Establishing your metrics via Direct Response Marketing

Unlike traditional direct response advertising, Adwords can be edited, tracked, paused, and deleted in real time. As far as prospects, leads (or people clicking onto your site), are either doing what we want them to do or not. It is vitally important to discover and establish the relationship between the people coming from your ads and the value each one represents to your bottom line. Today’s technology allows advance SEOs to leverage high-level web marketing and direct response marketing strategies in order to establish these relationships and provide you with the most significant and actionable data for your web business.

Testing your market and establishing a relationship between the words people are using to reach your products and the individual conversion rate attached to each word is the first step in creating a successful, scalable and trackable web marketing campaign. The main objective of testing should be to set a standard for your web marketing strategy that can be monetized and leveraged for your competitive advantage. Knowing the profitability of each element of your Adwords campaign makes everything easier. With this strategy, unlike other forms of advertising, you pay only for results: live visitors to your site.

For many businesses, advertising can be like a slot machine at the casino; you put in the money, pull the handle and see what happens. You may win, you may not, and either way the ability to collect data and learn from the experience is highly limited or not possible. PPC has changed all that for businesses with the patience, discipline and know-how to effectively track online metrics. Just like gumball machine can predictably give you an outcome every time you insert a quarter, direct response marketing through Adwords can reliably deliver a customer or lead to your website for a predictable cost. After running the correct tests, experienced SEOs can know how much, on average, a visitor is worth from each particular keyword. This information then allows him/her to make solid recommendations for the rest of your web marketing efforts, including whether to continue PPC efforts, implement an SEO strategy, take advantage of Online PR, and implement Email Marketing Campaigns…etc.

In this post, we will discuss the plan, the process and the outcomes you can expect from an effective PPC testing strategy.

THE PLANNING – INPUT – Example shown below, however, each individual project will look slightly different, this provides general scales for you to consider as you think about the specifics of your web business.

• Research and identify initial set of 200-300 keywords/phrases
• Identify 3-4 major Ad Groups
• Identify 2-5 primary ad variations
• Identify 2-5 landing page variations – A/B split test)
• Set up Individual Keyword Conversion Tracking
• Set up Google Analytics & Adwords Tracking
• Identify measurable Call-to-Action on all ads, all pages
• Identify all ad variations for testing
• Identify supporting behavioral metrics system

Adwords Visibility: Examples of places where your ad can show up as part of Google’s partnerships. Google offers 3 tiers of visibility:
• Google Adwords
• Google Search Partners
• Google Expanded Partners

Aol
Earthlink
Netscape
Other Web Sites
Blogs
Gmail
Online Newspapers
Magazine Ads
Google Map Locations
At&t
Ask
Compuserve
Shopping
About
Business
HowStuffWorks
Infospace
Lycos
NYTimes
Reed Business

The great thing about this strategy is that you don’t pay for the ad until someone clicks on it and visits your Web site. The amount you will pay for each visitor can be as low as one penny, or as high as $200, depending on the quality of your ad, your web site, and the competitiveness of the market defined by the keyword or phrase types by the visitor.

**This type of testing involves taking multiple versions of a landing page (displaying differing images, text, call to action, etc.) and observing the outcomes for each in order to determine the most effective elements for your page.

THE PROCESS – PROCESS

• 200-300 keyword set – We recommend a proprietary data-mining vertical market analysis software tool in order to develop the initial set of keywords. The initial set of keywords can be chosen based on historical PPC data, considering traffic, cost per click, and relevance to the overall theme. Google Adwords suggestion tool can be used to generate your initial set of keywords.

• A/B split test – Each of the keywords should be assigned to an Ad group that is specifically created in order to “cushion” and receive the searcher for increased conversions. Ads should be tested with multiple landing pages within the site or through a separate URL, which directs visitors towards the main site.

• Individual Keyword Conversion Metric – This may be one of the single most important steps, and what sets true SEO Companies apart from the rest of the industry. We recommend using Google’s tools as well as supportive proprietary software to accomplish this task. There are several options within the industry, make sure you are confident your SEO can gather this information and provide actionable data for your web marketing efforts.

• Google Analytics/Adwords- Google Analytics and Adwords, when set up properly and working together can provide an incredible amount of actionable data. This is a critical step and must be done in a specific way in order to ensure you pull the most relevant and revealing data from your tests.

• Call-to-Action – We recommend setting up “calls to action” along each step of the cycle, on each landing page, on every other page within the site, and in each email set to the client. All interactions with the searcher should be viewed as an opportunity to respond to the call to action/actions within your site.

• Multiple Ad Variations – The more ads you can set up the better your test sample will be. After the initial test, you will have hard data in order to make solid decisions on how to proceed in relation to your web marketing strategy in order to maximize your return on investment.

• Behavioral Metrics Tracking- Choose a tool which provides actionable data in relation to the ads you are testing. Some suggestions include heat-map technology and many other beneficial metrics. See crazyegg.com for an example.

THE OUTCOME – OUTCOME
Your testing strategy should be designed to collect the most valuable and actionable data you need to effectively and successfully compete within your specific industry.

Example metrics we recommend you collect through testing:

1. Total advertising cost

2. Sales/Leads Total

3. Return on Investment

4. Adwords as Click-Through-Rate

5. Landing-page Lead Conversion

6. Email Sales Conversion

7. Individual Keywords Conversion

8. Cost Per Visitor

9. Average Visitor Value

10. Cost Per Lead

11. Average Value of a Lead:

12. Cost Per Sale

13. Average Value of a Sale

With this information you will be able to make monetized decisions on continuing PPC advertising efforts, SEO strategies for replacing Adwords costs with Organic ranking results through Google (our specialty), and increasing the conversion rate on your web site via a system of collecting additional data from past, current and future clients.

This strategy is best utilized and leveraged within an ongoing system of testing, data collection, and interpretation, as opposed to a one time blast. The main goal is to establish the important metrics for your web business in order to help you establish a competitive and sustainable advantage within your industry. For more information on our PPC testing services, Search Engine Optimization and much more, contact us today.

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