A recent report found that U.S. Internet advertising revenue hit a record $26 billion in 2010. The most popular format of online advertising continues to be search advertising, which means that it's more than likely that your business was or is one of the companies paying to run Google AdWords or other search advertising.
If you are spending any amount of money on search advertising every year, it's important that you get the most for your money. More than likely, your AdWords account can be optimized to reduce your cost-per-click or improve your clickthrough rate but if you are not tracking the conversions (either leads or sales) - you're surely leaving money on the table.
Make Sure You're Spending Money on PPC to Increase Leads - Not Just Traffic
I often see that businesses are so focused on getting traffic from their AdWords campaigns, that they overlook the fact that you shouldn't be paying to get traffic. You should be paying to get more leads and sales.
If your AdWords campaigns are not set up to track conversions, follow these steps to improve your ROI.
Create an Offer and a Landing Page.
Whether it's a whitepaper or a webinar signup, make sure you have something to give to people that relates to the keywords they were searching in Google. Create an effective landing page following these 5 tips for a great landing page. Once someone fills out the form to get your offer, send them to a Thank You page where you give them more details about how to get their freebie.
Set up AdWords to track conversions.
You'll get a piece of html code that you'll need to put on the Thank You page. Now when someone clicks on the ad in Google, arrives on your landing page, fills out the form and finally gets to the thank you page, Google will track that as a conversion.
Watch the Analytics.
Now comes the fun part! Well, at least it's fun to a marketing geek like me :-) Keep an eye on the conversions and see if your AdWords campaigns are worth the money you are spending on them.
You may see that you have a great clickthrough rate, but people aren't taking advantage of your offer. This means either your offer isn't appealing to the visitors (maybe the keywords are the issue) or your landing page needs some tweaking. Test a new landing page - perhaps with a different image, a shorter form or better copy. If it still isn't getting the conversions, try a different offer.
When you finally hit on a good campaign (you are getting enough of a return on investment to make it worth it), I suggest two things.
1. Spend more money on it! If you are converting those leads into sales and the sales are more than paying for the AdWords campaign, why not spend more money on it? You'll continue to get more leads which in turn can convert into more sales.
2. Take a different approach to get traffic to the offer. If that landing page and offer are giving you a great lead conversion rate, find other ways to promote it that don't cost you anything. You can put more call to action images up on your website and blog, write guest blog posts on other websites and include a link to your offer, and mention your free offer on your social media accounts.
Find out how to smartly incorporate PPC into an inbound marketing plan to generate more leads for your business.