The PPC customer journey: generate more effective conversions.
There can be no doubting the success Google Adwords pay-per-click (PPC) campaigns can deliver. For companies who want to feature high on Google searches and capture live search leads, it can be a very profitable way of advertising and capturing sales leads for instant conversion. However, a large majority of companies that undertake campaigns are still not seeing the ROI that their investment warrants, because only half of the customer journey with PPC is being completed. Essentially the customer starts out on the journey but then gets ‘dumped’ and is lost forever. Why? Because too many companies think the job is done once the Ads are running.
With PPC the opportunity to instantly convert clicks to sales is huge. The searcher is what is called live (actively looking for information). They are basically sitting in front of a browser looking for information or for a product. This is a prime opportunity to make a rapid sale.
Commonly made mistakes:
It is extremely important that the back-end process of conducting a PPC campaign is focused and tightly managed. In reality most companies put lots of effort into ensuring that the bids are managed properly, campaigns appear, and that ad text is correct – after all, this is an essential part of the process.
However it’s only a part of the story!
An ad will not simply deliver sales just by appearing on the first page of Google. The ad must lead somewhere that delivers value for the visitor, which is why organisations need to look at the beginning-to-end PPC journey. And over half of that journey requires a plan for what you do with the customer or potential customer once the ad is being clicked.
Perhaps the most common mistake is to take visitors to a company homepage that contains no relevancy to the searcher’s request. People using a search engine are looking for a reason and will usually have a live requirement. What they don’t want to do, once they have clicked through, is to conduct further searches on a home page. Make the process too difficult (and that could mean just a couple of additional clicks) and they will navigate away or press the back button on the browser. Not only have they been lost this time, they may be lost forever – and it has cost you money in the process!
So the advice here is unless your home page is completely relevant to the campaign DON’T make it the landing page for your PPC campaign!
Instead, why not take them to:
• A dedicated and relevant, dynamically generated landing page with high-profile call to action
• A relevant page within your e commerce site
Or, if it has to be the company site, at least make it a relevant area on that site with graphics and text that will immediately guide the visitor to where they want to be.
Dedicated dynamic landing pages
When you travel anywhere you want to ensure that you end up in the right place, it’s exactly the same with PPC. Once the searcher has clicked you need to drive them to the place you want them to go to and they want to go to. This is your opportunity to really optimise the campaign with relevant content that matches exactly what the searcher is looking for. It’s all about being relevant and prompting the viewer to take action based on the content.
Landing pages cannot be generic – ideally they need to be dynamically generated to match the search phrase or the conversion phrase. Or at least have a static landing pages for every ad.
For example, if your customer is looking for electrolytic capacitors then the landing page generated needs to be relevant to this term. Images and text associated with the search need to be shown.
Google uses three factors to determine the position of your PPC ad and the cost per click.
1. Ad Rank is calculated using your bid amount and Quality Score, which determines how relevant your ads, keywords and landing page are to the person seeing the ad along with the bid price.
2. The Quality Score is calculated using a number of measures including the quality of your landing page (determined by relevance, transparency and navigability), geographic performance, and how well your ads have performed on different types of devices (you get a different score for laptops, mobile devices and tablets)
3. Of course, relevance is in the eye of the beholder, and Google cannot determine if a webpage is being read or is only open, so relevancy is measured by how many people click further within a site rather than ‘bouncing’ from the site.
In addition, the Quality Score also includes a measure of the relevance of your keyword/ad and keyword/search, your keyword’s expected click-through rate (CTR), previous CTRs of the site and display URL as well as your account’s overall CTR history.
However, getting someone to your site is really just the start of the sales process.
Once on your landing page what then?
Now that you have got their interest you need the viewer to take action. That’s why we would always recommend a strong call to action. Buy now, speak to us, enquire here are all phrases that convert well.
On the landing page, include a form that a viewer feels inspired to fill in. Consider giving them something for free for filling it in eg: a whitepaper, a catalogue, whatever in reality will whet the viewer’s appetite. Once the form has been filled in, make sure a champion in the office is alerted who can follow up quickly within normal business hours. Remember these people are looking for a response now – not in 24 hours!
Put a large customer service number on the page that the viewers can’t miss. Give a dedicated phone number for the campaign and when that number rings answer it quickly -here is an ideal opportunity to close a deal. The time is now, not 24 hours (I will repeat this often). Once you have the customer don’t bounce them around your sales department. Listen to their enquiry, give the information and always ask for the order (don’t forget cross sell/ upsell opportunities here as this is an ideal opportunity to add more value to each individual lead)
And don’t forget to continually ‘tweak’ the campaign to further optimise ROI. For example, conduct split tests with landing pages; change the position of the pictures; modify the form.. See what works well and flex to accommodate.
The relevant page within your e-commerce site
This is probably the best area to drop a visitor off at if you want customers to self-serve and the best ROI on a campaign.
For example, if a searcher finds your D-type connector advert after a search, then take them to the relevant section in your e-commerce site. From there they can see what they need and go straight to purchase (but remember, live search needs instant information).
If it has to be the company site make it a relevant area
This is self-explanatory but too often we see PPC clicks going to an irrelevant home page. Jump the visitor into the right section, or put landing pages within your site. Just with a few simple tweaks to your CMS you can create a strong call to action on the page.
While the process of PPC sounds easy, deriving the maximum success from a campaign goes beyond creating the ad. Successful PPC may also need a change of the culture within a business to ensure that it’s fully embraced by your sales teams and the individuals responsible for your web presence. However, with the right focus and drive and by getting all the elements right – and, therefore, taking the customer on a compete journey from the moment they find your ad – PPC has the power to deliver awesome ROI for what, in reality, can be a relatively modest investment.