How to Manage a Lead Gen PPC Account with No Conversion Tracking
December 27, 2011
The crew here at PPC Hero was fielding quite a few questions in the last few months regarding how to manage in crisis situations. Specifically, our readers wanted to know how to manage a PPC account when conversion tracking fails. We tackled that issue and several others in a series on tricky account problems in October.
Earlier this month, I wrote about how to test your broken conversion tracking and/or fix it, if possible, and I promised a follow-up post to cover how to manage for lead gen in the event this unsavory issue is plaguing your accounts. Well, here it is!
The Account Executives at Hanapin Marketing are no stranger to handling the most difficult of PPC issues and lead gen clients with broken conversion tracking have not been left out of that list. As a matter of fact, one of the largest accounts we manage here at Hanapin falls in that exact description, so how do we do it? No plan is foolproof or applicable across all accounts, but the following list of optimization strategies can certainly keep you headed in the right direction until you can solidify what works for you!
- Stay on your negatives & SQRs. Generally speaking, when managing an account that has been using conversion tracking, the first instinct is to freak out when you lose your direct line to that data. However, this is precisely the time to get back to your basics. As a matter of fact, that’s a lot of the point of this post. If negative keyword addition and regular search query reports (SQRs) have fallen off your monthly maintenance schedule for some reason, this is the best time to get those back on a regular schedule. Not only can you find negatives to add to your account structure to weed out unwanted traffic, you can also find new query strings that you may want to begin targeting based on changes in searcher intent. You can’t find any of that information without mining a few SQRs every now and again!
- Revisit ad testing schedule and delivery settings. You should always be ad testing in some form or another in your account, but now this optimization will become a larger cog in the machine. An increase in click-through rate is usually a sign of good things (as long as you’re remembering step number 1!) so continually enhancing ad performance when you’re without conversion tracking is a great way to increase conversion rate, even if you can’t see it. Assuming (dangerous, I know) your users are reading your ad text and choosing to click your ad, as long as your landing page offers them what they clicked on, you should be one step away from a lead submission. Write the most effective ad copy you can, determine the best copy via testing, and set your ads to rotate so you’re truly testing and you’re at least making positive changes in your account more often than not.
- Analyze historic best placements. This can apply to nearly any metric or account element. Generally speaking, taking a hard look at highest-performing ad position, cost per click, specific managed or automatic placements on the Display Network, etc. Essentially you want to look at a long enough snapshot of historic account data and determine, based on your chosen metric, where your account had performed best for leads, conversion rate and/or cost per lead. You can then optimize to any increase or decrease you see in the chosen metric. For example: let’s say my account historically performs best at ad position 4 and I’ve lost conversion tracking this week. I pull a current keyword report and find out that 50% of my keywords have fallen to below position 4. Odds are with me that if I can optimize my keywords back to their average best performing position, leads will continue to come in at about the same rate that they were before conversion tracking was lost.
- Get as much back end data as you can. I mentioned previously that one of our larger clients at Hanapin is a lead gen client that does not currently have conversion tracking and this is probably our first line of defense in managing through the problem. We get a weekly report of all leads received on the clients end, down to the keyword level, that we can dissect to determine individual keyword CPL and costs. I won’t get in to the details, but essentially we pull an interface keyword level report to one sheet of an Excel document, format the back end data in to another sheet of that doc and use a vlookup formula to compare the two and calculate costs per lead. This process could also be taken up a level to the ad group or campaign level if a less granular amount of information is necessary to appropriately manage the account.
There you have it! Again, this is by no means an exhaustive list of methods you can use to manage PPC for a lead gen account with no conversion tracking. It also is not a list that necessarily applies to all accounts or business verticals, so tell us what you think! Have you experienced this issue with your own or a client’s account? How did you manage differently or was your method similar? How well did you method work? Share your thoughts and ideas in the comments section below!
How Should You Use Display Advertising?
We hear similar questions from clients on a regular basis. One question we hear often is “How do your other clients use Display Advertising?”
Expanded Text Ads: 7 Million Clicks Say They’re Underperforming
Over the past 6 weeks, we have been lucky enough to experiment with expanded text ads, and frankly, I’m not impressed with their performance.
£300 Off Hero Conf London Ends Tomorrow!
Time is nearly gone to reserve your seat for Hero Conf London, 24-26 October at etc.venues St Paul’s, at a huge discount off the regular conference rate!
A bi-weekly newsletter packed full of resources and strategies that will help make you a better PPC expert.
Hanapin Marketing | The PPC Agency of Experts Behind PPC Hero
Expanded Text Ads Come To Google AdWords Editor
Advertisers have been able to create expanded text ads, but couldn't utilize AdWords Editor. That has now changed with the release of the latest version of AdWords Editor.
Bidding Farewell to Adwords Converted Clicks: Don't Panic
AdWords will soon be saying goodbye to the "Converted Clicks" metric. Learn more about what this means for your account and how to prepare for the transition.
Olympic PPC Ad Strategies
How spectators consume sporting events and a massive expansion in the digital space will prove to shake up who and how advertisers reach their audiences.
Hanapin's PPC Resources Are Now Ungated!
You can now access Hanapin's whitepapers and toolkits without having to fill out a form!
View Ad Creative Through The Eyes Of Your Searchers
Learn to understand that ads do not live in the vacuum of an excel sheet and common practices should be tested.
[New Webinar!] 11 Red Flags To Watch Out For When Working With An Agency
Leveraging Analytics For Remarketing: Picking The Ripest Fruit
Remarketing prevalence is well founded based on competitive returns in both volume and efficiency. With that said, this "low hanging fruit" world isn't always easy to pick.
How To Analyze Time-Of-Day Performance For Luxury Products
The importance of ad schedules varies across industries, services, and products. For e-commerce companies that sell luxury goods, ad schedules are more crucial.
One Week Left to Save 25% at Hero Conf London!
You still have time to join us for Hero Conf London, 24-26 October at etc.venues St Paul's at 25% off the conference price. But time is running out.
4 Common Questions Prospects Ask Me During The Sales Process
There’s always new, hot topics and questions we get asked by prospects to see what our company’s take is, and how we go about implementing from a services perspective. Read what our most common questions are.