If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it. At least that’s how the saying goes. That couldn’t be more true than when it comes to your AdWords campaign. You absolutely must determine the metrics you care about and optimize your ads, refine your keyword phrases, and monitor results consistently.
A few items that you absolutely must have in place:
- AdWords Conversion Tracking
- WinnerAlert (www.WinnerAlert.com)
AdWords Conversion tracking is built in to the AdWords system. You simply place a snippet of code that Google gives you into your “success” page, whether that be an order receipt, a confirmation page, etc. When that code is run, Google will know that a conversion has taken place and will send back the necessary information (which keyword in which ad group at what position and CPC, etc.). Running AdWords without conversion tracking is literally like driving blindfolded. Yeah, you may get there eventually, but it’s going to hurt.
WinnerAlert is a light little web-based program that automatically checks your ads and, when there’s a statistically significant difference, emails you an alert letting you know which ad is the better performer. This will save you countless hours of going in manually, and checking the ad results one ad group at a time (often to find that you should wait longer, or at least not knowing what difference is statistically significant). If you’re serious about running a PPC campaign, WinnerAlert.com is an absolute must.
Choosing Your Metric
While it may rarely make some sense for some campaign’s success to be measured by something different, usually the best metric to focus on is Clickthrough Rate (CTR). If you have a high CTR then your traffic metric is obviously high. Also, if you have a high ad CTR and a relevant landing page for that ad, it’s highly likely that your conversion rates are also very high. If the landing page is right, conversions follow CTR very closely. For the purposes of this guide, and were you to work with a Prosperly coach, you’d be focusing on CTR.
It may seem small, but boosting your CTR .5 percent, from 1 to 1.5% can be huge. If you’re working with a higher traffic keyword that gets 1,000 clicks per month, you’d end up with another 500 clicks, or more than 15 visitors per day from a simple .5 percent increase. Those extra 15 visitors would likely mean an extra sale per day, or 30 extra sales per month. If your product has a $40 margin, we’re talking about an exra $1,200 of income per month for getting your CTR to go up a measly .5 percent! Testing is worth your time! If you’re not spending at least half of your PPC time creating tests and evaluating results (then creating more tests) then you’re leaving profits on the table — guaranteed.
It’s the Little Things that Count
With some of my own sites I’ve seen the smallest changes bring very positive and lasting results. For instance, in one ad I was running the basic description was “Don’t buy anything until you read this report” (that was the gist of it, I don’t have the ad copy in front of me). I changed it to “Don’t buy anything until you read this report…” and saw the CTR increase 17% (from .6 to .7 percent – this is a low CTR overall, but it’s highly competitive, so I was happy with the boost). That one little change directly resulted in $800 more revenue per month. I’m not even including the lifetime value of the customer, which is obviously much higher.
Consider the following elements to test, but don’t limit yourself to this (or any) list:
- Ask a question.
- Use a very, very short ad.
- Focus on the visual aspect of your ad (have it form an arrow to the right or left).
- Use specific numbers (10 days until… I made $814… Failed 9 times… Served 1,024 clients).
- Change capitalization (in everything, including the destination URL).
- Remember to use powerful words that evoke emotion.
- Show your pricing (watch CTR and conversion rates here, it may be you filter out a lot of non-purchasers and your conversion rate increases but your traffic drops too low – you’d rather have 10 visitors each making you $3 than 2 visitors making you $10).
- Cut all extraneous words!
- Try different calls to action (Order/Buy/Try Now!/Now./Now/Today!/Today./Today)
- Split your keywords into more Ad Groups and get those specific keywords into each ad so they’ll be bolded when a user has searched them (I saw my CTR drop for what became a trademarked term from 2.8% to .5% — all because I couldn’t include the actual term searched in my ad.
Again, this list is by no means exhaustive, but you get the idea. Small changes can have a significant and lasting profitable effect on your business!
Test! Test! Test!