Almost all Pay-Per-Click (PPC) agencies are great at dialing in campaigns, reducing cost-per-click (CPC), finding ways to grow your budget, and improving your results over time. What is rare is finding an agency that can create synergy around your content and search engine optimization (SEO) strategy to not only improve your PPC metrics, but your overall conversion rates and value per visitor.
When you understand how to provide value by driving conversions, you have the capability to not only get more of them, but most importantly gain trust from your, or your client’s, visitors.
Let’s face it, growing your traffic is great, but if you can capture a higher percentage of that traffic, you’ll be more efficient and in a better place for growth. Below is why conversion rate optimization is vital to successful pay-per-click, how most PPC agencies fall short, and how to apply CRO to your own campaigns.
Why Conversion Rate Optimization is Key
Driving traffic is great, generating clicks is great, spending time on your pages is great too, but all of that doesn’t necessarily relate to what businesses care about. At the end of the day, if you aren’t converting your visitors into leads, pushing those leads down the funnel, and turning those leads into revenue, there isn’t much value in any of your work.
Increasing your conversion rates will increase the value of each individual visitor and turn those visitors into leads, or push them further down the sales funnel.
What the Best CROs Do
The best CROs track everything. If you are not tracking it, you don’t know how you’re performing, and therefore you don’t know if or what you need to improve. In addition, you will never fully know how any changes affect your performance.
How are you supposed to prove the value of your content strategy, or the return-on-investment (ROI) of your PPC campaigns, if you can’t attribute revenue, or even leads to your campaigns? If you aren’t familiar with how PPC tracking works, it is essential to get caught up.
The best CROs test everything. You can sit in a meeting and speculate all day, but until you have actually tested, your hypotheses have no data backing them. Test new colors, new fonts, test new ad copy, new designs, new form layouts, new landing pages, new whatever. Assumptions can only get you so far, so take your base of knowledge and get testing ASAP; it’s the data that really matters.
Your sample size is too small? Try making larger, more radical changes. AB testing can take forever to produce statistically significant results if your traffic is low, but changing multiple variables at once is a great way to test your overall assumptions with limited time.
PPC Agencies Often Fall Short…Here’s How
They Ignore the Human Element
What is often lost sight of is the human element. What is the human element? It’s answering these questions:
- How do we determine what searchers are looking for?
- How do we provide value to them?
- How do we make sure they see the value in what we offer?
This is where CRO agencies excel. They know how to position, and they know how to think like the consumer. CROs implement tactics that compel visitors to take an action to fix their own issues, or appeal to their wants. This starts with keyword research and problem recognition, understanding the buyers wants and needs, and providing solutions to those problems.
PPC Tunnel Vision
It can be difficult to consider all PPC options…there are certainly a lot. A focus on niche markets may make it difficult to reach audiences and spend enough. Don’t be afraid to try different display targeting tactics, implementing highly targeted remarketing campaigns, and expanding into other channels like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube or Pinterest.
When attempting to decrease cost per conversion, for those that aren’t concerned with overspending, consider targeting even tighter than before. Use dynamic insertion ads to tailor exactly to search queries, and make sure you’re driving to the most valuable landing pages. Continue to check new “in-market” audiences, keyword targeted display ads and new topics.
But PPC agencies do some things well…
The traditional audits that nearly every agency or PPC professional completes, will in general, improve your performance and increase your conversion rates. By targeting new keywords, excluding bad ones, promoting new products, testing ad variations, bid adjustments for devices, developing new ad types and even adjusting ad positions, PPC agencies can make adjustments that will yield small improvements over time.
Now I know not all PPC agencies fall short, but the ones that don’t are more than just PPC agencies, they are CRO experts as well.
How to Take CRO Tactics and Apply Them to PPC Campaigns
Create and Optimize Landing Pages
The design of landing pages is extremely important. Look at just about any landing page optimization article, and you’ll see statistics about how removing navigation will increase conversions by x%, or increasing banner image size will lead to more conversions.
This tactic can be applied directly to your PPC campaigns. Whether an agency has control over landing page development, form fields, or neither, recommendations should be made to optimize your landing pages. An agency that ignores the aspects outside of their ad manager platform is not the right agency to hire.
It is key to make sure that your landing page is highly relevant. Let me reiterate once again, your landing page must provide value to the reader. High relevance means high quality score, lower cost per click, but most importantly, more conversions.
Try a heat mapping tool like Crazy Egg to see what users are looking at, where they are confused, and where your page is both excelling and falling behind. Use these insights to change page layout and design and watch your conversion rates increase.
Combine the use of Crazy Egg with an AB testing software like VWO to see how each change effects the user’s experience and conversion rates. Testing capabilities allow for definitive explanations of results. If you can’t decide between fonts, colors, sizes or button designs, let the numbers decide for you.
Focus on Form Optimization
The less the user has to do, the more likely they are to fill out your form. What do you do if you have essential information that needs to be collected? Test out new ways to present those fields. Try making steps in the form process, or presenting it in a slightly different format.
Implement event tracking through scripts in Google Tag Manager to see how many users are starting your forms and not finishing them. In addition, VWO and other AB testing tools are a great way to learn how to best optimize forms.
Ask yourself what is more important: qualifying the converter before your next contact, or getting more submissions? The answer may be different depending, but don’t forget to ask that question.
Create Value with Proposition and Positioning
Creating value is key to everything. No value, no conversions. Your product may be super valuable, but your consumer may have no idea that it is. Finding the message that communicates that value is more important than any other optimization tactic. If you create enough value, people will jump through hoops to convert.
If you aren’t brand new and you have some customers, reach out to them. Ask them what problem your product or service solved for them. Make sure you determine how you have added value to their lives. Sometimes an outside perspective is great in that you may find new ways to position and create value for prospective consumers.
If you encounter unsatisfied consumers, don’t fret, take that opportunity to learn where to improve and how to cater to other consumers that may be experiencing the same issues.
Additional CRO Resources from Acquisio
Increasing the CRO of just a simple landing page is an entire article in itself. There are plenty of articles on Acquisio from top marketers that discuss everything from supercharging ecommerce campaigns with infographics to landing page design improvements, and even what a good benchmark for conversions is.
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