As a marketer, you want to get the most bang for your buck. And in a world as competitive as search marketing, achieving high returns on investment (ROI) consistently can be a dream. Fortunately, companies always seem to be rolling out new features for advertisers to help them reach their audience. For example, Google announced In-Market Audiences for search in 2017. The feature, which was previously only available for display, analyzes billions of search queries on the internet to help find relevant audiences that you might be missing out on.
For search marketers who are looking for fresh inspiration, here are some ideas to maximize the potential of your PPC campaigns in 2019.
Reanalyze Your Conversion Actions
Typically, a user journey can be broken down into the following steps:
- Consideration or intent
- Sales or action
- Repeat sales
For each of those stages, your campaign will typically have a dedicated landing page and a call to action (CTA). Analyze your CTAs and reassess the ones that are not performing well. For example, if your e-commerce store entices past buyers with special offers that aren’t working very well, maybe try giving out something that’s more valuable than a discount. Get creative. Maybe special access to in-depth information about a product could work.
Similarly, if your business to business (B2B) company targets people at the Interest stage with a free download, refresh your content. If your content is already up to date and still not performing well, try making an explainer video that shows how your solution could help them improve their efficiency.
When you reanalyze your conversion actions, think outside the box. Map your actions to the consumer journey and repackage the non-performing assets.
Use Google’s Audiences
Google allows you to target two different kinds of audiences in your PPC campaigns: similar audiences and in-market audiences. The former is a list that Google throws up based on your remarketing lists. These are people who have shown search behavior similar to people who have interacted with you before. This interaction could be as simple as a page visit on your website.
I’d recommend using Similar Audiences in observation mode. There is no point in targeting them separately since they haven’t interacted with your business before. As your campaign starts to gather data, you can make a new list from Similar Audiences to target separately.
In-Market Audience is people who have shown search behavior that’s relevant to your products or service. For example, if you run an online travel agency, people who are looking for car rentals or cruises might be relevant to your business. These are people you might have missed when setting up your search campaigns. Google uses its powerful machine-learning algorithms to analyze trillions of search queries.
Since In-Market Audience is a new feature, it is not available for all categories. More importantly, it can be a hit or a miss. However, there is still a strong case to be made for using In-Market Audience in observation mode. It can throw up surprising trends that can be used to tweak your overall PPC strategy. For instance, if you are running an awareness campaign for your new online travel agency, you might find out that people who are looking for car rentals click the most on your ads. Based on that information, you can then tweak your overall content, SEO and PPC strategy.
Use Google’s Attribution Models
In 2014, Google introduced attribution modeling to Google Ads. And it can be the most powerful tool in your arsenal as a marketer. Google Ads attribution modeling lets you choose how you measure the efficacy of your campaigns.
In the world of inbound marketing, typically a prospect will come in contact with you several times before they convert. Most customer journeys are not linear. However, often marketers give all the weight to keywords or ads that lead to conversions. Also known as a last-click attribution model, it does not give you the complete picture. It ignores all the touchpoints in-between that led to the final conversion.
For instance, in the case of an e-commerce store, brand keywords might be responsible for most conversions. However, it is possible that non-brand keywords that preceded the brand ones played a key role in getting consumers to your store. If you are attributing all conversions to the last click, you might decide to pause or stop the “underperforming” keywords in-between, which does not let you optimize your PPC campaigns fully.
Google has six attribution models in Google Ads, with data-driven attribution being the most powerful. Google’s data-driven attribution model uses machine learning to provide insights into cross-channel marketing efforts. However, it is only available to advertisers with a substantial marketing history.
The other five attribution models only tell you how users interact with your ads on Google’s network. The attribution model that you choose will depend on the goals of your campaign. For instance, if brand awareness is the goal, or if you are gunning for aggressive growth, first-click attribution model might be more suitable. It gives all credit to the first keyword that led to a conversion.
Similarly, if you are running a multilevel campaign, which has a long sales funnel, you might want to switch to a linear attribution model. It gives equal weight to all keywords that lead to conversions in a campaign. Thus, you get an overall sense of the keywords and ads that are working in your campaign.
To get the best results, PPC campaigns require constant nurturing. Compare your results against industry benchmarks to get a better sense of how you’re performing overall.