How can marketing agencies get the edge with PPC?

Clue: It isn’t just about online conversions

If you want your marketing agency to win more business by delivering an outstanding return on investment (ROI) when it comes to Pay-Per-Click search (PPC), then you’ll need to look behind the curtain.

Many marketing agencies use a cookie-cutter approach to managing PPC campaigns and strategy, focusing on clicks rather than results, so it’s no wonder they all come up with virtually the same ROI. In turn, it’s no surprise then if clients start thinking PPC is more of a mechanical process than an art form. They might as well put their business with the lowest bidder because marketing agencies come up with same results anyway.

So how has the industry got itself into this position? And are the ROI figures that everyone keeps looking at correct anyway?

True ROI may be very different

When it comes to ROI for paid search, the simple truth is that clicks offer convenience. They are easier for agencies to track — and clear enough for clients to understand.

But the data is often flat, narrow and skewed. Worse still, the figures you present to clients may significantly undersell what you’ve actually achieved. They don’t give the client RESULTS. This is because ad ‘conversions’ aren’t necessarily leads – they are often just touch-points. And if you focus on them alone, you’ll misrepresent the true value of your campaign, and end up misleading the client who scrutinises the actual lead figures coming through.

Who’s doing the heavy-lifting?

Over-reliance on click-through results creates a blind-spot. Letting the machines do the counting saves you money — but you could be missing important nuances around human interaction.

While some products and services sell online in a direct way, others do not. If what’s being offered is expensive, complex, or personal, then the prospect is much more likely to call and convert over the phone. They may click on your ad, go to your client’s website, complete a contact form; then send ask a few questions via Live Chat session two days later — before finally calling up.

If you’re representing a service business, your goal is to get people to call you on the phone (so that you can explain details of the service). Like your web form fills, you need to determine if these calls came from your PPC campaign. Most sales teams would agree that tapping into leads over the phone brings about the highest source of conversion.

In our experience, agencies that choose not to track calls can mean missing up to 80% of inbound leads related to your PPC. Your clients’ inbound sales team may like to think they did all the work, but your original PPC campaign did a heroic amount of heavy-lifting… and you deserve the credit for triggering the call to them in the first place.

Going beyond Google Analytics

To demonstrate the value of every campaign, marketing agencies need data on the entire customer journey. By tracking calls as well as clicks, you can see the full picture of your PPC campaign responses. In fact, you can get granular detail on all touch-points and experiences, from start to finish — capturing every interaction and the links in between.

This kind of data is essential to PPC marketing. You get rich customer journey insights that far out-strip whatever your competitor agencies can provide. Plus, you can push all this multi-channel data into your clients’ CRM, bid management, and data analytics dashboards to make reporting easy.

Suddenly, you can differentiate your PPC services in a meaningful multichannel way that underlines your value. But more importantly: You can fine-tune PPC campaigns like no-one else.

Use keywords more efficiently

With full visibility enabled, another level of detail opens up to you as you start to pore over fresh data that attributes the value of specific keywords.

You can start to see keywords that deliver clicks but nothing more, because the trail goes dead. Then you can spot keywords that ultimately result in sales. All guesswork is removed.

From this, you can shift your spend from one to the other and make smarter bid decisions. In some instances, the change can have dramatic results — with conversions increasing by up to 80%. You can get far more from your client’s budget and start to pull away from competitors in your field.

Want to find out more?

With the right approach, you can get a holistic value of your ad clicks, campaigns, ad groups and keywords — and then maximise the ROI for your clients. In a nutshell, using PPC call tracking will help you make this a whole lot easier:

  • Tracking Sources – get the source of the call and trace where the customer found them.
  • Split Testing – assign different numbers for different places on each split test landing page and see which drives more conversion.
  • Call Data – campaign planning e.g. number of calls, peak time you receive most calls, length of calls etc.
  • Keyword Data – tells you which keywords triggered your PPC ad so you can adjust your bidding and go after keywords that give you conversions.
  • Overall Campaign Performance – Since you have data on how your conversions are happening, you can always improve your marketing campaign ROI.

To discover how it works, contact our team today.

About the author - Natalia Selby

Marketing Executive at Mediahawk, with 20 years experience in analytics and content management.