PPC campaign…a leaky bucket? What are we talking about? Let us explain.
Picture yourself somewhere remote where you do not have access to running water. To retrieve water for cooking, bathing or drinking, you need to take your bucket on a five minute walk and fill it up at a well. Now this is a five minute walk each way, so it’s a fair amount of work for just one bucket of water. If you manage to fill the bucket to the brim and walk very carefully without spilling any, you won’t have to make another trip. However, if you’re careless on the walk or worse, only have a bucket with small holes that leak water, you’ll definitely have to make more than one trip to and from the well.
A crude example, but you get the idea. In our PPC scenario, the water is money and the bucket is your PPC campaign. One of the main strengths of paid search advertising is that it delivers quick and predictable results for a fixed cost. But what many people don’t understand is that they can’t just throw all their money in a PPC bucket and hope for the best. Just like carrying a full bucket of water, if you aren’t focused and attentive to your PPC campaign it’ll become a leaky bucket that slowly drips and wastes your marketing dollars.
We understand that running a PPC campaign the right way is very complex, which is why we don’t recommend doing it yourself. But just in case you’re already in too deep or want to develop a better understanding of PPC, we put together this infographic to highlight some of the ways PPC campaigns can become leaky buckets:
Most marketing tactics are more effective when implemented with a strategy, and PPC campaigns are no exception. Given how easy it is to set up and launch a PPC campaign, there are far too many people who jump into it without thinking about strategy. For example, considering which area of your conversion funnel you are targeting can make a huge difference to your campaign. It doesn’t make sense to select a general keyword and ad and serve it to people at both the top and bottom of your funnel; using separate ads and keywords for each target group is a great place to start with strategy.
With a leaky bucket, it’s very easy to tell that you’re losing water. It’s much more difficult to decipher whether your PPC campaign is leaking money because it doesn’t actually fall out of the bucket, it just becomes unintentionally wasted money. In order to properly assess your PPC campaigns and ensure they aren’t leaky buckets, you need to track and measure anything to do with conversions. This means keeping an eye the conversion rates of all of your keywords as well as tracking phone-calls to study and enhance the conversations you’re having with potential customers.
You can’t run a successful PPC campaign without the right keywords, but it’s also impossible to discover optimal keywords without running any campaigns. That’s why tracking and measuring which keywords are driving the most conversions is vital if you want to prevent a leak in your campaigns. You should constantly be searching for and testing new keywords to find that perfect mix. Also, don’t forget to add negative keywords to your campaign to avoid attracting the wrong target audiences.
If you create an ad to sell a specific product or service but then send the visitor to your homepage, you have a leaky bucket PPC campaign. This is such a critical error that we don’t need to look at any stats to confirm. The number one priority of your PPC campaigns must be to use landing pages. Once you’ve got the hang of using different landing pages for different keywords, you can graduate to A/B testing your landing pages to increase the Quality Score of your ads and plug all leaks.
Have you ever purchased a product only after returning to the store a second time? If you answered yes, think about your website as that store – don’t you want to give your visitors every opportunity to come back if they leave without making a purchase (or even if they do, they might want to buy something else!). Remarketing and display ads give you the chance to get back in front of potential customers and nudge them in the direction of your brand. Given that Google reported that display campaigns reached 80% of global internet users, this is an area you probably don’t want to overlook.
You might not think that how quickly you respond to your online leads is a very important part of your PPC campaign but the truth is, it might actually be the biggest leak you have. Studies have shown that the odds of qualifying a lead drop 21 times with a response in 30-minutes versus a quick, 5-minute response. Increasing your speed-to-lead time will make you more money. 30 minutes seems like a reasonable response time and even still, those 25 minutes mean the customer is 21 times less likely to convert. Work on improving your speed-to-lead time or risk a huge leak in your bucket.
Speed-to-lead is not the only significant component of customer service when it comes to PPC success. You (or your team members) must respond in a timely and professional matter or else your chances of making a sale decrease in a hurry. A good way to plug all the leaks in this department is to get the team trained so that you are presenting a uniformly great customer experience for everybody interested in your products and services.
So, what do you know about PPC (that is, pay-per-click advertising)? If you’ve done some marketing for your business or company, you probably know that PPC entails bidding on keywords, paying for clicks and driving traffic to your website. If that’s what you know, then you’re not alone since that’s how most people view PPC. But there’s an alternative, advanced understanding of PPC that only the best in the digital marketing world are leveraging…and we’re here to let you in on the secret!
The fact is, PPC is about more than just clicks, conversions and Google searches, and the sooner you can grasp the how and why, the faster you’ll be able to get a jump on your competitors. That’s where our free webinar comes in! During this month’s feature, Discover the 5 Hidden Powers of PPC, paid search expert Jack Porter-Smith will provide actionable insights on how PPC can transform your SEO strategy, expand your brand’s reach to new audiences and totally change the way you use and measure conversion rate. He’ll also shed some light on how you can play sleuth and find valuable information about what your competitors are doing with their digital marketing. And finally, Jack will discuss how PPC lets you reach your customers at the most optimal times across all devices – with or without their permission. This is seriously good stuff that you do not want to miss!
At the end of the webinar, you’ll have a whole new outlook on PPC and understand that it can and should be an integrated part of your overall digital marketing strategy (and not solely a traffic pusher). Armed with this knowledge, you can immediately take your campaigns to the next level.
So once again, we invite you to learn more about PPC in our FREE monthly digital marketing webinar, Discover the 5 Hidden Powers of PPC. The webinar will be held on Thursday, February 27th at 10am CDT. Full details below:
DATE: Thursday, February 27, 2014
TIME: 11:00AM – 12:00PM (EST)
» I WANT TO REGISTER FOR THE WEBINAR!
The WSI Lifecycle™ is the process we use to get the best possible results for our clients. We know the Lifecycle inside and out, but it’s important that you – our clients – know it as well. Providing clients with the knowledge to understand what, how and why we’re recommending certain strategies is a big part of our success.There are many benefits to taking the time to educate clients, but here are the top three:
1. It will increase client buy-in
People are much more likely to agree to something if they understand it. We can tell clients how easy it would be to boost their organic search traffic by ranking for some low-hanging longtail keywords, but if they don’t understand what that means, we may as well be speaking gobbledigook. Would you pay for something without an understanding of how it helps you?
2. It makes it easier to see results
This ties in directly with #1, but by explaining to clients what we’re going to do and what is most likely to happen, they can be on the lookout for results. We might tell clients that our campaigns will increase their conversion rates, but if they don’t understand that we’re referring to them turning a higher percentage of their current websites visitors into paying customers, they aren’t going to be very impressed by our numbers.
3. It builds trust
We take the time to educate clients because it’s the right thing to do. Clients should know what and why we’re doing something so they can decide for themselves if it’s what they want. People are more likely to listen to a recommendation if they trust the person giving it.
At WSI, we’ve been honing our Lifecycle since 2002 and we think we’ve just about perfected it. The process gets results, and now we’re letting clients in on all the fun.
An Infographic For Your Troubles
Without further ado, here’s a peek at our WSI Lifecycle infographic. It was created to help outline the benefits of our Lifecycle process to clients, so they understand what goes on behind the scenes.
Are you ready!?
Now it’s time to break it all down and figure out exactly how our process goes to work for your business:
The Discovery phase is where we soak up any information we can find on your business. We’ll scour the Internet and determine what we think the business is about, then we’ll talk to you and your team to see how you actually want to be perceived.
The main functions of the Discovery phase are:
1. Understand your business goals
In order to run any kind of successful campaigns, we first need to understand what your business wants to accomplish, and then further, what you want to accomplish with digital marketing. If we work backwards from your goals we’ll be able to develop a strategy that aims to accomplish exactly what you’re looking for.
2. Define your target audience
Even the most successful companies in the world can’t possibly target every person on the planet. But they certainly do know whom they’re targeting, and you should too. Just like your business goals, if we consider the personas you want to reach before getting started, we’ll have a better understanding of which tactics are best-suited to capture your audience.
3. Determine opportunities
Once we understand a little more about your business, we can begin to determine the digital opportunities available to you. We’ll also take into account your industry, company size, and any other relevant details that might help us find unique opportunities for your business.
Internet Business Analysis™ (IBA)
The IBA phase is where we assess the quality of your current digital presence as well as look into how you stack up against your competitors. We’ll do lots of work and research to figure out what you’re doing right and what needs to be improved.
The main concerns of the IBA phase are to:
1. Analyze current campaigns
In some cases, you may not even be running any ‘campaigns’, but we’ll take a look at your digital efforts and try to decipher how you’re doing. This will give us a good idea of whether we need to start from scratch or work from the base you’ve already built.
If you didn’t think you had competitors, we show them to you. They’re out there and they’re trying to steal your customers. We’ll tell you who’s out there and what (if anything) they’re doing better than you.
3. Define strategy
Now comes the fun part. We stop looking at once was and start imaging the future of your digital presence. The strategy or planning aspect of the Lifecycle is where we’ll determine the tactics and campaigns that are going to carry your business forward into the digital world.
This phase probably isn’t hard to figure out – it’s where we build the components of the strategy we just devised. We’ll determine who needs to do what by when and kick the project into high-gear.
The functions of the Build phase are:
1. Gather requirements
Whether it’s design, content, or technical details, there are going to be a ton of requirements for any given digital project. And it’s during this stage that we’ll gather all of them and put them into one large basket. Just kidding. But we will try to hash out the full scope of the project.
Ready, set, go! The project is now off and running, so here’s where we’ll get the creative juices flowing as we start to piece together all the parts of the digital marketing puzzle.
Just in case we didn’t get everything perfect the first time (hey, it could happen!) we’ll give you the chance to request revisions of anything we’ve built for your campaigns. We’ll ensure everything looks and reads just the way you like.
The Implement phase is where we’ll put everything we’ve built into its final place, whether it be on your site, social platform, or behind the scenes somewhere.
The Implement phase covers:
We’ll give you one last chance to request changes and then things are set in stone forever! Not really, but we aim to produce a final version of each requirement so we can keep the ball rolling.
Blast off! When everything is ready to go, there’s nothing left to do but launch and hope for the best. Don’t worry, it’ll go well – it always does with us.
Now that everything is in place, we’ll do live tests to ensure everything is working properly and looking good. Once the tests are complete, it’s time to sit back, relax, and enjoy the show!
Just because everything is built and implemented doesn’t mean our job is done. Far from it. We won’t know whether what we’ve done is working until we measure and track the results, which is what we take care of during the Measure phase.
During the Measure phase we:
Whether it’s conversions or organic rankings, we’ll keep an eye on the metrics that we’re trying to improve, just to get an early read on how things are working. No jumping to conclusions, just a healthy dose monitoring.
Once we have enough data – and this usually takes three months or longer – we’ll determine how successful our campaigns were at achieving the goals we set out to accomplish. There’s always some level of uncertainty as to what’s going to work best, but you can never know for sure until you try!
Now that the numbers are in, we’ll need to decide what the numbers are telling us to do. The Manage Results phase is all about making campaigns more efficient by removing what isn’t working and expanding on the things that are driving results.
The main functions of the Manage Results phase are:
Instead of having you worry about it, we’ll set a reporting date beforehand, and then we’ll come in and give you the scoop. We’ll provide our insight on what’s happening and get your input on how you’d like us to proceed with managing your campaigns.
After we give you our report and get your input, we’ll get out the monkey wrench and start tweaking your campaigns. What we do will depend on the results, but it could be anything from targeting different keywords, changing the scope of content, or adjusting the design of a landing page.
And that’s it, that’s how the WSI Lifecycle™ helps your business grow. What comes next, you ask? Well, the Lifecycle comes next – it’s a cycle! You repeat the process (or most of the process) over and over, because your business is always changing and so is this place we call the Internet.