Last month, we set a new record for the number of leads delivered through paid search for one of our clients, a national telecom provider. Paid search is a marketing channel that requires careful attention. Unlike traditional advertising mediums, which generally rely on impressions to validate the cost, paid search is able to monitor success based on a variety of key performance indicators (KPIs). With that said, it is impossible for accounts to perform at their full potential without receiving timely adjustments based on the KPI data.
As Director of Paid Search, many of my responsibilities are dedicated to ensuring success throughout the duration of paid search campaigns. I also strive to perpetually increase success as budgets increase, which is why many of the data is compared to the client’s performance from the previous year.
Messaging continues to evolve as content specificity improves, allowing for more targeted ad messaging to the search query and visitors’ desired results.
Market aggressiveness, both in positioning and budget allocation, is based upon DMA performance and opportunity. Opportunity is based upon number of possible customers, serviceability within each location, and competition. Performance is based upon historical lead generation/customer acquisition vs. investment, i.e., Cost-Per-Acquisition.
Landing pages optimizations, which I speak to a bit below, was focused on segmenting services into individual pages, which highlight primary features while maintaining messaging on savings when bundling services. Additionally, we tested and optimized lead generation form placement, positioning and prominence of contact numbers, image sizing/placement, and language.
Account optimization is a perpetual exercise. For this client, we constantly searched for additional positive terms. When targeted directly, they increased display rate while reducing the average cost per click (CPC). Negative keyword expansion affords the same benefit, increasing quality score and traffic quality, while preventing waste on unqualified queries.
Content and landing page optimization, which is also ongoing, allows for more targeted messaging to visitors’ specific needs. Creation of product-specific landing pages answers unmet needs, while increasing quality score and conversion rate.
Taking advantage of peak season:
The client has two peak seasons annually. The first is January-May, second being August-September. Using media investment in the most effective way is paramount; decreasing investment during non-peak months allows for increased investment during peak months. Learn more about this method, budget flighting, in our earlier post.
Breaking Down Lead Performance
Because paid search is driven by data, it can be easy to get lost in the numbers. Looking at the big picture is critical. For example, a campaign may deliver more leads than the previous month, but how does that affect the cost per lead? If a campaign’s spend is through the roof, it may not contribute to a higher ROI in the long run.
We monitored the campaign metrics to ensure the success was balanced across the board. This included:
- Total spend
- Click through rate (CTR)
- Cost per lead
- Leads from calls
- Web leads
Results Show the Pay-off
Because paid search success builds day over day, we tracked our client’s daily progress to make necessary changes and ensure satisfactory campaign performance. By the end of the month, we were elated to see that despite the number of impressions (people who were exposed to the ad) was down, our client’s total number of leads was up 7.5% from the previous month, and it had increased 72% from April of the previous year. Finally, while the traffic to the website increased, the average cost per click actually decreased. This means Evolve Digital Labs was able to spend less money turning visitors into leads.
The results from last month were impressive as well, when we compared them to the previous year. Our client experienced a 56.8% surge in leads, in addition to a 23.9% reduction in the cost of each lead. Not only did we work hard to deliver more leads to the client, we also were able to decrease the costs involved.
It is exciting to see the volume and quality of leads Evolve Digital Labs can deliver to a client year over year. As mentioned, success in paid search is largely reliant on careful adjustments to campaigns as KPIs are processed. Driving valuable customers to highly optimized pages is a feat in itself, but Evolve Digital Labs’ mission is to do so at the lowest cost possible. Contact us in the form below or give us a call to find out how your organization can tap into this profitable marketing channel.