Don’t Strangle The Buyer Funnel

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“How over optimising can kill PPC campaigns”

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A very common problem when it comes to PPC campaigns is dealing with clients that can be overly fixated on “fixing” their current marketing methods & demanding a need for constant change. However, it takes a deep knowledge of the account and advertising, in general, to push back on this. After all, pushing back could be the very thing that saves the business.

Here is a practical example.

Your client is a beauty therapist who offers a wide range of treatments to both men and women across multiple age groups. 

You are a PPC analyst, and you find and bid on some great audience targeting built up of people who are interested in all of the treatments your client offers. You also start to look at historic search terms and identify some highly relevant terms to expand your targeting. Your account mainly consists of targeted exact match keywords and a hand full of phrase match for the best performing exact keyword variants.

The account has been running for 2-4 weeks and it’s clear to see that all of the engagement metrics are really positive, CTR is 50% above the industry average and it’s safe to say the traffic the ads are receiving are of very high quality. Contact forms are being filled out more consistently and you’re optimising your bids based on the keywords generating the leads. 

What a smooth start…

Then the client calls. 

The campaigns aren’t working and they begin to question your every move, keyword relevance, ad copy, image choices, bid optimisation etc.

After receiving the client feedback you learn that the contact forms aren’t actually converting to treatments for the client, and your client is convinced your marketing strategy is the problem.

This next bit is extremely important.

When lead quality dips, there are two main places you can look.

  • Audience (The marketing strategy)
  • Post-Lead Optimisation (The client)

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For the client, there is one primary option, which would be the audience (marketing team). And when the client has likely dealt with a hand full of time-wasting agencies that are more bothered about the monthly retainer than actually caring for the clients business, you can’t blame the client for looking here.

As a marketeer, I will always check to improve a variety of things before pushing back. These things could be ad copy, keywords, bids, ad scheduling etc.

Of course, there is always improvement that can be done when it comes to PPC accounts. However, while this needs to be investigated, this is not the whole story, and there is a real chance of becoming fixated on the account and the marketing aspect that the client-side responsibility is neglected.

A marketeers job is to send qualified traffic to the client’s website, but it’s the website’s job (client) to convince that traffic to convert to the macro-conversion (the primary action you’re trying to get your audience to take).

Essentially, if we filter our target audience by preventing certain kinds of people from actually completing the form submission (or even seeing our ads), then we can likely increase the “lead to purchase” ratio. But this then runs the risk of completely strangling the buyer funnel by not allowing “potential” customers who could have converted further down the line.

have you ever come across a company or brand which just seems to of exploded overnight? They appear to be outperforming competitors & growing at an unbelievable rate?

A few that spring to mind, Netflix, Prettlittlething, Airbnb, Uber. All of which saw a gap in the market for an innovative alternative to the market leaders in their industries at that time. 

Well, this happens not by limiting your customer base by continually filtering out users which are interested in your product/service, but by successfully identifying how to convert more of those “other” people already showing an interest, but not yet converted.

If you’re consistently getting highly qualified traffic to your client’s website and that user is spending time browsing services, reading content, watching videos, but then fails to purchase or sign up for a subscription, that’s a person who is interested enough to be interested, but not enough to pay because you (or your client) failed to show them your value.

As a marketeer, sometimes pushing back is just as important as optimising an account. As I said earlier, pushing back could be the very thing that saves the business.