Pay per Click, or PPC, advertising is a very measurable form of Internet marketing. Advertisers can collect data to understand exactly how well their campaigns are working, giving them the granular insight they need to continuously improve results.
The problem is, many PPC campaigns don’t take advantage of their measurability, which leaves advertisers in the dark about results and unable to improve their campaigns.
Most of these problems stem from sloppy campaign tracking and slipshod sales lead validation. Let’s take a brief look at each.
There’s phone tracking, and then there’s phone tracking …
If your PPC campaign uses a call tracking provider that doesn’t give you keyword-level data, you don’t have enough information to properly optimize your campaigns.
The right approach is to use a call tracking provider that gives you keyword-level data. This enables you to determine which keywords are actually performing in your campaigns.
Keyword-level data allows you to understand which campaigns, ad groups, search engines and keywords are converting, and which are not. Without this information, deciding which elements of the campaign to ramp up or ramp down is just a guess.
In addition, vague phone tracking data reduces the value of A/B split testing. For instance, if you conduct an A/B split test on your landing page, you won’t be able to determine which phone inquiries came from which landing page.
Validation: separating the wheat from the chaff
Granular phone tracking is essential, but without validating phone and form sales leads, you’re still fighting the competition with one arm tied behind your back.
The problem with simply counting conversions is that a substantial number of them – an average of 45% based on our validation data – are not sales leads. A phone call could be a misdial, a sales solicitation, someone looking for a different product, etc. Form conversions could be non-leads such as sales solicitations, spam, customer service inquiries, etc.
So, unless someone listens to every recorded phone call and reads every form lead, you don’t know which, and to what extent, campaigns, ad groups, search engines and keywords are producing sales leads.
Without validation, serious mistakes are a definite possibility when you adjust your campaigns. For instance, if keyword “A” produces 25 conversions and keyword “B” produces 10 conversions, increasing your spend on “A” and reducing it on “B” is smart – right?
If validation reveals that keyword “A” generated 5 sales leads and “B” generated 7, your decision would change drastically.
Smart campaign decisions hinge on accurate lead generation data, not undifferentiated conversion data.
It takes money to make money
PPC campaigns miss the mark on phone tracking and lead validation for a variety of reasons. Some advertisers simply don’t know how to do it. Others are aware they could operate with more precision, but choose not to because of the cost to implement accurate phone tracking and validation. In this case, the savings is false. Without accurate data, campaigns waste money and fail to improve, month after month and year after year. The cost of tracking and validation is a wise investment that enables PPC to produce a greater ROI – month after month and year after year.