When it comes to pay-per-click (PPC) advertising, too many businesses fall into the trap of misunderstanding the purchase funnel as a single-stage process. Prospects don’t simply become customers just because they’ve seen your ad!
In reality, a customer needs to learn about a product’s existence and compare the solution to alternatives, before they are willing to engage with an ad to make a purchase. This is why the customer purchase funnel is broken down into 3 stages – Awareness, Consideration and Purchase.
Ads that attempt to push for a purchase, without due acknowledgment of a customer’s awareness and consideration, are doomed to fail. The same thing will happen with ads that generate awareness, without ultimately presenting a call-to-purchase.
At our digital marketing agency, we believe that good marketing comes from a combination of marketing actions across various platforms – including social media, your website content, newsletters and paid ads. This combination of platforms is known as paid, owned and earned media.
We’ve written a lot of content on how branding is used to drive awareness and consideration in social media and website content. We’ve also discussed how to optimize ad structure and PPC targeting parameters to ensure the right audience is seeing your content.
The last missing piece of the puzzle is optimizing for conversion – how do you ensure that your ads actually drive purchases through your site?
What Are Your Ads Supposed To Do?
Let’s get back to the basics. At the end of the day, your paid ads need to keep the promise of your offering, and bring the visitor to a choice.
No matter which platform you’re using, be it Google or Facebook or even a third alternative, you’ll be enticing users to click on your ads via compelling copy and visual content. In reporting, you’ll typically see numbers related to the number of clicks your ad generated, how much those clicks cost (known as the “cost per click”) as well as the clickthrough rate of your ads (how many people clicked on your ad as a percentage of the total number of views your ad generated).
While clicks, cost and clickthrough rate are useful metrics, the most important metric to consider is conversion – that is, how many leads and sales your ads actually generated
Don’t Let Your Marketing Metrics Lead You Astray
The first half of an effective ad campaign is to keep the promise.
The number of clicks that your ad has generated, is a testament to the strength of your ad copy. This means that you’ve captured the interest of your potential customer. If a conversion or lead is not generated from your click, this means that a disconnect has taken place.
Often, this disconnect comes from not “keeping the promise” of your ad copy. If you’re advertising unique product design or a specific sale, your landing page also has to reflect your ad copy.
While this seems like a simple concept, not all ads are able to keep the promise of their ad copy. How many times have you clicked on an advertisement, only to be disappointed by the actual landing page?
The feeling of disappointment that you get from a poor website experience stems from an ad campaign that doesn’t keep its promise.
Bring Your Visitors To A Choice
An informative piece of content can keep the promise of your ad, without benefitting you in any way. Keep your ads from becoming paid pieces of information by drawing your visitors to a choice.
Your visitors have already invested time and effort by clicking on your ad and reading your content. Since you have their attention, this is when you want to bring them to an action by asking would you like to purchase now? Would you like to join us in our cause? Would you like to download a free template today?
A Conversion Isn’t The End Of The Journey
As mentioned in our blog post on common failures in PPC marketing ads, we discuss the importance of iteration, benchmarking and constant improvement.
In order to avoid complacency and generate positive change over time, you need to track how your successful conversions came to be. Did your customers choose to fill out a form or call directly? Did they visit your site through a desktop or mobile device? Do you usually get the most leads on weekdays or weekends?
While all of these factors can be identified via Google Analytics research, one of the most powerful tools that we have access to are heat maps and visitor recordings.
Using a visitor recording module, we are able to see the actual actions that visitors take on your website. How do they use the page? Are they frustrated with any elements? Which forms do they click on, how much time do they spend searching for specific content?
In order to improve your ads, you need accurate tracking and conversion metrics in place. Then, we highly recommend a manual check by going through the exact process that a potential customer would in order to find and purchase from your site.
An Empathetic Marketer is A Smart Marketer
All of the above tips are used in marketing optimization via an empathetic perspective. By employing a “listen first, talk later” approach, you ensure that you maximize the impact of your ads by knowing exactly how to treat your ideal client.
Here are a couple of actionable “empathy tests” that will help you connect with your audience more effectively:
- The “5 second test” – Are there any items on your website or landing page that are unnecessary? Conduct a “5-second test” to remove phrases, links or content that you don’t notice after spending 5 seconds on any landing page. By removing this content, you help the potential customer zone in to the items that matter the most.
- Keep Your Winners – Open up a list of all your past newsletters sent to clients. Which ones had the highest open rate? Which ones had the highest clickthrough rate? Are there any themes between these high-performing newsletters? This copy is already proven to be effective, so add them to your ad copy immediately!
- Use Their Language – Do you ever get replies, comments or reviews from clients? Use the words that they use in your copy. Chances are, if they’re concerned about a specific key phrase, other customers also have this on their minds.
With that in mind, you’re one step closer to optimizing your ads to support your marketing strategy. Let’s summarize what we’ve went through today:
- Your ads need to keep the promise of your offering, by ensuring that the language you use in your ad is mirrored on your landing page, website and all promoted content.
- Your ads need to bring your visitors to a choice by presenting them with an option to consider after they engage with your content.
- You need to keep track of your conversions to draw insights as to how to generate more “winners” in your ad campaigns
- Use empathy tests to continually iterate and improve your ads over time, by learning more about your audience and using your experiences to gain better responses.
PPC marketing is an iterative process, and success is built on years of experience. This is why our marketing agency works with clients across a wide range of industries to promote various products and services. Contact us to find out more!
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