Recent research shows that there are over 237 million clicks and 13 million pay-per-click (PPC) conversions every day through the Google AdWords platform. While that represents over $100 million of revenue for Google everyday, it also represents millions of opportunities for companies to learn more about their customers.
So how can you use your PPC program to improve results in other areas of your online marketing? Let's discuss 3 main areas: SEO, Email and On-Site Conversion.
- SEO- It's all about keywords in SEO: which ones you rank for, which ones you want to rank for, how much is each ranking worth, etc.
PPC has two ways to inform your keyword selection for SEO.
First, run keyword performance reports and search query reports in your PPC accounts. Make sure to include conversion data. From these reports you'll see exactly how much search volume is available (not the dubious estimates available from keyword traffic tools). You'll see how often people are clicking on your ad and how often those clicks turn into real conversions. This is how you know which keywords justify SEO budget and which don't.
Second, you can do the same thing with keywords you are thinking about putting SEO effort into. Drop those keywords into tightly focused ad groups, write relevant ads and measure the results. You'll quickly know accurate search volume data, click through rates and conversion rates. Boom!
- Email- You've probably already done A/B testing on your email subject lines. That's great, but think about this.
Say you have 100K people on your list. You send one message to 50K and another message to the other 50K. A few days later you look at the statistics and determine that subject line 1 had 40% higher click-through and drove 15% more leads. But what if you could have sent the better performing subject line to all 100K people? Enter PPC.
Take your suggested email subject lines and use them in the ad copy of a PPC campaign. Run it for a few days (until you have enough impressions & clicks to be confident in the results) and then you can use the better performing subject line with your entire list. As long as the increase in sales justifies the Adwords clicks you'll be making money all the way with this strategy.
- Sitewide Conversion- Every word on your site could be tested via AdWords eventually, but not all copy is equal. Focus on your calls to action (CTAs). You know, the text on that registration button or clickable link to your lead gen form. These are perfect for PPC testing because they're short and action oriented.Again, take a PPC campaign and use your 2-3 CTA ideas in the copy. Run until you have valid data, then use the findings to inform your site optimization efforts.
Online marketing can be complicated and it's tempting to put on your "Email hat" or "SEO hat" and forget that your PPC can actually be helping your other areas. PPC is highly measurable and can have great ROI by itself, but when used in combination with other channels it can be even more valuable.
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Robert Brady is the head PPC wizard at Righteous Marketing, a Google AdWords Certified Partner and Microsoft adExcellence Member. He manages PPC accounts for both small and large businesses and offers a PPC training program for the DIYer.