PPC Tips for the ROI-Sensitive

By Kaitlyn Smeland Dhanaliwala | Jan 15, 2009
More Articles by Kaitlyn


We all know that some companies for a number of reasons attempt to use PPC as a branding tool that will basically get them exposure. They’re focused on eyeballs and traffic. Sometimes this may be a valid strategy.

However, one of the main strengths of PPC as an advertising medium is the opportunity it gives advertisers to keep a close eye on their ROI. Facing the current economic pressures, it’s likely that ROI will become an even greater focus for many advertisers, and here are a few tips to keep your PPC account efficient:

  • Define your conversion actions wisely. Obviously, if you’re selling something on your site, make sure you measure purchases as conversion actions. However, for some products you may not expect a sale after only one visit to the site. You may want to also measure email signups or whitepaper downloads or quote requests as well. It’s possible to track multiple types of conversions in AdWords, so take advantage of it.
  • Assign value to your conversions. Specify relative value between different conversion types if possible. For purchases, the product price will automatically be this value. Maybe different products offered on the site have different prices. Furthermore, if you use a CRM system that keeps track of how often newsletter subscribers or quote requesters eventually convert, you may be able to deduce an approximate dollar value for those key performance indicators as well. This way, instead of just comparing the number of total conversions between two campaigns, you’ll see an estimated measure of revenue earned.
  • Track your converting traffic’s activities. Create an Analytics account that can be tied to your AdWords account. Create conversion goals in Analytics which will tell you the paths people took to reach conversion. A page with a high abandonment rate may indicate an area of the site that may need a more conversion-focused design.
  • Use a conversion-focused bidding strategy. You don’t necessarily need to be that concerned with the average CPC of your keywords.  It may be the case that a more competitive keyword which is generally more expensive converts at a better rate than a less expensive keyword.  The metric you should examine first and foremost is cost per conversion.
  • Invest in landing pages! Especially for e-commerce retailers selling a product, landing pages can be very effective at driving conversion rates higher. Invest in a good landing page design and continue to test new versions.

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