Conversions Are Not One-Size-Fits-All

Let me start by painting what is likely a familiar scenario: You kick off with a new client. They tell you their goal is to drive ‘contact us’ leads. You also talk about the business, CPL goals, specific lead growth goals and a slew of other things so you can walk away from the meeting ready to build the PPC account.

You use all the great information, build a killer account and hit the launch button. A few months down the line you’re driving killer results overall but find that there are groups of keywords you swore would be a perfect match but you recommend pausing as they ‘just aren’t working.’

Sound familiar?

Here’s the problem with this scenario: We often operate under the idea that conversions are one size fits all.   What exactly do I mean by that?

I mean that because our client gave us the directive that they want ‘X’ leads, we assume that every keyword and campaign has to drive ‘X’ leads or it’s not a good fit.

However, potential customers are much more complex than that.  The AIDA concept of marketing helps demonstrate this:

These all represent varying levels of engagement that a potential customer may be in when they reach your site, depending on the device they came from (Computer vs. Tablet vs. Mobile Device), on the keywords they used to find us (check out this recent post by Greg Meyers speaking more on this) and on the way they reached our site (search vs. display vs. remarketing).


So how do you address this?

Your client has told you that ‘Contact us’ leads, for example, are the holy grail.

First, ask questions.  Find out WHY Contact us leads are the holy grail.  Ask questions such as:

How does the sales process work?

How long is the sales cycle?

Are there multiple touch points throughout the sales cycle?

Do different touch points have different values?

Second, do some digging.  Show results of user engagement by using Suggest, SERPs and ads for different types of keyword and campaigns.

At the campaign level, content and search and are often referred to as ‘push’ and ‘pull’; meaning users seeing your ads on the Google Display Network, are being pushed your ads versus users seeing your ads on the SERPS who are pulling your ads.  This inherently leads to a different engagement level between these users.

At the keyword level, for example, the query ‘led tv’ is followed using suggest with ‘reviews,’ ‘deals,’ ‘ratings’.  Likely an indication someone is doing research.

Versus the query ’42 inch led’ which is followed using suggest with specific brands, likely an indication someone is closer to making a purchase.

For these campaigns and queries you may want to consider different landing pages, content and call to action that speaks more directly to each user based on their implied intent.

Third, find potential conversions on their site.  After you’ve asked your questions and have done your digging, if the client is open to testing a different conversion, try to utilize conversions they already have available on their site for testing.  For example, do they have whitepaper, case study, sign up or get a demo content/forms on their site?

Fourth, conduct A/B tests.  Make sure you conduct an A/B test if you’re recommending a switch in the call to action.  You can utilize ACE in AdWords for a nice, quick way to conduct your testing!

In summary, make sure that you are driving the right traffic to the right conversion – the same conversion may not apply to every keyword and campaign!



Crystal (Anderson) O’Neill (@Crystala) is the PPC division lead for SEER Interactive, a Philadelphia based Digital Marketing Agency.  Prior to joining SEER in 2007, she worked at an International Media Agency as the VP of Business development, where she focused on developing and managing international media and PPC campaigns.

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