<< by on May 30th, 2008
Over the past two days, we’ve laid the foundation for improving lead quality from PPC programs. Today’s post investigates in further detail just what metrics to look for and how to create landing pages through advanced techniques that can track those key performance factors.
Passing Known Variables
Dynamic Programming Language
To pass known variables through from your PPC programs, you will likely need to use a dynamic programming language, such as ASP, ASP.NET, PHP, Cold Fusion, etc. as the language for your landing page. These languages allow you to pull data from variables in the URL of the page and use those variables in various ways on the page.
Decide Your Key Measurement Points
While there are certain elements about each landing page visitor we CAN pass through a PPC destination URL to the landing page itself, which elements are the most key? When measuring ROI, there are two main elements that I used as my standard passthrough elements:
I always pass the keyword through the URL. I then use the keyword in two main areas on the home page: the headline and as a hidden field I pass through to the CRM system for that lead’s record. Generally, you can pass the keyword through the destination URL from PPC by adding a variable to the end of the destination URL, like this:http://www.yourdomain.com/landingpageurl.asp?keyword=insertkeywordhere
The one big challenge this approach does incur is that you have to enter a unique destination URL for EACH keyword in your ad groups because Google, Yahoo and the like cannot dynamically insert that data for you. It’s a LOT of work, but I’ve found it’s truly worth the effort.
Once I’ve pulled the keyword from the URL, I can then insert it into the headline of the page, which, as I mentioned in yesterday’s post, has been proven to help improve conversion.
However, I also like to pull the keyword to enter that data into the lead’s record in the CRM system. Why? Once I have a sample of leads from the CRM system with their associated keywords, I can evaluate keywords and see if they are bringing me mostly quality or non-quality leads.
In many cases, a keyword could easily have two meanings. Take the example of “green binders” as a keyword from one of our B2B clients who sells high-quality binders for presentations. “Green” can mean the color green, or it can mean “eco-friendly”. How do we know which meaning the searcher intends? In another client’s case, a searcher looking for the term “recruiting firms” could be an employer OR a job applicant — but recruiters often only receive compensation from employers, not job applicants. By evaluating the true quality conversion effectiveness of these terms, we can begin to weed out terms that may draw the wrong target audience. My rule of thumb is that if 50% or more of the leads from a keyword term are deemed “non-quality”, we pause the keyword term in PPC.
- Lead Source
The second field I always track is the lead source (i.e., which engine the ad respondent came from). Many of my clients advertise on multiple engines, so tracking this information allows me to see if one particular engine sends higher quality leads than another, allowing me to futher make better decisions about which engines should receive the lion’s share of the media budget.
Pass Hidden Fields into Your Sign Up Form
Once you have the fields passed into the page via the URL, you can then add them as hidden form fields into your sign up form. Additionally, if you have multiple product/service offerings and you know this page is targeting one particular product or service, be sure to add a hidden form field as well indicating which product or service the ad respondent is interested in.
Case Study: Survey Software Firm
For several months, we’ve been tracking both keywords and lead source for a survey software firm’s PPC programs. Here’s what we found:
- Lead Source
In analyzing our data recently, we were able to deduce that while nearly 50% of the overall leads from Google were quality, only 20% of the overall leads from Yahoo! were quality. This may have something to do with the fact that you cannot opt out of Yahoo!’s Search Syndication Network, but regardless, it means that most of the leads from Yahoo! are not our target audience. Now we have shifted our media budget to Google only — as we expect to get higher quality leads there.
The survey company, like the other example companies mentioned above, has the challenge of deciphering which terms that can have dual-meaning will provide the most quality leads. In their case, terms like “online surveys” can attract either those looking to purchase a survey tool or those looking to be compensated to take online surveys as survey respondents. By passing the keyword through the PPC destination URL and adding it to each lead’s record, we were able to determine which terms were bringing more than 50% unqualified leads and pause those terms — leaving more budget for terms that bring higher quality visitors.
Coming on Monday…
OK, so this post got too long, so I’ll cover Advanced Landing Page Techniques and A/B Testing on Monday. Have a great weekend!