Making Paid Search Marketing Pay Off Part 2 – Setting Goals

In part one of this blog series “Making Paid Search Marketing Pay Off”, I discussed the power of targeting and how Google AdWords can be used as a lead generation tool. In part two, I’m going to take you through the key items to consider when developing your Paid Search Marketing Strategy including setting goals and optimizing the campaign.

Setting goals, as in every aspect of marketing, is critical to creating a successful Google AdWords campaign. Some typical goals used for a Google campaign include:

•You want your ad to increase traffic to your website (Better Offers)
•You want more leads (Better Landing Page)
•You want a low cost per click (Better Segmentation)
•You want your ad to show up at the top of the search results (Better Metrics)

Here are 4 ways that give you the biggest bang for your buck with Paid Search Marketing.

Offer
One of the most important elements of any AdWords campaign strategy is the offer. In my experience, the most effective ads are the ones with a specific call to action. A “20% off” offer or a strong white paper offer is going to deliver a higher click-through-rate than a self-focused ad about your company or the benefits of your products.

If you have multiple offers, segment each of the offers by keyword to make each offer more relevant to the searcher. The more relevant the offer, the higher the click-through rate and the less money you spend.

Landing Page
Once your offer has been developed, the next key step is to create lead generating landing pages. A good landing page will fulfill the goal of the searcher quickly. When someone clicks on an ad, they expect to be led to a page where they can complete a form. Many marketers make the mistake of leading traffic back to their site’s homepage, which may not be relevant to the keyword or offer that got them clicking in the first place. A landing page also prevents distracting navigation options leading away from the goal of a conversion. Of course don’t just take my word for it, see for yourself just how effective landing pages are.

Segmentation
AdWords makes it easy to segment your campaign in order to meet each of these goals, including campaigns, ad groups and keywords. These segments can be changed and optimized as your campaign progresses, giving you the chance to capitalize on what’s working, without wasting time or money on what’s not. You can also use the campaign management tools to target the campaign geographically or by time of day, to make it more likely to attract the segments you are focused on,

Metrics
Once you’ve created a Google AdWords campaign that has well designed offers, landing pages, and keywords, the work is really just beginning. It is imperative that your campaign is monitored closely at all times to ensure optimal results. For example, shutting down ad campaigns that aren’t working will help you save money and increase your ad positioning. While anAdWords campaign will produce a lot of data, it’s important to monitor the most important pieces of this data. Determining Key Performance Indicators (KPI) like number of conversions and cost per conversion will ensure your campaign is in line.

An effective Paid Search marketing campaign can deliver affordable and immediate results only with a good offer, a smart strategy and an effective landing page. A smart marketer will use all of these tips in their AdWords campaign to drive the best results possible. Of course we’re more than happy to do this work for you, it’s what we do best.

To learn more, please download our free white paper How to Make Paid Search Pay Off.

Blog Series: How To Test For Internet Marketing Success: Part 1 — What NOT to Test

Internet Marketing allows us a much easier time creating tests and learning the best ways to improve the results of our online marketing projects. In this series of blog posts, I will review the best ways to create, administer, and calculate internet marketing tests to achieve optimal results.

You can test nearly every facet of your marketing campaign, including copy, design, offers, key messages and more. These are not only options for testing, but they are both easier and less expensive than other media types. That being said, testing everything is detrimental to both cost and time. No one has the unlimited time or funds…
First things first, you need to decide what you will be testing. Like a science experiment you should first develop a test hypothesis to determine both what you think the test will achieve, and what you’d like it to achieve. Like similar scenarios, often times determining what to include is found by determining what not to include. Don’t include things that will likely make no difference. Questions like these will only waste your time and not deliver the right results.

The term ‘best practices’ is there for a reason, and this should be another red flag to leave out of your test. If it common knowledge that doing something a certain way is a commonly accepted best practice with published results, the general rule of thumb is that it works, and should be trusted. Use the experience of others to your benefit and save yourself time and money.

Do your homework and seek all the experts and best practices at your disposal. Now that you’ve gotten started, you’ll find a much more concise list of what you want to test and where to go from here.

One example of a best practice is having a form on the right hand side of the page. Virtually all of the landing pages we create have the form on the right hand side. When we started doing landing pages, we tested forms on the left side and they didn’t work as well. Many have come to the same conclusion over the past few years. So here is a good example of both something that we have tested and something that has also become a best practice.Do your homework and seek all the experts and best practices at your disposal. Now that you’ve gotten started, you’ll find a much more concise list of what you want to test and where to go from here.

 

Download Nowspeed’s How To Test For Internet Marketing Success White Paper to learn more.

Your Checklist for Landing Page Success

There are a lot of pieces that go into a successful PPC campaign.  You spend a lot of time coming up with messaging, creating an offer, and doing the research to put together a well structured PPC account that’s sure to get you the traffic you want. You may find yourself wanting to skimp on landing page creative in order to save your budget to generate more of that traffic. But that’s a lot like heading out to pan for gold without the right tools.  You can pick the right spot and sift for days, but you may miss those nuggets that you’re looking for.

It’s easy to forget how important a landing page is, but it can’t be stressed enough. It’s that magic point in the campaign where all your time and effort – not to mention marketing dollars – transforms into results. 

A good landing page is like a high quality sluice box. You can sift through the dirt and it will leave you with the gold you’re looking for.  If it’s done right, your landing page will do that for you too.  But if that sluice box is broken, you’ll sift the gold out along with the gravel and get left with nothing.

So what can you do to make sure your landing page becomes as productive as possible?  Here are some points to consider:

  • Focus on transactional landing pages. That means creating an even exchange.  In the case of many successful landing pages, you exchange a valuable offer for a person’s contact information.
  • Make your offer worth it.  You can craft a PPC campaign that delivers a certain audience to your pages, but if your offer doesn’t speak to that audience’s needs they may not be willing to make the exchange.
  • All elements of the page should be focused on your goal. You may find yourself wanting to cross promote other aspects of your brand on the landing page, but this will only serve as a distraction.  Keep your audience focused on the exchange.
  • Always be ready to test.  What works for some landing pages may not work for others.  You should always be prepared to test out different versions of your pages in order to find out what works best.
  • Don’t get stale. Your landing page and offer may deliver great results for a while, but some things have a shelf life.  Don’t get too caught up in an offer just because it worked well once.  A good offer can lose value over time so make sure you update both the offer and the landing page if possible, or even be prepared to create a new offer if your audience’s needs change.

So remember that you wouldn’t go prospecting for gold without the right tools.  With the right landing page, you can sift out the golden prospects you’re looking for.

Download our Exceptional Landing Pages white paper to get more tips about optimizing your landing pages.

Nowspeed Weekly Marketing News Wrap-up: Tuesday, March 20th, 2012

 

Happy First Day of Spring! Hope everyone enjoyed their weekend and celebrated St. Patty’s Day! We sure did by enjoying some delicious green bagels from Bagel Bistro!

Here is our weekly news wrap-up of Company, Client, Social Media, Marketing, PPC, SEO, Email, Creative and Website News.

 

 

Company and Client News:

Social Media & Content Marketing News: 

What does an Exceptional Landing Page look like?

Lately, we have been hearing a lot of questions from our Pay-Per-Click clients on what makes a landing page exceptional. In our previous posts about landing pages, Why is it important to have an effectively designed landing page? and Your Exceptional Landing Page Checklist To Maximize Lead Generation, we covered the why and how.

Today, we cover the “what”.

First off, as you all know your landing pages are gateways into your sales pipeline. Whether your visitor becomes a new lead or a missed opportunity depends on what they find there. The question is…are your landing pages optimized to convert visitors into leads, or are they causing unnecessarily high abandonment?

Below are two examples of landing pages that we have designed and are proud to consider as “exceptional” as they produce many quality leads, at a low cost-per-conversion. 

Entitle Direct 

For this Entitle Direct landing page we identified a pain point for consumers: closing costs. We created a landing page that was aligned with their needs, how they can reduce their closing costs. With arresting copy and strong visuals, this was a strong performing landing page for our client with a high conversion rate.

HubCast

For this HubCast landing page the goal was to increase registrant sign-ups for a free HubCast Cloud Print Solution account. By using a bold lime green background color on the form field and a large “Register Now” button at the bottom, we were able to achieve a bold design showcasing an innovative print solution that saves money and the environment. This simple yet very easy-to-read landing page emphasizes the benefits of creating a free HubCast account by having strong bullet points and attention grabbing headlines. The design paid off for HubCast as registrant sign-ups increased dramatically.

To learn more on what consists of an exceptional landing page, please download our white paper, “Unlock the Secrets of Exceptional Landing Pages.”

Hope you have a great week!

Signing off,

Michelle