Category Archives: Blog

PPC Management – Increase ROI Year-Over-Year

How much are you spending on SEM every year? North American advertisers spent nearly $20 billion in 2012 alone. With that much money being thrown around, it’s important to focus on SEM and PPC marketing campaigns that produce real results, year after year—in other words, ensuring that the money you spend provides you with a significant ROI.

If you’re a digital marketing manager or CMO, you need to possess the resources and knowledge to properly measure ROI to be successful. Here are 5 helpful practices to improve PPC results, year over year.

How to Track ROI From PPC

To properly track ROI from PPC campaigns, you’ll need to have robust tracking tools (not just conversion tracking on Google AdWords), the latest technology, an experienced team, lead scoring and a detailed reporting system. The technology should be able to track specific keywords, ad copy, landing pages, ad position, and other factors that determine which visits lead to conversions. From this point, you can include these keywords into your CRM.

To elaborate take this example into consideration. AdWords will show that the keyword “refi Mortgage” led to the conversion and it stops there. What you really need to be tracking is:
• Keyword: “refi mortgage”
• Match type: exact
• Ad position: 2
• Ad Copy: “Lowest Refinance Rates”
After, your sales team has spoken to each lead, they must give it a score (we like to use a 5 star system). All this data together ties the loop to properly track ROI.

Launching an ROI-driven PPC Strategy

So you’re ready to launch a new PPC strategy that focuses on ROI. You’ll need to focus on three specific areas:

• Effective & Insightful Tracking
• Proper keyword targeting
• Relevant & Conversion Oriented landing pages

Part 1: Proper Tracking

Tracking goes above and beyond merely slapping a tracking code on your website and assuming the situation is now being handled. You may get some basic statistics from doing this, but how can you boost ROI based on this alone? As mentioned, you need to have the proper technology to really track effectively.

Part 2: Keyword Targeting

Keyword targeting is critical. Once you discover which keywords are generating the best leads, you’re well on your way toward developing an ROI-centered marketing campaign. In addition, there are multiple programs out there that can assist you with new keyword ideas, variations on keywords, and synonyms.

Part 3: Landing Pages

If executed properly, your landing page will be clear, concise, and conversion oriented. Verify that the landing page is not linked from anywhere except your PPC campaign to ensure effective tracking. By developing unique landing pages for specific ad groups/keywords and utilizing Dynamic Keyword Insertion (DKI), you will increase your conversion rates.

Know Your “Money Keywords” to Convert Conversations Into Customers

When it comes to budgeting SEM, most people have their bidding strategies backwards. Your campaign needs to be built around the understanding of what ROI ratio you are trying to achieve. If you are bidding a specific amount of money because you know what position it will put you in and what kind of traffic it will generate, and then multiplying that number by the conversion rate, you are going at things completely backwards.

Are you properly tracking ROI from PPC? If not, we would love to help you get all set up, get in touch with us today.

5 Proven SEM Strategies to Reduce Cost Per Acquisition (CPA)

Your customer base is the proverbial goose that lays the golden eggs, in that you have to keep feeding new customers into it in order to maintain profits. Yet you’re probably already aware of just how costly feeding that goose can become. If you allow your customer acquisition costs (CAC) to become to too high, you’ll quickly see those golden eggs start to shrink as your goose becomes a bloated, unhealthy mess, incapable of producing the kind of results you need.

Thus, the challenge then becomes being able to grow your clientele by bringing the right kind of customers in at just the right price. Sounds simple enough, right? Well, without a working knowledge of the market strategies proven to achieve such a goal, you risk wading through an unending stream of unsuccessful marketing ploys.

Proven Cost-Effective Techniques

  • Optimize and grade your leads: Too often, undecided clients let the sales cycle linger out of control, turning sales reps into marketers. Set clear criteria for your marketers based upon targeted, segmented feedback to determine what qualifies as a lead that can be passed on to your sales team.
  • Focus on what works: Monitor initiatives to see which yield high and low conversion rates. Don’t be afraid to abandon those that produce few results.
  • Don’t be afraid of customer trials: Market research has shown that consumers value a company’s willingness to guarantee their products or services at their own potential expense. By offering your new customers a trial period, you’re more likely you keep them over the long haul.
  • Indulge their need for instant gratification: By offering an incentive to work with your company, you’re engendering within customers an immediate sense of brand loyalty.
  • Enter the virtual world: If you’re one of the few holdouts that has yet to fully embrace internet marketing, it’s high time you became converted. Recent years have seen online marketing catch up and even threaten to overtake traditional marketing methods as the preferred choice in the business world. Much of that is due to its cost-effectiveness. Campaigns built around SEO and PPC often achieve better results than most other real-world marketing strategies, and often at a fraction of the cost.

The battle to keep your CAC down can be a difficult one, yet if you remain committed to seeing it done and have the right resources at your disposal, you can successfully keep your golden goose a laying. We here at HawkSEM are one such resource. As experts in SEM, we’re well-versed in all of the market strategies proven to keep customers seeking you out without you having to break the bank. To see just what we can do for your company, contact one of our team members today.

The Challenge of Cost-Effective PPC

So you’ve finally made the commitment to go all-in on a full scale PPC campaign. That’s great, yet there’s just one problem: so have quite a few others. Competition for keywords drives the prices publishers will charge for them up. Ultimately, you could easily see yourself spending more to generate new leads through PPC than you could recoup through actual transactions.

7 Tips to Keep Costs Low

That’s not to say that there are no ways for you to essentially achieve an ROI from PPC. Such techniques do exist; you just have to recognize them, and have the wherewithal to see them through:

  • Start by looking within: Look at your best customers. Analyze the feedback that they give as to what marketing tools brought them to you, and then focus your new acquisition campaign on that content.
  • Focus on specific keywords: Analyze search queries and results to see what specific keywords or phrases are uniquely relevant to your company. Too often, companies allow vagaries to limit the effectiveness of their search words or terms.
  • What makes your ad “clickable?”: The “clickability” of your ad depends largely on the relevance of the keyword it’s built upon. Connecting keyword relevance to click conversions allows you to enhance your ad’s effectiveness.
  • Eliminate strays: While many focus all of their attention on creating new content, you should also not forget the potential of that which you already have. Examine your paid ad for language can be misleading and produce unwanted or unproductive clicks, and then eliminate it.
  • Look at what you’re offering: Are you losing customers because you offer too much online, thus giving them no incentive to convert from casual observers to paying customers? Remember to give them what they want initially, yet leave them wanting more.
  • Look at what you can pay, not what you’re willing to pay: Review the historical PPC conversion data from other companies within your industry, or your own if you’ve already engaged in PPC advertising. Do you notice a steady conversion rate? Comparing the difference, if any, between your goal customer acquisition cost (CAC) and the actual conversion rate gives you a baseline figure at which you should pay in order to make ensure your PPC campaign’s profitability.
  • Optimize: While focusing on a baseline of profitability keeps your head above water, you don’t want to end up simply treading it over the long-term. Look for every opportunity to improve your conversion rates compared to your CAC.

Contrary to popular belief, you can help set the price for your PPC, allowing you continuous and cost-effective customer inflow with a near guarantee of high conversion rates. Yet reaching such an internet marketing utopia requires a fair deal of savvy. Don’t worry, we’ll provide the savvy. Our team here are HawkSEM knows what it takes to mount a successful, cost-effective PPC campaign. Let us put that knowledge to work for you. Give us a call and let’s see if we can help reach your goals.

What Every B2B Company Needs to Know About Customer Acquisition Bidding

When looking at a big business from the outside as a small startup, large companies seem to have no worries when it comes to balancing the budget. It almost seems as if they have money to burn on advertisements and do not need to care about increasing the ROI of PPC advertising. This impression could not be further from the truth, which is what many once-struggling businesses discover after they reach a certain level of success.

Cost Per Acquisition: CPA

Google AdWords is one of the most popular and most important marking tools available to businesses of all sizes, and in order to connect with potential customers, companies must have a strategy for cost-effective customer acquisition bidding. This seems straightforward enough: a business bids for the right for their content to appear next to relevant search results. This in turn equals clicks and potential revenue. However, just like any other aspect of economics, it is rarely so simple.

Top 3 CPA Insights

Take these three CPA lessons to heart as you begin your quest to advertising perfection:

Market smarter

Spending your advertising budget wisely is more important than having a large marketing budget in the first place. No matter how much money you throw at SEO, PPC, or CPA, if your content is irrelevant to what your business offers or you focus too much in one area only, your ROI will be mixed at best.

A number one spot does not mean success

Many people strive to reach the number one spot at any cost without realizing that spending the extra money is not always worth it. One of the best aspects of the conversion system is that it can analyze the ROI of using more money for a higher ranking. Sometimes, it is better to sit tight at number two in order to balance costs.

Quality is crucial

One of the most important things to realize about search engine marketing of any kind is that the content and quality of your ads and landing pages directly translates into more affordable CPA. The better your copy, the less you have to pay for getting it onto the top of the ratings list. If your content is poor, you will be required to pay even more to get it pushed forward.

Do Not Let Your Online Marketing Strategy Become Stagnant

Rotating your advertisements and updating your keywords is a great way to keep your content refreshed and without spending more on bids. For the most current and effective marketing strategies like this, it is best to look toward the professionals. Stay on top of rising customer acquisition costs with the help of HawkSEM. To speak with one of our experts, call 800-316-2220 and be prepared to have your current marketing plan perfected, trimmed, and made to be as efficient as possible.

Proven Strategies to Increase Organic Website Traffic

We all live in a world where we’ve become accustomed to instant gratification. “Wait” has become a four-letter word in the business world. When it comes to improving your organic web traffic, you want to see results yesterday. Unfortunately, just as Rome wasn’t built in a day, so too can you not expect to build a better ranking in the same amount of time.

Yet that’s not to say that you can’t see dramatic increases in a relatively short amount of time. Depending upon the amount of work that you’re willing to put into optimizing your content in order to improve your ranking, isn’t unreasonable to think that within as little as three to four months, you can start seeing an upward spike on your organic traffic.

10 Traffic Rules to Live By

The trick is knowing just how to make such increases happen. Here are 10 tips on what to do in order to see your search engine ranking improve:

  • Optimize: Focus on developing meta titles, descriptions, and keywords that are optimized to take advantage of those words and phrases proven to lure in traffic in your industry.
  • Employ analytics: Don’t be afraid to use analytic programs to find those long-tail keywords that are guaranteed to lead to high conversion rates.
  • Focus on quality, not quantity: Don’t simply flood your site with keywords. Focus on creating quality content that will lead to unique ranking improvements such as author rank. Moreover, you must generate relevant content that provides value to your target audience.
  • Utilize blogs: Including too much text on your main landing pages can make it difficult for customers to find exactly what it is that they want. Thus, move some of your keywords and phrases into blogs, allowing you to improve your rankings without inundating every customer with too much information.
  • Rely on the experts: Don’t be afraid to ask an industry expert to post a blog on your site, thus benefiting from his or her insider knowledge.
  • Be authoritative: Customers look to you for expertise. Be willing to answer any all question related to your business and your industry.
  • Watch your bounce rate: Check your content for keywords that will contribute to a high bounce rate, and modify it if needed.
  • Look for long-tail terms: Use long-tail phrases built around specific keywords rather than simply relying on words with the best search traffic. You’ll find that conversion rates with the former are typically higher.
  • Keep it simple: Don’t try to outsmart the search engines. Focus on your own content rather than trying to game their systems.
  • Be patient: Don’t be discouraged if you don’t see results right away. Remember that the process of improving your ranking is a marathon, not a sprint.

Improving your organic traffic flow isn’t overly complicated. Our team members here at HawkSEM are experts at increasing organic web traffic. When you choose to work with us, you will see increases in web traffic and more importantly a greater ROI from your marketing efforts. If you have questions or would just like to talk strategy with one of our all-star team members, give us call and let us work our digital marketing magic for you.

Digital Marketing Strategies to lower CPA for SaaS Companies

Far too many companies in SaaS only associate PPC with improving Cost per Acquisition (CPA). While you’ll find a wealth of information linking the two, that’s not to say that each is mutually exclusive to the other. Lowering your CPA is a broad-based task, with PPC being just one tool available to you to accomplish this. As you’ll see, there are other digital marketing strategies that you can also employ in order to bring on new business without having to break the bank.

Good Ole’ SEO

With all of the new online marketing trends that are so popular today, many overlook the effectiveness of plain old SEO. These words aren’t meant to downplay the complexity of this style of marketing, but rather to show that you don’t need to overhaul your content in order to make it effective at bringing in new business. By simply understanding search engine algorithms and how to mold your content to better accommodate them, you eliminate the need to throw a lot of time and resources in developing brand new advertising campaigns. By learning to master the intricacies of SEO, you enjoy the following benefits:

  • Self-reliance
  • ‘Evergreen’ sustainability
  • Greater ROI
  • More leads and sign ups
  • Free or expensive traffic increases

Mastering Your Poker Face

In the world of internet marketing, if SEO is card counting, then content marketing is mastering your poker face. Rather than understanding how the search engine ranking system works and manipulating it to work in your favor, content marketing is understanding your customer base and tailoring your content to them. Yet knowing your customers entails a lot more than just having their names and e-mail addresses on file. You need to understand what really makes them tick when it comes to doing business, such as their:

  • Buyer Personas and Backgrounds
  • Intent
  • Problems & Expectations
  • Values

What makes content marketing such a cost-effective method at improving your CPA is that you already possess most of the information needed to improve your content. A thorough analysis of your sales history and the feedback provided by customers will give you a wealth of information on just what content really hooks customers. Add in to that a detailed analysis of keyword trends and their conversion rates, and content marketing allows you a virtual sneak peek inside of customers’ heads without them even knowing it.

Understanding just how to use SEO and content marketing to bring new visitors to your site is key if you hope to see high conversion rates from your online traffic. Combine these two marketing strategies with a successful PPC campaign, and you’ll immediately see your site turn into a powerful sales tool. We here at HawkSEM can help to turn this dream into a reality for you and your company. With our expertise in developing highly successful and cost-effective sales campaigns, we helped countless other clients to strengthen their online presence and achieve a greater ROI from their marketing dollars. We invite you to join those ranks. For more information on our digital marketing strategies, contact us today.

5 Steps to Increase ROI from PPC

Analyzing year over year PPC data is not as straightforward as many marketing managers think. You have to connect trends in sales and trends in PPC campaigns beyond the number of dollars spent on PPC campaigns and revenue for a comprehensive PPC ROI report.

Step #1: Work Backward and Identify ROI From PPC Campaigns Based on Lead Scoring

You need to acquire meaningful data initially with keyword technology that tracks every conversion. A CRM system with an integrated lead scoring system can identify money keywords and give you a solid idea of what you can expect when highly qualified leads click on PPC ads. Other effective tools in initial and ongoing data acquisition and analysis include value track parameters, keyword conversion scripts, landing page conversion tracking, and a comprehensive CRM.

Step #2: Calculate Revenue From Each Lead

Determine the cost per lead and total revenue generated per lead. The formula is relatively simple: divide the total revenue acquired by the total number of leads in any given timeframe. Lead revenue can be calculated monthly, quarterly, biannually, and annually.

Step #3: Use Technology to Triangulate Data Between PPC Traffic and CRM Sales

Leverage the value of big data with the value of personal experiences from top customers and clients. Instead of only looking at the general connection between PPC traffic and sales, connect specific clients with specific PPC ads. It is important to separate the amount of ROI PPC campaigns are actually accountable for. PPC campaigns that generate highly qualified leads are more valuable than PPC campaigns that generate generic site traffic.

Step #4: Track Year-Over-Year Results From PPC Campaigns

Develop a number of metrics to look at in the long-term. See what returns from PPC campaigns look like over time, and develop a number of meaningful data points that represent ROI, not site traffic. YOY returns give necessary insight to the overall efficacy of different parts of PPC strategy, not just general conversion rates. Track efficacy and improvement in order to change money keywords, lead scoring, and CRM systems to drive ROI.

Step #5: Continue to Track Meaningful Metrics and Analyze PPC ROI Data

Naturally, the last step is to rinse and repeat. After all components are in place, get the most out of the data that provides answers instead of interesting statistics. Continue to drive ROI with PPC campaigns, not generic site traffic.

Contact HawkSEM to Learn More Now

At HawkSEM, we specialize in ROI. Request a consultation or call us at 800-316-2220 today for more information about how you can maximize returns with PPC.

Higher ROI from SEM – Digital Marketing Agency

You have an established SEM campaign that brings in moderate results, but it is time to move that campaign to the next level. In order to make the most of your marketing dollar, you must think differently about your strategy. Your digital marketing strategy should focus on “money keywords.” If you are like most companies, you bid for ad placement based on your position goals. You know the traffic you can expect, and you even go so far as to multiply your expected traffic by your conversion rate to get an anticipated ROI. Unfortunately, this is inefficient; it is actually contradicts the digital marketing strategy you should have in place to achieve results.

A Better Way to Design High ROI SEM Programs

Rather that plan your expected ROI after setting up your campaign, it should be the driving force in how you strategically plan. After all, you would not do any of this if you could not expect a ROI. If your end results are the reason for all your work, then it is logical that they should be behind the strategy.

1. Plan Your Intended ROI—It is always good to reach for the stars, but in order for your campaign to be successful, you need a reasonable ROI goal. If you have any questions about what you should be able to expect from a strong campaign, SEM experts can help get you on track.

2. Revisit Your Keywords—Not all keywords are as effective as others. While you certainly want to invest in a range of keywords, you may be better off changing your order of importance. If some keywords have consistently proven unprofitable, you may be better off dropping them altogether. Plan based on the ROI you can expect from each keyword on your list. It is crucial that you have proper tracking in place so you can properly plan for this.

3. Structure Your Campaign—Based on your ROI goals, you should figure the cost per acquisition (CPA) that is within your budget and that will generate a profit. When you compete for ad spaces strategically, you know when to put more money into an ad, and when to withdraw money from another. With proper planning, you can creatively structure your campaign to achieve your goals.

Use Your “Money Keywords”

Your “money keywords” are the keywords that bring you the required ROI to make the campaign worth your time and expense. In other words, they are your best performing and highest ROI generating keywords. The most effective way to transform your SEM program to reach the next level is to work with an experienced and ROI focused digital marketing agency that generates results.

Contact HawkSEM for more information on how to get the results you need.

PPC ROI – The Simple Formula for Calculating Revenue Per Lead

Calculating Revenue per lead for SEM Programs

Calculating revenue per lead is not necessarily as simple as dividing the cost per lead by the revenue earned per lead. In order to effectively calculate revenue per lead, you need to set up a system that will connect high quality leads to the dollar amount spent per each individual lead. Instead of relying on intuition alone, connect marketing strategy and sales in a meaningful way, and fully leverage the power of the data.

At face value, the formula for calculating revenue per lead is fairly simple:

Total Revenue Generated/Total Number of Leads=Average Revenue Per Lead

However, finding the average returns is not a long-term recipe for success. You need to be able to triangulate between PPC site traffic and CRM sales.

How to Get All of the Necessary Variables in Place

First, develop a lead scoring system with robust CRM and keyword tracking technology. Be able to easily connect specific PPC site visitors with sales. Track big data, and input subjective data regarding personal experiences. Track which clients and customers stood out as exceptionally good leads throughout the sales cycle, and connect each with corresponding PPC site traffic data.

Further develop PPC ROI reports that focus on what you care about, results. Track year-over-year data as well as monthly data. Instead of only relying on statistics or only relying on intuition, combine the science and the art of effective digital marketing to drive ROI. In numerous instances, marketers do not properly connect revenue earned to cost per lead. The average ROI for any given PPC campaign is not the best way to derive meaningful insights. Use a results-driven approach, and work backward instead of using a much more rudimentary “guess and check” approach to PPC ROI.

Calculate Anticipated ROI Before Calculating Anticipated Site Traffic

Generic site traffic from PPC campaigns can have numerous pitfalls. Additionally, working backward improves bidding strategy. Instead of hoping for the best, score leads and use money keywords for results-oriented PPC campaigns. Take measures to get highly qualified leads from the first click, and connect marketing strategy with sales strategy in a way that makes sense.

How to Get the Final Results and Know What Cost Per Lead Is

By having a system that allows you to connect leads, sales, and PPC strategy, you can properly calculate the cost per lead. Return to the simple equation Total Revenue Generated/Total Number of Leads for a meaningful analysis of PPC ROI. Take a scientific approach to calculating revenue with an appropriate amount of anecdotal evidence based on recent experiences with customers and clients.

Find Out More About Driving PPC ROI Per Lead
Contact our team at HawkSEM at 800-316-2220, or request an ROI Strategy today.

ROI-Driven PPC Campaign: 10 Must Have Steps

Having an established PPC campaign is not enough. What you really need is a campaign that delivers results. Make your ROI the driving force behind every aspect of designing, launching, and monitoring your campaign. HawkSEM makes all of this easier because we have the skill and experience required to create, strategize and execute successful digital marketing programs. The first 10 steps you should take to launch your PPC campaign are:

 

1. Determine Goals – As with other types of business strategy, goals must be specific and measurable. You must decide precisely what you want out of your advertising. This can be more sales, market expansion, a desired CPA, more precise persona targeting, more effective lead nourishment and a myriad of other things. Your goals, whatever they may be, should centered around overall ROI and Year-over-Year growth.

 

2. Identify Keywords—Identify keywords that adequately describe your business. These should include the services you perform, products you sell, and phrases customers would use in connection to your business. Understanding your target persona will help you develop a list of high performing keywords.

 

3. Expand Keywords—Expand your list of keywords to see if there are any important words and phrases that you are missing out on. Some effective ways to do this are to analyze your competitors, get a better understanding of your target audience’s search behavior to uncover more keywords, and use various tools such as Google’s keywords tool. Yes, this all takes a good amount of work and requires a certain level of experience to properly execute. Hiring an experienced digital marketing agency that understands how to utilize these aspects can help generate bottom line results for your company.

 

4. Prioritize Keywords—As your campaign progresses, you will be able to get a better idea about which keywords are top performers. However, to launch the campaign without professional assistance, you must rely on your knowledge of your business and the persona and search behavior of your target audience.

 

5. Categorize Keywords—Put your keywords into different categories based on the type of advertisements they create. The eventual goal is to establish and track different types of ads based on the type of keywords. In other words, your ads should directly relate to the search being made.

 

6. Set up Ads—Keep your ads short, catchy, and relevant.

 

7. Plan Content Keyword Targeting—Plan your ads based on the content of the sites where they will appear.

 

8. Determine the Desired Action for Conversion—Conversions are measured by tracking the number of people that perform a measurable task once they reach the landing page. Plan the action you want your potential customers to perform and MAKE IT EASY for them to perform.

 

9. Design Landing Pages—Good ads get people to your landing pages. However, you must have effective landing pages in order to turn clicks into sales.

 

10. Set up Means of Tracking—Establishing a new SEM campaign is only the beginning. You must also have a means to track and adjust your initial plan in order to achieve an optimal ROI.

 

Get Assistance for Better Results

 

The steps you take in launching a new PPC campaign are critical to getting the highest possible ROI. For the best results, seek assistance from an experienced digital marketing agency. They can help you launch new campaigns and monitor existing ones. Contact HawkSEM for more information on how to get the results you need.