The Steps Taken:
When we took over the management of Pay Per Click (PPC) campaigns for this software company, we spent time in an initial discovery phase to define the goals, objectives, and guidelines for the program. We then worked with the client’s management team to take the following steps:
- Lead Definition – The first step was to determine what would constitute a lead. The software industry typically struggles to separate people looking for general information from actual qualified prospects looking to make a purchase. In this case, a form requesting an evaluation copy of the software was tagged to represent a lead. There were also geographical constraints, where the client was only looking for leads from North America and a few additional selected countries.
- Bid for ROI, Not Position – We shifted the focus of the PPC efforts from “ego bidding” (staying in the number 1 ad spot just because the ad is in a higher than the competition), to bidding based on ROI criteria. Management was reluctant to move to this strategy, but we all agreed to try the new strategy and tactics and measure the results. We quickly found our sweet spot in ad positions 3 to 5.
- Campaign Re-Structuring & Expansion – In order to more efficiently manage the portfolio of keywords, we created an additional 15 campaigns and over 40 new Ad Groups in Google. This allowed us to bucket keywords logically, target ad copy more effectively, and create a structure that anyone could step into and manage.
- Keyword Expansion – We expanded the keyword selection from a few hundred words to over 3,000. This involved adding new terms based on technical specifications, expanding two-word terms into 3-word and 4-word combinations, and ensuring that keywords used broad, phrase, and exact match types.
- Leveraging Negative Keywords – In order to control costs, ensure that ads were shown to the most-qualified searchers, and to manage Google’s keyword quality scoring algorithm, we added in negative keywords to prevent ads from being displayed for less-qualified keyword queries. Using a wide range of negative keywords, from “free”, to “open source” to words containing platform-specific words, we generated a higher Click Through Rate, higher conversion rate, and improved the Quality Score for ads in Google AdWords, which helped allow us to bid less for keywords without sacrificing ad position.
- Ad Copy Improvement & Version Testing – Ad copy had remained stagnant for approximately two years, and needed to be reviewed and refreshed. We worked with the client to write technical ad copy to highlight features/benefits in order to better qualify prospects before they clicked on the ad. Multiple versions of ads were created, along with a test plan for further refinements, and these ad versions were served simultaneously to gauge both user interest and conversion response.
- Additional Search Engines – The client was only using Google AdWords when we began working with them. We added Yahoo! Sponsored Search and Business.com to the media mix. This expansion served to reach a larger number of qualified prospects simply by reaching a larger overall market base. We used the same logic on these search engines as we did with Google AdWords to duplicate the strong results.
- Landing Page Creation & Optimization – We created specific landing pages for high-volume keywords to improve conversion rates and capture well-qualified leads. Incremental steps were taken in creating and optimizing the landing pages, starting with basic copy modifications, then moving to testing product images, navigational elements, and adding contact form fields to the pages.
- Tracking & Analytics – KoMarketing incorporated web analytics to track individual keyword performance beyond simple conversion tracking codes. We advised the client to send leads to a CRM database – SalesForce.com, with the search engine and keyword identified. The company was then able to follow their search advertising spend through the sales process. By linking sales data back to keywords, ad text, and search engines, a feedback loop was established to continually modify and improve the campaigns each month.