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Search Marketing: How a simple copy change increased conversion 21%

September 18th, 2014 No comments

Serving customers effectively starts with intelligence.

It’s not the kind of intelligence needed to solve Sudoku puzzles or carry home a victory on trivia night, but rather it’s what you really know about your customers:

  • What keeps them up at night?
  • How could your product or service transform their careers?
  • How could what you’re offering transform their businesses?

Yes, to serve your customers effectively, you have to understand how your products or services are relevant enough to effectively relate to their needs.

It’s also worth mentioning that PPC testing can help you build your customer theory, often on the cheap.

In today’s MarketingExperiments Blog post, let’s look at some recent PPC ad experiments that show how you can better use testing and optimization to help you understand your customers’ needs and ultimately build a deeper connection with your customers.

But first, here’s quick overview on the test background:

Background: A CRM software solution for small and large businesses.

Goal: To increase the total numbers of clicks.

Primary Research Question: Which PPC will generate the most clicks?

Approach: A/B multifactorial variable cluster

 

Control 

Control

 

The original ad emphasizes the fact that the software is award-winning and can be fully integrated into a business.

 

Treatment 

Treatment

 

For the treatment, the team proposed that the optimized ad should also use quantified evidence to emphasize and support the claim that the software is one of the most-used software suites in their respective vertical.

 

Results

Results

 

The treatment that emphasized both third-party credibility and widespread adoption outperformed the control by a relative difference of nearly 21%.

 

What you need to know

Relevance is the degree to which an offer is connected to a recipient’s motivations.

Relevance is what customers want, and — I have to emphasize this — they want your products to be relevant on their terms, not yours.

Your ability to connect with those customers hinges on how effective you are at tapping into that relevance.

To learn more about how relevance factors into conversion, you can watch the on-demand Web clinic replay of Optimizing PPC Campaigns.

 

You may also like

PPC Marketing: 3 steps to improve performance [More from the blogs]

Paid Search Marketing: 3 optimization ideas to test in your next PPC campaign [More from the blogs]

How to Test Your Value Proposition Using a PPC Ad [More from the blogs]

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PPC Marketing: 3 steps to improve performance

June 19th, 2014 1 comment

Paid search marketing campaigns can be expensive, frustrating and outright brutal in terms of meeting ROI expectations. However, they can be used as a proving ground for optimization and to discover more about your customer base.

I think most of us prefer the latter. In this MarketingExperiments Blog post, we’ll take a look at a recent session on converting PPC traffic at eTail West 2014 featuring Jon Powell, Senior Manager of Research and Strategy, MECLABS, who shared three steps for increasing the performance of PPC campaigns.

 

According to Jon, there is no solution among paid search tactics that delivers both easy and effective results.

“There’s no silver bullet,” Jon explained.

Here are a few key steps that Jon suggested to help increase the effectiveness of your PPC ad campaigns:

  • Be present: When bidding on keywords, casting as big a net as possible is not ideal. Instead, Jon explained, focus on being where you get the biggest bang for your buck.
  • Be interested: Smart PPC campaigns are focused on developing a conversation with customers.
  • Be consistent: Thinking holistically about your marketing from conversation to conversion will help your efforts to guide the discussion.

 

Don’t forget mobile

Jon closed the session with an excellent case study on mobile paid search behavior.

The results ultimately suggested that testing your way into understanding how mobile users enter search queries will likely be a game changer for some organizations as the mobile migration continues.

Or, as Jon mentioned in his summary: “Find out what they’re interested in and test that.”

  Read more…

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Paid Search Marketing: 3 optimization ideas to test in your next PPC campaign

April 22nd, 2013 No comments

On a recent Web clinic, Brian Smith, Marketing Analyst, FCH, submitted a PPC ad and landing page for live optimization.

Unfortunately, we do not have time to optimize every submission live on Web clinics, and did not get to this submission.

So, in today’s MarketingExperiments blog post, we’ll offer Brian some optimization suggestions from a peer review session with the MECLABS research team. Our goal is to provide some optimization suggestions from a real-world example you can use to aid your PPC ad and landing page optimization efforts.

But first, let’s get a little backstory on the testing Brian and his team have done prior to the Web clinic.

When I asked Brian about his previous testing efforts, he explained the team has focused their testing mostly on value proposition development and landing page optimization.

I also asked Brian about some of the goals for their PPC ads and landing pages, and Brian explained they share one common goal – lead generation.

“The goal of the PPC ad is to get people to the site,” Brian said, “and the goal of the landing page is to get people to call us or fill out the form.”

Here is the PPC ad copy Brian sent us:

Loan Modification Help

Looking to Get a Loan Modification

Call for a Free Consultation Today

 

Identify the elements in your marketing that influence conversion

When I asked Matthew Hertzman, Research Manager, MECLABS, for some optimization opportunities, he explained it’s important to first break the PPC ad copy and the landing page down into basic marketing elements using the MECLABS Conversion Sequence Heuristic.

 

The heuristic is a patented, repeatable methodology marketers can use to look at their offers to understand how they can be optimized to improve the chances of a conversion.

(Editor’s Note: Optimization ideas, by their very nature, point out areas that need improvement. We respect all the hard work Brian and his team have put into their marketing efforts so far. OK, now let’s take the gloves off and dive into some ideas … )

 

Optimization Idea #1: Test more PPC ad copy variations

Matthew noted the PPC ad could use a little work on reducing the elements of friction and anxiety. Here were a few of his suggestions:

  • Try using a display URL in the PPC ad

“We’ve seen from testing that the added continuity from using display URLs generally increases clickthrough rates across multiple industries.”

  • Try including a phone number in the PPC ad

“Including a phone number in the PPC ad copy might also relieve some anxiety,” Matthew explained. “But, if the goal is to get them to call or to fill out the form, why not test giving them a direct phone number to call in the PPC ad and use the form as a separate lead gen channel.”

Below is the landing page Brian submitted with the PPC ad:

So, when I asked Matthew for additional opportunities on the landing page with Brian’s goals in mind, here were some of his suggestions …

Read more…

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Paid Search Marketing: A/B split test produces 144% increase in total leads

April 3rd, 2013 2 comments

Testing and optimizing elements of your PPC ad campaigns can significantly increase conversion when done strategically.

So, in today’s MarketingExperiments blog post, we’re going to look at how the MECLABS Research team used paid search keywords strategically placed on a landing page to achieve a 144% increase in total leads.

First, let’s take a quick look at the research notes on the experiment …

Background: Provides end-to-end market solutions for small and medium-sized businesses

Goal: Increase the email capture rate of an online form

Primary Research Question: Which page will obtain the most form submissions?

Approach: A/B split test

 

Control 

 

A problem the team identified in the control was the landing page utilized a general headline that did not reference the keyword used in the PPC ad.

 

Treatment  

 

For the treatment, the team hypothesized a simple integration of the keyword utilized in the PPC ad would make a deeper connection between the expectations created by the PPC ad and expectations for the landing page in the mind of a user.

Read more…

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PPC Optimization: Tips from your peers on regional differences, Google Product Listing Ads, distracted visitors and offline conversion

March 13th, 2013 No comments

With pay-per-click (PPC) advertising, you pay money every time your ad drives someone to your landing page, so improving conversion is crucial to a healthy ROI. After all, you’re directly paying for this traffic, therefore each bounced potential customer seems to hurt just a little bit more.

Flint McGlaughlin, Managing Director, MECLABS, will share our discoveries about optimizing landing pages that receive traffic from PPC ads on today’s free Web clinic – Converting PPC Traffic: How strategic keyword placement increased conversion by 144%.

But before we share what we’ve learned, we wanted to hear from you. Here are a few PPC conversion optimization tips from your peers …

 

Pay attention to regional differences

We market on a regional local basis. Establishing a persona per market has worked well.

Also, messaging by market has worked well. The lesson we have learned is, regional differences do exist, and experimenting to find those differences is  key to optimization.

Ben Joslin, VP of Marketing, MD Connect

 

5 tips to optimize Google Product Listing Ads

Here are some tips to improve your Google Product Listing Ad (PLA) program:

1. Reliable Google Merchant Center integration

Continuously maintain and update the product feed and use the resulting performance data as the basis for future optimization.

2. Manage PLAs at the product, category and sub-category level

A combination of broad and more specific product targets will result in the best balance in traffic and efficiency.

3. Leverage text ad performance to improve PLAs

Product-related keywords and queries that have been successful in your PPC program may translate well into PLAs, and vice-versa. Continuous search query mining and expansion of coverage is critical to PLA growth.

4. Match terms to customer intent and negate ineffectual terms

Mine queries for those that are successfully converting, and negate search queries that are not performing well.

5. Optimize and test landing page and PLA ad text

Use Google to promote text and promotional pricing in the feed. Design and test various landing pages on a product-specific level to determine what converts [the] fastest.

Auburn Rutledge, Client Manager, Adlucent

Read more…

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Search Marketing: 46% more conversions from PPC ad test

January 23rd, 2013 No comments

The top two pay-per-click (PPC) advertising challenges for marketers are “increasing lead generation” and “achieving or increasing measurable ROI,” according to the MarketingSherpa Search Marketing Benchmark Report – PPC Edition, with 56% of respondents indicating those areas are key challenges.

“Being a small company, it is important for us to achieve a high ROI on our PPC ads, so this goal typically drives our strategy for SEM (search engine marketing),” a marketer responded in the benchmark report.

One way to increase lead generation and measure the ROI of your search marketing is by testing the ads. So today on the MarketingExperiments blog, we’re featuring a paid search test conducted for a MECLABS Research Partner

 

EXPERIMENT

Background: This MECLABS Research Partner is the sole provider of the Accurascope procedure, which is an innovative, minimally invasive spine surgery for back pain relief.

Goal: To increase number of leads on website

Primary Research Question: Which benefit approach of the three treatments will increase the conversion rate?

 

LANDING PAGE

Three pay-per-click ads were tested: the control plus two treatments. All three ads sent traffic to the same webpage for lead capture. The goal was not to get the most clicks on the PPC ads, but rather the most conversions on this webpage.
 

 

 

Read more…

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