Paid search advertising is a variable component of your marketing budget. Google will encourage you to increase your spend, even as it provides helpful tips on getting better results. Many of Google’s suggestions will be valuable, but others should be taken with a grain of salt. Increase your PPC spending budget only when you have obtained an acceptable ROI, as this will serve as a benchmark for future spending targets.
Reduce Your PPC Spending
How can you reduce your PPC spending? Optimizing your PPC management is only half of the picture. Think of paid search advertising much like the computer concept of input and output being handled by a central processor. The input represents the customer interest encapsulated in the search ad to be processed by your website, and the output is a lead or sale that is produced. An important analogy to this basic computer principle also applies, the old saying about “garbage in, garbage out.” If you only are concerned about managing the PPC ads, and ignore how the results occurred, you’ll find that success with PPC will remain out of reach.
Improve Your ROI With Paid Search
How can you improve ROI with paid search advertising?A critical skill to develop is conversion optimization. As visitors to your website interact with it, pay close attention to the complete experience and make it an ongoing practice to test new methods for converting more leads or sales. The practices on conversion rate optimization should become part of your own expertise (or your PPC manager’s expertise). Here are the key starting points for every PPC effort.
- Ensure the conversion tracking process is working.
- Review the quality of the leads.
- Gain insights into how leads are being closed.
Make sure your lead delivery process is working. This may seem very basic, but sometimes the simple things cause problems. Are you receiving all of your leads? Email is often the delivery mechanism for leads, but emails can fail or get trapped by spam filters. When your web developers change any of the call to action forms on your site, keep a vigilant eye on your lead funnel. In fact, test the lead process after any website change. Don’t always assume it is working; test it to be sure!
Once you have determined that your conversion tracking is reporting properly, then set up an ongoing dialog with your sales team about the quality of the leads or sales. You or your PPC manager should take an active role in reviewing the selling process to help your sales team understand what characterizes a qualified visit. Ask these questions:
- In lead generation applications, was the call to action the right response for that prospect?
- Does it look like there is serious interest?
- In e-commerce scenarios, was this a single-item purchase, or should there be related products to up sell?
Don’t assume a single cost per action (CPA) will apply for all leads or sales types. There are cases when a high CPA is acceptable if it produces better results in the selling process.
Take a proactive approach with your sales team and find out how well they are closing the leads that you provide. View search advertising as an integral part of the sales process, since results are easy to track. Using feedback from the sales team will help you develop more insights into what your prospects are searching for.