Your PPC campaign is shredding your budget like a carrot in a blender.
You diligently followed best practices, believing they would lead to a high return on investment, but that’s not what is happening. There are almost no conversions, your cost per acquisition is unsustainable, and you are learning nothing about your customers.
You had such high hopes when you first launched the campaign. You carefully researched your audience, selected your keywords with care, and took the time to create great ads and specific landing pages. This should be a highly profitable PPC campaign.
Do Not Try to Kiss Your Customer on the First Date
The reason your PPC campaign isn’t working is you tried to kiss your customer on the first date. Not literally, of course, but it’s a good analogy for what is happening. Think of it like this: You are on a first date. You seem to be hitting it off. Then, as you are eating dinner and getting to know each other, you suddenly lunge across the table and try to kiss your date.
This is similar to what you do to visitors you bring to your website via PPC when you aggressively try to sell to them but they are not ready to buy. You see, many searches are initial informational searches, and the user is not ready to make a purchase.
Instead, they want to get to know your company and business first. If these users are looking for information and are taken to a landing page that is completely sales oriented, they will leave and find a competitor’s site that gives them what they want. Your overly pushy sales page offers no value to them. Date over.
Customers Tell You What They Want in Search Queries
Users tell you what they are looking for with the words in their search query. You just have to pay attention. With each search, they express to you “I am ready to buy, ” or “I just need more information, ” or “I am comparing your product or services against others.” You just need to read between the lines and think about what they are communicating.
For example, there is a huge difference in search intent between the search queries buy a flat screen TV in Philadelphia and what are the benefits of a flat screen TV over a plasma TV. If you simply bid on the keyword flat screen TV and try to sell to the users on both of these search queries, then you will waste your money. You will match the keyword, but you will not match the search intent. You want to be able to provide what the user is requesting.
Use Search Queries to Create Offers That Match Intent
The way to solve this problem is to use a strategy that probably is the reverse of how you normally do business. Don’t create a single product and buy keywords that only “sort of” match it.
Instead, review your customers’ search queries, understand their intent, and create a variety of offers to match that intent. This way, you are always the right answer, and you provide your potential customers with real value. You are not sending users who are looking for information to a sales page that doesn’t match their intent. You are not trying to kiss them before they are ready!
Of course, this has to benefit your business and impact the bottom line as well. If the offer you create is informational and you are not immediately selling your product, then you are providing something of value to the consumer such as an e-book, webinar, or even an email e-course. The value comes back to your company in the following ways:
- As the user reads the e-book, your company is seen as the industry expert.
- You receive the user’s contact information so you can email market to them at a later time when they are in more of a buying frame of mind.
- You can install a line of code on your site, which allows you to remarket to users as they travel around the Internet.
- You are not seen as pushy, and users will come back to you for further information when they are ready to buy.
You are acting like a business that understands the buying cycle. You have a potential customer that sees value in your company. You are able to continue to efficiently market to someone who is known to be interested in your product or service as they go through the buying funnel. It’s a second date, if you will.
1. Gather Your Search Queries
The first step in creating an offer that matches the search query’s intent is to review the search queries that are triggering your ads. Many newcomers to PPC look at their keywords and think they are not working, but this really is not the case. (Back in the day, I was constantly making this mistake!)