pages or offers (meaning they don’t realize it’s the same company). The leads when legit and normally in the same day or two can prove to be more valuable. Why? Because most of the time that persons intent says they are very seriously about seeking the service or product you offer.
Most companies probably do not track this metric and for many companies it may seem the repeated PPC click is costing them more to get the same lead. They are 100% right, it’s costing more money to get that lead and it means the person is probably also contacting your competition. To me a duplicate lead like this says interest and opportunity. So you can choose to ignore this data point because after all what can you do but accept the obvious inflated costs of the occasional duplicate. Or better yet dig into your data to identify the keyword and track to see if those types of leads have a higher ROI. Of course contact that duplicate prospect as you normally would but keep in mind, you will want to dig to see what attracted them, see if it starts to form a pattern. Ask yourself do these the types of leads convert better into sales. What you are going to discover is probably a “buyer keyword” emerges, it has the potential of becoming your goldmine.
Keywords that are long winded
You probably know this but just in case. Long tail keywords are a string of keywords that make up a keyword phrase. Take a look at this searched keyword phrase “skin care that won’t dry my skin out”, in your PPC account you targeted a phrase keyword “skin care” and you are getting conversions from your landing page and making sales on that keyword.
I am not going to cover how you find this information in detail with this blog post. Though in case you need to know, you can find this data through proper tracking or simply use the dimensions tab in your Adwords or Bing Ads accounts while looking at the keywords within an Ad Group. At this point I want to remind you again, this is an overview and if you request a more detailed tutorial I might be persuaded to make a video on tricks to using the dimensions tool.
The important thing is by digging a bit below the surface with the dimensions report; you now have intel for the real reason your visitors came to your site. It’s because they think you have help for dry skin. Your product may be skin care that releases natural oils and dry skin is a side note in your marketing efforts. So through this process you can discover what part of your product drives sales, it’s not always what you think but what the data reveals.
Another big benefit to the process is monkeys
What you want to do is find keywords hidden in your main broad or phrased keywords that convert to leads. Than you can create an [exact] match keyword and bring down your cost for that keyword. You may also notice an odd keyword within the string. For instance “skin care for monkeys”. Your skin care keyword phrase is there but your product is for humans only.
Don’t forget to add negative keywords to your PPC accounts
So simply by adding the exact/phrase negative keywords (“monkeys”, “dogs”, “babies”) to your Bing or Google Adwords ad group level. It’s basically any keywords outside of your target that you would not want to show up for in the paid search results. It’s a worthwhile ongoing process that will save you money, so do yourself a favor and start up the habit. So to my point, what you will find when digging deeper is this; unnecessary clicks are costing you money, especially from monkeys with skin care issues…oh the humanity!
Overworking the data and major tweaking endlessly
When my wife and I went to Mexico for our honeymoon we visited some of the local ruins, it was the summer and a very hot sun day. We had a blast but no one reminded me that my body required water when having that much fun. By the time we ran back to our bus which we were late for I was oddly blacking out. Yes I’m pretty sure I had heat stroke but after my lovely wife got me an orange cola, an hour later I was alive again buying odd little trinkets on the side of the road. My point in all this is to say, common sense should never be abandoned for excitement!
The same way don’t overwork your keyword and account data, change something to fast and it may shut down, to slow and you miss a lot of opportunity. On average for most companies it’s wise to look at our data every week and inspect for any subtle changes, like your cost per lead is on the rise, maybe conversion are trending down or up. I will point out that once your accounts grow by significant margins and you are spending a vast amount of money on PPC. You will find yourself looking at real-time analytics data throughout the day. At that time you have enough data that making changes on the fly can reveal the effects of your efforts quickly. It’s an important job you hold, the one that makes sure conversions are abounding and the cost per lead is in your companies profit goals.
Small increments pay off big over time
Much like SEO, PPC is developed overtime and moving the mark by a percent per week to the positive is huge when done over months. These are a few metrics to look at:
- Keyword list for poor converters
- Keyword list for best converters
- Countries that have the best/worst conversions
- Keywords that produce clicks but never convert
- How long on average does the average visitor stay
- Is there a bottleneck in your long form
Note: A/B split testing landing pages should be done by making small increments at a time.
Increasing impressions and reducing ad spend
A big benefit that can help your PPC account quickly is segmenting out keywords in your AdWords or Bing Ad account. Think about the best way to segment your campaigns and ad groups. Possibly segment those that have low quality scores, 6 and under so you can work to raise that quality score. Those that have high quality scores, take a look and find out why they do, be proactive and thoughtful about your paid campaigns. Delete keywords that have a quality score 4 and under, that is if you cannot get to them right away. It will help your overall account score and level of success. You know the lower your quality score the more you pay and I mean you can end up paying a lot more. Finding the right lead is about connecting the dots between your ppc ad, landing page, cost-per-click (CPC), impressions, ad position and ongoing keyword analysis.
Follow that lead
However you can do it, make sure to tag your keywords so that it follows that lead, the result of a lead typically is a sales conversion, right? So work to tie that data to the keyword and advertising source level. Let your analysis and reports show you what to do next and then take action. If you get the keywords that convert the most into sales, it’s a homerun.
What does your day look like?
It’s the minor changes that make that biggest impact. Please do not think you have to tweak your account everyday unless you handle a larger account with multiple landing pages and products; for most companies, let it breath just a bit. Don’t change your PPC strategy on a whim, make major changes or change to fast. Knee jerking tends to destroy your accounts hard earned data and frustrate you and your company.
Nothing happens until a sale is made
Though I assume you have your paid accounts in place and everything is up and running now and your landing pages are capturing leads. The next thing is to make sure conversions are at an acceptable cost-per-lead. Once you have that take a chill for a few and let the data build up. Once you have your baseline look at the keywords converting to leads, than sales. Walk back to the sales room and ask, how are the leads I am sending you doing this week, are sales up or down? If you work at a company divided into departments you quickly discover the norm is; departments are dysfunctional. So the sales department will appreciate you asking, especially if the employees work based mainly on commissions from your lead generation efforts.
Last but not least
Remember to build on your successes. Many times what you have is working so give your PPC account time to grow, make space for success. We experience this all the time with companies that we consult with, PPC accounts crumble due to overworking them or underworking them. Overloading a ppc strategy or having none at all seems to be the main culprits. By using the word overload, I am not suggesting you do not pay close attention to your data, quite the opposite. Just do not start pulling wires before you know what they do. If you follow even a portion of this, your web audience will have some very interesting things to say about your efforts that come in the form of new clients.