Have you ever been asked the question, “how can we double leads without increasing our ad spend?” This question is common and gets asked frequently. For many digital marketers, the default answers may include something like: we’ll write new ad copy, add negative keywords, or lower the bids on a lot of our higher cost keywords. While these answers may in-fact yield results, there is something missing: conversion rate optimization, or CRO.
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Conquering Low Conversion Rates
Most B2B PPC campaigns have low conversion rates. This usually happens because the campaign is not set up using best practices and likely doesn’t include pointing the visitor to a highly specific landing page. In fact, 52% of all B2B ads still point to home pages.
The first thing to evaluate is account structure. If your campaigns have ad groups with more than 50 keywords in them, you need to restructure. It’s important to keep the entire process in mind, starting with optimizing your keywords with specific ads then leading to a highly relevant landing page.
If you have an ad group with 50+ keywords, even 30+ keywords, there’s a good chance your ads will be served up to irrelevant searches costing you time, money, and muddying up your data. Many experts have their opinion on how many keywords should be contained in each ad group—my recommendation is to focus on the utilization of negative keyword match types and shoot for somewhere between 5-10 keywords as a general rule.
License: Public Domain
Once you have your campaigns structured properly, the first thing to start conceptualizing your landing page is intent. Consider who will be coming to this page, how they got there, whether they have interacted with your brand before, and how educated is the visitor about your space.
Let’s take SaaS companies, for example. There are many software companies out there; how are you different than your competitors? Now, incorporate these items into one page with the purpose of catering the content to that visitor while adding credibility and added value which none of your competitors can offer.
While every SaaS company is going to have a different message, unique lead tracking process, and differing core competencies, there are a few best practices that should apply to all:
- Tagline, or headline, below the logo atop the page emphasizing the purpose of the page in a call-to-action. Something like “Start Saving Time and Money by Using our SAAS Solution”
- Phone number with call tracking implemented to ensure proper tracking coming only from this landing page
- Customer testimonial and real client logos to build trust and credibility
- Seamless incorporation of the keywords searched + ad copy text displayed that landed the visitor on the page
- Proper UTM parameter tracking to capture the campaign, keyword (including keyword match type), and device used.
- Lastly, having a prominent form above the fold with as few required fields as necessary
It may seem daunting to factor all of this onto one page, and so you should consider creating multiple landing pages. But how many pages need to be created? One page per keyword? One per campaign?
My suggestion is to have a unique experience for every ad group. Therefore, the number of pages needed to be created can grow fast. One tip is to build a solid template to use as a starting point by using dynamic text replacement to change the content of a few key areas of the page.
License: Public Domain
A/B Testing and Continual Optimization
Finally, once the page(s) is/are up and running, be sure to do ongoing optimization and A/B testing. Even if you have built the best landing page that has ever been created while incorporating all of the best practices listed above, the results still may not go as planned. There’s nothing that compares to analyzing actual visitor data. Here are a few additional tips to help with the ongoing battles:
- Keyword Evaluation:
Pull search term reports. Analyze performance and relevancy of the terms searched that landed the visitor on your page. Look at bounce rates from Google Analytics. Also, be sure to always look for new keywords to test.
- Page Testing:
Many times, the PPC landing pages are run on sub-domains and can fall off of the development team’s radar. Any time new code is pushed or a change is made to the site, there’s a chance something may have broken on your landing page. Pushing through test leads every week is a good practice to ensure proper data propagation.
- A/B testing:
Start with testing something simple like the hero image or CTA button colors. Once you have a defined winner, begin testing the wording on the text ads and measure the impact the text has on page performance. Based on what you learn, begin testing different wording and ordering on the page itself. Remember, landing page performance has a big impact on quality scores so keep a close eye on CTR’s and QS’s.
Always be Testing
Conversion Rate Optimization doesn’t have to be complicated, but it does take work. It takes time to think through what to put on the page, how the page should flow, and the constant effort to A/B test. However, if you stick to it and are committed to testing, you will learn a lot about the way your page is being received. Even more importantly, you’ll improve conversion rates at a significantly higher rate than any other method. So next time you get asked the question, “how can we double leads without increasing our ad spend?” you have your answer.
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