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3 Must-Dos When Tracking Multiple Conversion Actions

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Being an account manager at an agency, you come across many different scenarios. Just like snowflakes, there are no two accounts that will ever be the same. You may have two eCommerce accounts but with different products and investments, goals may be drastically different. Or the value of a lead generation form for Business A may be much less than that of Business B. No matter the difference, it’s our job to make ourselves an extension of our client’s marketing team and learn, learn, learn.

When new accounts are brought on, we can generalize a couple of things such as;

  • The product(s) that are being marketed.
  • If the business is eCommerce or Lead Generation.

From that point, the dialog begins regarding goals, what is meaningful to the business, etc. So what happens when eCommerce and lead generation coincide under the same account. Today, I want to walk you through three must-dos that will help you to keep the balance and ensure that everyone plays nice.

Don’t Ever Discount A Goal

When you first learn that you will be tracking forms and general transactions, ask questions such as;

  • How many forms do you have across your site?
  • If a user fills out a form and completes a transaction, will they still be contacted via the sales team?
  • What’s the value of a form lead versus a general transaction?
  • Are leads and transactions tracked in the same CRM (Customer Management Software)

The end goal is to understand all the processes and to understand how the business works together as a whole. No question is too silly and from experience, your contacts will love to answer your questions. As mentioned above, we want to be an extension of our client’s marketing team and therefore by asking questions, we are immersing ourselves in their business. Did I mention that no question is too silly?

Allow Keywords to Speak for Themselves

This is a tough one. When thinking about different conversion actions, it’s easy to say that when this term is searched for, someone is obviously looking to directly purchase or vise versa. I have found this to be the farthest thing from the truth in some situations. You would be surprised at terms that are searched for by decision-makers and the end result is a form fill that leads to a huge win. My recommendations here are as follows;

Google ads conversion action menu
  • Keep the conversation going. If you see “obvious” transactional search terms leading to form fills, speak up. Tell your client. It may open up internal conversations about how users are viewing products and speaking of products.
  • Test, test, test. Test keywords that speak to various parts of the funnel. Learn how users are searching and use that to your advantage.
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Allow Creative to Meet The End-User

Last but certainly not least, allow your findings to dictate how you speak to users. Don’t be afraid to test “lead generation” language around seemingly eCommerce/Transactional products. “Shop Now” may be too abrasive, whereas “Learn More”, may speak to the user who isn’t ready to purchase and simply wants more information. On the flip-side, “Shop Now” may open the door for someone who is looking to purchase but once they make it to your site, they realize they meet other qualifications and need that conversation with a sales representative.

Final Thoughts

Like a few other posts I have written, the end story is that you should always test and allow the data to speak. However, we need to also be vulnerable and ask questions to gain a greater understanding of our clients.

PPC

The Art and Science of PPC Account Structures

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The Art and Science of PPC Account Structures


With the rise of machine learning and the relentless march toward large-scale automation, digital marketers are now finding themselves in the middle of a perfect storm where they have less control over their campaigns, higher costs, and lousy results. 

To state the obvious, Google’s goals are not your goals.  

Source: Google

Over the last few years, Google introduced and pushed PPC automation while also removing many of the controls marketers typically used to prevent wasted spend. 

Here’s just a small list of what they’ve done:

  1. They killed off match types – As a result, keywords are no longer granular enough and Google’s understanding of “close” variants and “similar” intent fluctuates between terrible and horrific.
  2. They Added Audiences – Google has made significant efforts over the past few years to replace keywords as the primary PPC control lever; audiences (+ the derivatives thereof) have been the most successful of these so far.
  3. They introduced and pushed “smart” features – Google’s “optimization score” and “smart shopping campaigns” were the first major efforts; now, we have Performance MAX, the end of ETAs, and much more on the horizon. 
  4. They introduced auto-applied campaign changes – because who doesn’t want a Roomba running their account?
  5. They removed the majority of search term data – of course, the claim was that this was for “privacy”…but does anyone believe that? 

As a result, CPCs and CACs are spiking across the board and we’re left with the perfect recipe to waste a LOT of money.

The pace of change has left many PPCers wondering how to adapt to this brave new world, with a few approaches becoming more and more pervasive: 

  1. Lean Into The Automation – give the machines what they want – control and volume! Consolidate everything into a couple of campaigns, turn on Broad Match, and away we go. 
  2. Old School – focus on keeping granular control with a rigid, EM-based structure and negatives everywhere. 
  3. Shanty Town – some weird fusion of the two – where there are some EM campaigns, some full broad, maybe some audiences or DSAs sprinkled in…, and a heaping helping of confusion. 
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Unfortunately, the automation approach will have you wasting money, the old school approach will have you going crazy trying to maintain control in the face of RSAs, bidding strategy, and match type changes, and the Shanty Town delivers the worst of both worlds. 

The only thing that HAS stayed the same is the desire to find the right account structure that balances scale with control, spending with results, and predictability with discovery. Too much to ask for? No! 

Source: Google

Six Things to Keep in Mind When Setting Up PPC Campaigns

Automation is here to stay. The increasing role of automation will have an impact on PPC account structures, and this isn’t good or bad – it just is. Our job as marketers is to set the machines up for success and defend against their flaws.

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The structure is about people. Campaign structure is the “how” you connect your organization’s marketing to the people you want to target. Keep your audience in mind when you structure your PPC campaign and put yourself in the mind of the audience.

Better Data = Higher Probability of Good Outcomes. Don’t focus only on conversion data.  Make sure that each platform you use (not just Google, Microsoft, and Facebook) has the business and financial data it needs to maximize your chances of a good outcome. In short, efficiently leverage your data and help the machines be smarter!

Exclusions are more important than inclusions. Be liberal in your campaign exclusions to ensure machines focus on what you want (and don’t make bad inferences that blow your budget).

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Be Machine Learning-friendly. Resist the urge to hyper-segment everything. Build a structure that is ML-friendly while still being sufficiently refined. You might end up with fewer ad groups, but that’s ok! 

Be brilliant at the basics. Do the little things extremely well – align your ads to the intent of the user, deliver a relevant message and have a delightful on-page experience. 

Want to learn more? I’ll be speaking at HeroConf London on July 18 at 10:15 am on the Main Stage. During my session, “The Art and Science of PPC Structures,” I’ll dive deep into the essential account and targeting structures and how they can be used to prevent automation from running wild.





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