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PPC Secrets That Are Actually Secrets🙌

Abby Hasleham
18 min read

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Secret #1

Are your keywords really responsible for getting conversions?

The secret is in your search terms!

Question: Do you have more search terms than keywords in your Google Ads Search network campaign? 

This needs to be dealt with, ASAP!!!

The keywords are what you control and what you’re bidding on. But the search terms are what Google is controlling and what you’re paying for.

This means that one single keyword, out of the potential hundreds (or more) you’re bidding on, could easily have hundreds of related search terms.

This also happens beyond the Google Ads platform, but this technique happens again when your Facebook interests are grouped together to create a bigger audience size and you lose the ability to break down the individual interest performance.

Extract what you can from your automatic placements reports and granulate your social PPC audiences as much as possible. 

SKAGS are key!

Single Keyword Ad Groups should be created from your search term reports and discover which keywords are actually performing and which ones are stinkers.

Make everything as small as possible:

  • Turn your search network Ad Groups into SKAGS
  • Extract Your Search Terms
  • Extract Your Automatic Placements
  • Extract Your Audience and Interest Groups Into Smaller Targets

Secret #2

PPC Traffic levels 

  • Know what the intentions are of the traffic you are dealing with and what appropriate offers you should show them according to the level of ‘threat’ they perceive.
  • Taking a CTA that worked on the search network and replicating it everywhere else is a recipe for disaster! You won’t get any conversions this way and if you do they won’t be of good quality.

The above shows how visitors who come from different PPC channels have completely different conversion intents.

It also means that you need to do a better job matching your CTA offer with the conversion intent of that specific traffic.

The graph shown below displays how there is a direct relationship between conversion intent and conversion threat. This shows the importance of knowing where your audience is on the ‘thermometer’ and what offer will convert them the best.

💡 Note: the stronger the intent, the more threatening your CTA can be.

What this scale shows is that the colder your traffic, the lower your offer’s threat level has to be to expect conversions.

And unlike your original CTA, you can replicate this logic across other types of PPC channels like Display, Video, Social, and Search.

Display visitors can be offered these items (the least threatening offers):

  • Coupon
  • Checklist
  • Toolkit
  • Calendar
  • Podcast
  • Email course
  • Swipe file
  • Infographic 
  • White Paper
  • Industry stats

Video and Social Visitors can be offered the following (very little threat):

  • Quiz
  • Coupon
  • Video Course 
  • Live Demo
  • Tickets
  • Giveaway
  • ebook
  • T-shirt
  • Demo
  • Trial
  • Case Study
  • Webinar

Search visitors are the least threatened and should be offered:

  • Consultation
  • Quote
  • Purchase 
  • Demo
  • Trial

Applying The Scale

Let’s say that you’re a B2B PPC advertiser and your ultimate PPC goal is to generate leads through the CTA of a “Free Consultation”.

That might work very well on the Search network because your visitors’ “hot intent” means that they want what you have to offer.

But if you try to replicate that “Free Consultation” CTA on a Display network banner ad (where the visitor wasn’t searching for you), it’s pretty hard to expect them to convert, right?


Nurturing From One Intent PhaseTo The Next👶

Email and retargeting is a crucial part of bridging the gap from one stage of your marketing funnel to the next so that you can convert users.

In order for this secret to work it is crucial that you understand your PPC traffic temperatures and their individual conversion intents.

Secret #3

When You Try Your Best But You Don’t Succeed…

Have you tried both secret 1 and 2 , but no conversions are happening? It is time to find out where your bottlenecks are!!!

See, before users can complete a macro conversion (the end goal you want to take place), many micro-conversions need to take place!

Most of the time these micro conversions are linear in nature, so it’s easy for you to locate, diagnose, and fix the issue. Below are some examples of Micro conversions.

It might not be the landing page that has a problem. It could be the ads, or the visitors you’re attracting, or even the order of your form fields. View data below on time spent on the same page and how the different campaigns reflect vastly different results.

The cool thing is that you can track this “time on site” micro-conversion through Google Analytics. You can even break down your metrics at the campaign, ad group, and keyword level.

You can use both Hotjar and CrazyEgg to track the amount of time somebody has spent on your form, refilled your form or scrolled through your page.

It is important to take all these aspects into consideration when deciding what to change in your campaigns or what new test to run.

Secret #4

Sales Not Conversions

At this stage it is time to take it another step further…

Let’s say that a conversion on your landing page is not black and white like an eCommerce purchase. Let’s say that you’re generating leads or users for your SaaS product.

You now know which keywords and search terms are producing conversions, but do you know which ones are producing sales?

It Is Time To See The Whole Picture!

Have a clear look at what keyword is doing better...

Have a look at the two sets of data below, notice how it is important to look at the sales rate and not only the conversion rate.

💡Note: be sure to consider all variables when making a decision on which keyword is performing better.

More importantly, it’s time you stopped focusing your keywords around a common account CPA goal.

Scaling Up Your Leads

Once you pair your lead data with your sales data, you’ll be able to be more aggressive with certain bids for certain types of PPC traffic that have a higher likelihood of leading to sales.

To track this, you’ll want two things:

  1. URL parameter tracking
  2. Hidden fields

The URL parameters can either be done manually through UTM parameters or automatically through Value Tracking Parameters.

The hidden fields are what you add to your sign up/lead gen form so it can capture the data that’s in the URL when a visitor converts. If you’re using a landing page builder like Unbounce, then this will be easy to do.

Once you identify the sales rates of your keywords, you basically start discovering what “Multi Intent” keywords are.

This means that within your Search network campaign, your keywords start acting like they have different PPC channel temperatures and you should start considering treating them individually based on their conversion intent and the CTA offer they are most receptive to.

Secret #5

Once you embrace the fact that your website or landing page is the decision point for conversions — not your ads — you’ll see how much CRO can do for your PPC performance.

Google Ads has over 100 metrics, Facebook has over 75.Focusing on these metrics should not be your key focus.These metrics are important, but they’re only guiding lights. They aren’t Key Performance Indicators (KPIs).

I doubt you have exhausted every CRO tactic and value increase opportunity.

Spot the differences:

  1. The first option shows a higher threat level than in option two.
  2. The second one asks for a low risk yes first.

That simple change led to a 74% increase in conversion rate and a 51% drop in cost per acquisition (CPA).

Finally, keep in mind that the threat level of your CTA can impact the success on your landing page. 

💡Note: A “big ask” like a quote or free consultation often works better with this technique than a “small ask” like a free eBook, webinar, or podcast download.

It’s up to you to do what your competitors aren’t willing to do. Move that needle. Run the test and analyze your data. Get that money!🚀

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