April 21, 2009
One of my sites generated our first lead in a new category late last night. One of my partners sent an email saying:
“Who shops for _______ at 12:16am???”
So I got to thinking… 12:16am is late, and the product here is sort of random. My inclination is that if you are shopping for this product at 12:16 am you are not just casually browsing. You are looking to take some action. That is the perfect site visitor. So I wrote a longer response:
<< begin response >>
Consumer traffic is totally like that man. People have to work during the day, so they oftentimes are only able to do their personal shopping at night.
In fact I find that people do lots of “shopping” and “browsing” during the day, but lots of “buying” at night. I once saw someone make a huge mistake… they had a B2B site and put their PPC campaigns on pause on evenings and weekends, figuring that people weren’t at work then and therefore wouldn’t be buying. They were “sorta right”. Most of the traffic was during that time, so even though their ads only ran like 40% of the total hours in the week they still got 80% of the traffic potential, and thus only saved 20% of their total cost by turning the ads off weeknights and weekends.
But the mistake was this… Read the rest of this entry »
I was looking at the goals and noticed the abandonment rate. Is that the number of visitors that reach our entrance page and don’t proceed?
April 28, 2008
How money is this guy? So money. His employer should just pay this guy to rap around their client’s topics as linkbait. CHUCK, IF YOU READ THIS send me a note. I need someone to rap about tax debt resolution services as some linkbait for a client :)
Video immediately below and then my “lessons learned” to paraphrase it (his rhyming skills are too fast to catch everything the first time).
- Your campaign is not working if you aren’t generating leads. Okay that one is easy.
- Don’t waste money bidding on vague keywords.
- While fixing your conversion rates, considering pausing your campaign.
(Mo Says: First pause your ads, no more hits on your card. Money don’t grow on trees, at least not in my yard.)
- Make sure to include some adjectives in your PPC ad text.
- Understand your competitive position online
- Start with yo’ meat. Talkin’ bout your content.
- Make sure your text is right for your audience, not just search engines. Don’t forget you want conversions, not just higher quality scores (on the PPC end) or rankings (on the organic end).
(Mo Says: After all, they the ones that grab the phone and call. The search engines won’t do anything but crawl.
- There are two steps to conversion. The first is online conversion – from visitor to lead. The second is generally offline (reminder we’re talking lead generation here) – call your leads promptly. Be cordial and charismatic. Don’t be satisfied in doing a great job with online conversions if you are dropping the ball in converting those inquiries to new customers.
– Is your site complete?
– Is your deal sweet?
– Competitive industry… can you compete?
Moral of the story:
With lead-generation conversions are all that should matter to you. To quote Mo again “I’d rather get 100 clicks and close 35, than get 1,000 clicks and only close 9.“
April 25, 2008
A client of mine just sent me a note saying:
Jon,We’ve seen a decent uptick in <region> area leads/conversions. I know we are spending more $ up there, what – if anything else – do you see happening?
As per usual, I spent some time revisiting the data and identified not one but many contributing factors. I could respond one of two ways to this question. The first would be to basically say “Well we’re doing a better job of targeting our customers and delivering them to better-converting, more relevant landing pages.” That’s basically it. That’s why we’re getting more leads and conversions. I probably should have written that. But alas, the good Lord did not bless me with a knack for brevity.
So here is what I found, more specifically. Note that I’ll paraphrase a bit from my email reply to the client, and also cut out a few points that were situation-specific and not so applicable to PPC-based lead generation and conversion in general. I also changed the regions and keywords as well. The client is in fact not a pizza shop. That would be e-commerce conversion, not lead-gen conversion. We don’t do that!
Many things are playing into this, hard to isolate just one:
1) The previous PPC campaign (prior to us) that was targeting Maryland was a national campaign that had keywords which included “Maryland” or other regional words. As such, this would effectively show the ad for a guy in California (not the region we’re targeting) who searched for “Maryland pizza shop” or for a guy who is actually in Maryland and searched on “Maryland pizza shop”, but not a guy in Maryland who just searched on “pizza shop”. Chances are that guy wants a pizza shop in Maryland… but its certainly possible he wants one in Iowa. Just not likely.
We have since paused that old campaign and our current one is regionally-targeted. This means it will show for a guy in Maryland searching on our targeted keywords (without specifying his location), as well as a guy in California who specifies something like “MD” or “Maryland” in his search phrase.
2) We’ve refined the ad groups and keywords we are bidding on in Maryland such that a greater percentage of the money is being spent on your core services now than it was several weeks ago.
3) I believe the ads are a bit more targeted now than they were previously to people in Maryland, in that they not only have something like “Maryland” or “MD” in the ad copy, but also will show “Maryland” under the URL b/c of the geo-targeting feature.
4) The landing pages we’re sending traffic to now (as of last month) are better matches for the content and also present a clearer “call to action” in my opinion. Thus better conversions. This is a result of the time we spent creating individual, targeted landing pages for each service type your firm offers.
5) By separating out the campaign (versus before us) into separate ad groups for each we’re taking people directly to what they are looking for. If they search on “thin crust pepporoni pizza” we’re taking them directly to that page, not just a page about “pizza in general”. Before everyone was going to the homepage and had to find what they wanted specifically. Now we take them directly to the page they are looking for.
Note: Don’t put a bunch of different keywords in one ad group! That will effectively force them all to the same page (unless you go through extra effort) and will also make it much more difficult for you to compare one type of service versus another in terms of their performance. Break your offerings down into 5-10 smaller buckets and make each of those its own ad group. You’ll be able to better-targeted and match your ad copy to the subject, as well as get higher quality scores for your resulting landing pages.
6) All of the above basically contribute to a lower CPC that we’re now paying. You were paying $10 per click in Maryland and now you are paying like $5.50. Plus I believe you’re getting better quality visitors too. Thus, more traffic and more leads for your money.
April 22, 2008
Earlier today I ran across a blog with a blogname.wordpress.com URL. I noticed it was ranking for a number of keywords that one of my sites ranks for. Its a lead generation niche that targets homeowners. Anyhow, the blog titles were blatant spam – all lower case, just random words that don’t make a sentence or phrase, etc. The body had just a list of keywords, and so on. Blatant blog spam.
The intent was to rank in Google’s blog search through keyword relevance and frequency. That is, they didn’t try to be the most trusted blog or blog post in order to rank, but rather they just posted 10 times a day so they would always be one of the 3 or 4 most recent posts for their chosen keywords. Some cheap auto-posting script could probably accomplish this.
This is nothing terribly new… But here is what was different – they had some very nice, reasonably professional videos in each post. They were their videos too, not just something generic scraped off of YouTube.
I had to think – why such a low-end method (spammy auto-posting blog entries) that delivered such a high-end (nicely done videos) form of content? It seemed clear that the intent was for the content to be the video. By not really having any text they just wanted you to find their site via search and then watch the video. In this sense, while its search engine spam using WordPress, it was still a “relevant” result. Usually when this is done its crap on both ends.
I wonder how well the video converts traffic? Do users overlook the spammy headings and text? Do they even notice it?
Anyhow, I was logged in to WordPress at the time, so I had that little blue bar that lets your report a WP blog as spam. I clicked it. The form asked me why it was spam, and I basically said what I’ve typed earlier in this post (10 times per day, just a bunch of keywords and no actual thoughts, etc.). About 6 hours later I got an email from a guy at WordPress saying the suspended the blog. The email address it was sent from has “TOS” in it so I’m guessing their decision is based on whether or not it violates the WordPress.com Terms of Service… which I suppose would make rather obvious sense.
I’m now thinking about how much time the videos must have taken to make. They were clearly relevant, decent content. Perhaps I jumped the gun in reporting them? I don’t think so, it was still abusing the WordPress system. I admittedly don’t know (or care) about the letter of the law, but I’m guessing the WP guy that decided to ban them was the real judge here. You can just call me the whistle blower.
Anyhow have any thoughts or experiences with how well video helps convert traffic? How about when the content and rest of the site are low-end? I would think pairing high-end video with high-end layout/content would be best, but perhaps the other method steers eyeballs to the video which (using multimedia) can make a stronger impression.