Just last week you may have joined us, along with 8,000 other marketers online for our first ever Marketing Optimization Week. Held over four days (February 20-23), experts from Hanapin, Emma, Zapier, Drift, Microsoft and more shared their tactics for refreshing your marketing and getting past a results slump.
Running 14 sessions total with 13 amazing partners, we were pretty excited to see marketers get so much out of the event:
— Melanie Crissey (@MelanieCrissey) February 20, 2018
— Nick Stutzman (@Nick_Stutzman) February 21, 2018
Treat mobile and desktop separately! A key takeaway from the insightful webinar about landing pages with @jeffbaum71 and @diane_anselmo, invest in mobile sites, and make sure your pages render quickly #marketingoptweek @unbounce
— Honeypot Marketing (@honeypot_mkting) February 22, 2018
— Yumi Ang (@yumi_ang) February 23, 2018
I presented on the topic of “How to Improve Your Adwords Conversion Rates” as part of the PPC track (we had four tracks in all, including PPC, AI, Marketing Strategy and Automation). Today I’ll share some of the PPC-related takeaways, both from my session and others.
Making the Most of Your PPC Spend
To start, here’s my pop quiz:
If you’ve optimized your AdWords campaigns to no end, but are still seeing smaller and smaller efficiency gains, do you:
- Throw more money at it (cost per acquisition be damned!)
- Keep on truckin’. (Refine your keyword strategy further and test new ads), or
- Start looking at where your ads are pointing to
Call me crazy, but option 3 seems like a no-brainer, right?
It’s like my pal Joe Martinez, Director of Paid Media at Granular Marketing says:
“Ads get traffic. Landing pages get conversions.”
In other words, no matter how good your keyword and bidding strategies are, your ads can’t do the work alone.
The savviest PPC marketers are optimizing as much of the funnel as they can get their hands on, because AdWords CPC’s have nearly tripled since 2012. To ensure you’re not blindly spending, you need to look at where your ads are pointing to.
The question I have is: with landing pages being such low-hanging fruit in terms of paid ad success, why haven’t all marketers figured this out yet?
I tackled this in my presentation covering:
- What landing page changes you can make now to lift conversion rates
- How to make these changes without talking to your developer
- How to set up an A/B test in less than 30 seconds
Other PPC-Specific Sessions You Can Check out
Throughout the week it was pretty satisfying to see a big focus on post-click optimization as a major area to consider for improving results and getting the most out of your PPC ad spend.
My personal favourite talks within the PPC track were:
- PPC Woes And What To Do About Them by Beth Thouin and Richard Beck of Acquisio
- Beef Up Your Quality Score With Landing Page Updates by Jeff Baum and Diane Anselmo at Hanapin, and
- Unicorn Marketing: Getting Unusually Great Results Across Every Marketing Channel by Larry Kim of Mobile Monkey
Finally, here are some of my top takeaways from the talks above:
1. Optimize your landing pages to get ahead
Acquisio structured their session around addressing the biggest woes PPC marketers face everyday and they provided actionable tips for prolonging the effectiveness of your campaigns past three to four months.
According to Beth and Richard, one of the best ways to get ahead of the competition (and keep your campaigns fresh and high-converting) is to work on your landing pages. Make sure your images are high-quality, pages load fast, and there’s clear message match between your ads and resulting landing pages.
It’s like Richard said during the session: “[forget] the bucket with holes in it! Not having a good landing page is like having a bucket with no bottom in it when it comes to PPC campaigns.”
2. Focus on navigation to increase your Quality Score
So often we get caught up with page load time, copy, and SEO that we forget to focus on intent and how people expect or want to navigate through our landing page information (i.e.: easily). Hanapin’s session went over just how important Quality Score is for PPC campaign performance and how one factor in improving your score via the landing page experience is navigation.
Jeff and Diane use the analogy of a shoe store: the experience after clicking through on a search ad should be akin to walking through a neatly organized shop where everything is labelled, certain types of shoes are grouped together, and you can easily find what you’re looking for in a matter of minutes. When in doubt: the simpler you make your landing page navigation/information hierarchy, the better.
3. Stop trying to optimize donkeys. They will always be donkeys.
During his session at Marketing Optimization Week, Larry Kim outlined the difference between a unicorn and donkey. What’s a marketing unicorn? Typically, these are the pieces of content or campaigns that outperform the rest. They usually make up only a small percentage of everything you run. One of the main points in this talk that resonated with me was that we should stop trying to optimize donkeys and focus exclusively on the unicorns.
Unicorns are unicorns across channels, so when you find one, take it and apply it across your other channels, including PPC. To find unicorns we need to audition lots of content ideas, identify which ones have unusually high engagement rates, and optimize those few for engagement even further.
These takeaways just scratch the surface from Marketing Optimization Week (there are more tracks and engaging speakers). Be sure to grab the recordings and share them with your team!