For search marketers, conversion rate is an important metric used to judge success and a big factor in advocating for a fair share of a business’s overall marketing budget. As such, search marketers spend countless hours studying, optimizing and seeking advice on improving this vital metric; read on to discover 5 unique tips to improve your campaign conversion rate.
1 – Analyze Search Terms
Phrase and broad match types are excellent for driving conversion volume for terms that aren’t captured by your exact match types, but they inherently have a lower conversion rate. To get the most out of your campaigns, use phrase and broad to drive impression and click volume, then review your search term report and avoid these 2 common mistakes:
1. Matching to a search term is not the same as bidding on that search term as an actual keyword. Unless you add a search term as an explicit keyword, you have not indicated that you want traffic from that specific search term and your quality score and ad rank for that search term will be subpar. Review your search term report to find converting search terms and make sure to add them as explicit keywords in your bidded set.
2. Search marketers often become frustrated with broad matches, but fail to realize that A) broad match is simply a representation of matches to a collection of individual search terms, and B) a handful of bad apple search terms can spoil what is otherwise a healthy broad match keyword. Review your search term report to find low converting, bad apple search terms, and add them as negative keywords. Once you discover a keyword or phrase you would like to exclude, add it as a negative keyword at the ad group, campaign or account (shared campaign negatives) level; but be careful to specify a match type, as mistakenly adding a phrase rather than exact match negative keyword can be disastrous.
2 – Conversions via Ad Extensions
Ad extensions can help drive conversions that aren’t traditional (e.g. buy a product, download a whitepaper, fill out a form), but just as beneficial and often do lead to a traditional conversion. Enable and consider the actions that searchers can take via ad extensions in conversion rate analysis; for example, facilitate calls to your business with call extensions, direct people to your brick and mortar store with location extensions and drive app downloads with app extensions (coming soon).
3 – Remove Funnel Bottlenecks
One mistake that many search marketers make is to focus entirely on their search marketing campaigns and ignore what happens between the click and conversion. If your searcher clicks an ad for designer jeans, lands on your page and is prevented from purchasing a pair of True Religion jeans because you are out of stock, you’ve just unwittingly lowered your conversion rate. Similarly, if your landing page buries the answer to the searcher’s question, your funnel requires them to go through more steps than are truly necessary or your website is non mobile-responsive, your conversion rate may suffer and leave you scratching your head, trying to figure out why your clicks are not turning into sales.
4 – Target Segments
The more control you have over how your ads show to each of your customer segments, the more you can influence your conversion rate. Showing Spanish ads to Spanish searchers, French ads to French searchers and Chinese ads to Chinese speakers will produce better results than targeting an English ad to all customers. Using incremental bidding to show ads in better positions during Mondays between the hours of 8AM and 5 PM can raise your conversion rate by ensuring your ads are most likely to be clicked when your most likely customers are searching will raise your conversion rate. Using remarketing (more below) to create custom audience segments and adapting the way you market to those custom segments will improve your conversion rate. Take a moment to draw out your customer segments and then make sure your search campaigns are appropriately optimized for each segment.
5 – Leverage Macro Data
There are many resources available to help search marketers with account planning, such as the Bing Ads Blog’s Insights Section, which will help you better understand and market to your target market.
Utilize the Bing Ads Campaign Planner to discover which verticals, sub-verticals and products have low CPCs and create product ads for those products types that have low CPCs and high margins.
Create reminders well before public holidays to optimize your campaigns and capitalize on higher holiday conversion rates and sales volume.
Additionally, Bing Ads recently released a new method of tracking conversion, revenue, and page engagement (including custom events!) called Universal Event Tracking (UET). If you’re still using the old campaign analytics code, make the switch to UET by browsing to the shared library, and clicking into goals and conversions. Beyond enabling you to track your conversion rates with more accuracy (across devices, across your site and across accounts), UET will enable you to run re-marketing in search (coming soon), which is a great way to re-engage “almost customers” that you paid to acquire but never converted, and thus decrease the CPA of your campaigns by raising conversion rates.
Thanks for following along! Feel free to comment with questions or additional thoughts, and happy optimizing!
About the Author:
Gabriel Kwakyi is a search advertising account manager who works for Microsoft Bing Ads in New York, NY. By helping clients from many different industries, sizes and business models develop search advertising strategies and fine-tune their campaign performance, Gabriel has gained a strong collection of PPC best practices and optimization insight, which he enjoys sharing with his clients, team and the broader digital marketing industry.