YOUR BIGGEST BOTTLENECK IS
CONVERTING HIGH RATES OF VISITORS
26% of Survey Respondents Indicate Converting Visitors is Their Biggest Paid Search Marketing Challenge
Do you find yourself saying “if we could just convert more visitors we’d be profitable”? If so, you aren’t alone. Conversion rates can haunt digital marketers no matter the size of your organization or budget. So how do we convert more of the prospects that are reaching our landing pages or web site? Perhaps the more important question is, why doesn’t a prospect convert?
I like to approach the challenge of conversion from both ends because it forces us to look at more than we might if we were to only look at prospects that convert. Prospect conversion doesn’t start at the landing page or offer. It starts much earlier in the process. Many times prospects don’t convert, simply because they are the wrong prospects, or the right prospects at the wrong time.
“Understanding the buyer’s journey and targeting your prospects at the right moment in that journey is the first and most important aspect to generating a high conversion rate.”
If this isn’t a phrase you are familiar with, or one you use daily when targeting your marketing efforts, I recommend you learn it and live it in short order. Why? Because your prospect base may be large, but your in-market-now prospect base is what will drive your conversions and profitability today.
To help define exactly what I mean, let’s review a concept that should be at the core of every marketing effort you undertake.
The Buyers Journey
The beauty of paid search marketing is that it is what I call “Intent Marketing” and not demographic marketing. On a platform like Facebook we can target someone that looks like they fit our definition of a prospect. The problem is we have no idea if they actually are a prospect and have no indication of if, or when, they will be in-market for our product or service.
With intent marketing we cannot single out those that fit our profile of a prospect, but we can target prospects that are in-market-now based off the language they use in their search.
One of the biggest mistakes I see paid search marketers make is the keywords and match types they use are targeting prospects in the wrong spot in the buyer’s journey, or the wrong prospects altogether.
Let’s re-familiarize ourselves with the buyer’s journey, laid out here in graphical form. (image credit to Hubspot)
Ask yourself, what is the difference between someone searching for ‘cleaning carpets’ versus ‘carpet cleaning company’? I would argue the first is looking for some self help, and the second is looking for a service provider.
What about someone searching for ‘Microsoft SharePoint’ versus ‘Microsoft SharePoint services’? The former is in the awareness stage of researching a potential solution or general information, and the latter indicates a prospect looking for outside help right now.
In order to get in front of in-market-now prospects you need to be targeting your keywords between the consideration and decision stage of the buyer’s journey. Only when you have exhausted all keywords in this stage do you move back between the awareness and consideration stage for an incremental lift.
Cost Per Conversion Matters
More in-market-now conversions are critical to generating a positive ROI but so too is your cost per conversion. It won’t matter how many conversions you generate if your overall campaign performance is so poor that it costs you too much for each conversion you generate. Targeting the search phrases with the proper intent is step one, using match types and bid strategies wisely is another.
In most cases the more restrictive your match type the more relevant the searches Google will match you up with. In practical terms this means staying away from broad match as much as possible. Any broad match keywords used must prove they are a valuable contributor, to the point that I often isolate them in a separate campaign for better tracking.
Exact match, phrase match and modified broad match are the search types that should bring the best results. Be sure to continuously monitor what Google is matching them up with and adjust as necessary to be sure you have the best performing mix of match types in your campaign.
Using these strategies will help you get in front of the prospects that show the proper intent, and limit your wasted spend by Google matching your targeted terms up too loosely. The net result is more conversions at a lower cost per conversion, and that is a great foundation for success.
Bid Types Matter
Depending on how specific, and how far into the buyer’s journey your keywords are has a direct impact on the ability to maximize your budget. Luckily Google provides a variety of bid types to help us get the biggest bang for our buck.
While I prefer manual bids to see if we can compete in the top three search results there are times when the keywords are just general enough and have a high enough level of cost and competition that the numbers just don’t work.
In these cases it is important to test other bid types like automated bids, enhanced CPC and others to see if you can bring your cost per conversion and cost per sale in line with what you need to generate that all important positive return on investment.
Keep Testing Your Landing Pages
The final tip we’ll give you to help you optimize your budget had to do with your landing pages. The better you convert visiting prospects the more opportunities you have to close a sale.
Never, and I mean never, sit back and ride with one version of your landing page. Prospects at certain stages of the buyer’s journey respond to different information, layouts and sales strategies. Consistent testing will lead to improved results. Make this part of your ongoing routine and you will see improvements in your conversion rates.
Where Do I Go From Here?
What we’ve covered here is the just the tip of the iceberg. If you are looking for more detailed strategies for increasing your conversion rates consider purchasing our affordable advanced guides. Each is chock full of the tips, tricks and strategies we employ to build successful programs for clients in a variety of industries. Take the lessons we’ve learned and put them into practice to bring your paid search marketing program to the next level.
Think you might need more help? Why not reach out for a consultation with our resident paid search marketing specialists so we can review your specific needs and challenges and provide the solutions you need to move forward.
It is possible to solve your conversion issues, and we are happy to help any way we can.
As a onetime special, we are offering you 25% off of any of our advanced guides if you make your purchase in the next 5 days. Simply use coupon code DIAGNOSTIC25 during checkout.
Solving your prospect conversion issue should be your biggest priority and I hope we’ve helped set you on a path to success.
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