Big Changes to Improve Your Year-Over-Year Performance

It’s the time of year when everyone starts thinking about the future. “Next year will be the year that I {insert personal goal here}.” And these goals can be a great way to push yourself to be a better person, a better saver, healthier, more energy conscious, etc. But people don’t always set goals for their PPC campaigns quite the same way. So this year, I’m issuing a bit of a challenge. I would like for all marketers (agency and in-house alike) to make one major change to their marketing strategy.

Conversion Rate Optimization Strategy

If you’re doing your job right, then you’re already doing a bit of conversion optimization here and there. Whether it’s better linking your keywords to landing pages (LPs), adjusting LP UX, or a number of other ways, you’re most likely doing something. But for the majority of advertisers, these strategies aren’t planned in advance and followed through.

Landing pages are a major part of this strategy. Landing pages should follow under the “Always Be Testing” mentality, but don’t stick to just small changes like button color. Get creative with it. If your form is on the right-hand side of the page, go bonkers and test it on the left. Heck, try a new form format altogether.

A couple of other tests for brain food:

  • Only use the minimum number of fields your sales people need to start a conversation (name and phone number).
  • Test a microsite instead of landing pages.
  • Test a long-form landing page. Or a short-form page.
  • Try multiple CTAs (phone call, form, live chat) or try only one.
  • Build a mobile-specific page and test against a responsive page.

The sky is the limit. The same goes for your conversion process as a whole. Don’t be afraid to test different pieces of your lead form funnel. Then let the data make decisions for you. Find out what works and what doesn’t then expand on it. Unbounce and Optimizely can open up all new doors in the land of CRO. Then, try using heat mapping software to give you more insights into what works and what doesn’t.

Test New Campaign Structure

If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, right? Well, just because it isn’t broken doesn’t mean it can’t be optimized. After a while of using the same campaign structure, many advertisers can get stuck in a rut and work on things only outside of account structure for optimizations. A prime example of taking something that’s “fine” and optimizing it to be awesome can be found in this article.

By simply creating city specific campaigns, Amy was able to decrease CPA by 28 percent while increasing conversions by 52 percent. Big advances after big changes. Try something similar in your campaigns. Maybe your geotargeting could also use a bit of a spruce up. Maybe you can try segmenting your campaigns by time zones. What about product type? The options are many and the potential benefits are just as high.

Expand Heavily on What Is Working

Whether out of laziness, fear, or simply being unaware, many marketers shy away from branching into channels beyond Google and Bing. Facebook is becoming a bigger player but can still be overlooked. If retargeting is working for you in Google, take a look at external platforms such as AdRoll that can let you target the GDN, Facebook, and lots of other networks all from one platform. If custom audiences are working well for you in Facebook, maybe try Twitter. They now have a function that targets users in the same way Facebook does. Don’t be shy about trying to find your customers. Get into new networks and start making new friends.

Improve and Complete Attribution

With the infinite amount of integrations and custom tracking parameters out there, it’s beginning to become inexcusable for companies to not know how valuable their customers are. In the very least, it makes optimizing PPC campaigns very difficult. If you do nothing else this year, work with your client or your team members to determine the value of a lead or phone call to your company.

With services out there like IfByPhone, Salesforce, and Google Analytics and their ability to interface with AdWords, Bing Ads, and any other channels you need, get yourself to where you can say a phone call is worth $X to my company and a lead form is worth $Y. From there, the world of campaign optimization will become much more transparent. It can become clear which keywords, campaigns, channels, are driving profitable customers to you and which aren’t.

With small tweaks come small advancements (more often than not). Granted, bigger changes can cause bigger drops in performance, but they can also create major wins. If you don’t take a big chance, you’re not going to make big gains.

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