Gez Mcguire

You and your team work hard on your marketing, so you want your pay-per-click (PPC) campaigns to perform well and bring your business new customers. Here, Lead Accelerator Founder and artificial intelligence (AI) marketing expert, Gez McGuire, reveals six common signs that your campaigns are underperforming and gives advice on how to address them.

1. You struggle to maintain consistent results

Often businesses find that the amount of traffic driven by digital marketing is inconsistent, or in gradual decline. This may be caused by a campaign structure being too simplistic.

Having just one pay-per-click (PPC) advert running for a given search term is rarely the best approach. Multiple ads optimised for different times of the day, different devices and locations provide a better insight into what is and isn’t working. This way, each campaign can be assessed, tested, optimised and scaled to achieve consistent results. 

2. PPC visitors aren’t converting into enough enquiries

Sometimes, you can be seeing good or even high levels of traffic to your website through PPC, but visitors are simply failing to take the next step to get in touch. In this case, it is often where potential customers are being directed rather than the advert itself that is at fault. A poorly optimised landing page can cost a lot in lost revenue. 

In the past, addressing this issue meant creating a single landing page with a clear and direct call to action. While this remains correct, there are now a series of advanced features that can supercharge your conversions.

Taking advantage of the latest advances in artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning, it’s now possible to quickly and effectively create intelligent landing pages that use multiple multi-step forms.

Geared a lot more towards website visitors taking immediate action, we have adopted this approach across all of our clients and are seeing conversions increase to as much as 40%.     

Introducing AI and machine learning eliminates the need for a 'one-page-fits-all' approach to conversion optimisation by delivering the most relevant content to each visitor.

Through analysis and learning, AI powered landing pages send visitors to a landing page variant where they are most likely to convert. 

3. Your competitors seem to be everywhere and are stealing your share of voice

Smart businesses make sure that they have multiple touchpoints with their prospective customers.

Keep in mind that engagement in the form of conversions or enquiries often happen after the ninth or 10th time that a prospect sees a relevant and timely ad.

One effective way to do this is through remarketing. This is where you serve adverts again to customers that have visited your website before. You can add a tracking pixel (some code) onto your website or landing page that allows you to retarget prospective customers across digital platforms including Facebook, LinkedIn and Google. 

Something to bear in mind is that in the run-up to 2023 there will be a shift in the way that digital marketing is carried out, as the use of third-party cookies is phased out on Google's Chrome web browser. The web giant will join Safari and Mozilla Firefox, which have already done this, but with nearly half the market share of web browsers, Google doing this will impact the way thousands of advertisers use platforms such as Facebook to target their desired audiences.

One way you can stay ahead of this change is to gather as much first-party data as possible, through the implementation of remarketing pixels and data collection, from lead generation. This is data that is collected directly from your audience or customers with their consent.

Creating your own multi-touchpoint campaign funnel will be important and ultimately, rewarding.

4. You cannot identify how and where to scale your campaign reach

Many companies with sizeable digital marketing budgets still have a limited ability to leverage their campaigns. This can be the result of not getting the strategy right at the start. 

If this happens to you, take the time to restructure your digital campaigns, or get support to do this, to give you greater transparency. You should be able to see where the greatest engagement is and where the opportunity lies in terms of campaigns, devices, time segments and many other factors.

This leads to being able to be data driven when you are making key decisions on where to spend your budget, as being informed by results is far more effective than anything else.

From this, you can easily identify where to reduce your advertising spend and where to scale it up. As an example, when we have done this for our clients, we have seen an average reduction in waste of around 25%. We have also achieved an increase in productivity of 20% to 30% in terms of increased conversion rates and lower cost per enquiry/sale.

5. You do not have full autonomy or ownership of your digital strategy

Often, the responsibility for digital marketing lies with either one person in a marketing department or with the agency that manages it.

This can be a dangerous position to be in as a business leader, as you need to be able to access your accounts and review performance yourself.

You want to be able to spot and discuss any opportunities to streamline and increase the efficiency of the campaign, and address any waste.

If you find yourself in this situation - and it's easily done - act today to start putting things right by scheduling regular review meetings and getting access to all your accounts and dashboard information. If you are unhappy with the performance and it has not been flagged to you then you may need a conversation about steps to address this.

6. Your marketplace is just too expensive to advertise in and you don’t know a way around it

Sometimes it’s just too expensive to advertise in an online auction, such as Google Ads, for certain sectors, as the click costs can run very high. This is due to advertisers in those sectors ramping up their bids in order to dominate the paid search results.

This may seem strange but we’ve seen this happen when a company receives venture capital investment, for example, and one of their marketing strategies is to play the long game, as they can afford to do this. They can therefore pay high costs to get enquiries as they know most of their competition cannot afford to do this.

However, there are multiple advanced bidding strategies that can allow advertisers to compete in very expensive markets without paying the inflated costs that their competitors have created.

Take a look at all of the smart bidding options that allow advertisers to set goals in terms of target cost per acquisition, return on ad spend or even to target by impression share. The suite of bidding options available allow advertisers to test and measure different campaigns in the same auction until you find one that works for you and your sector, and your budget.

Key takeaways...

  • Underperforming pay-per-click advertising campaigns can be expensive for your business in terms of waste and lost opportunities, but there are signs you can look out for, thinking about your current level of performance, transparency in your data and sense of ownership of results
  • Some remedies for poor performance include changing your strategy to give you more data to work with, improving your landing pages, remarketing, analysing your data to spot opportunities, taking more ownership of accounts and results, and using smart bidding options to get the most for your budget
  • For further details about Lead Accelerator, visit www.leadaccelerator.co.uk
  • For more, expertise advice and support on running your business, visit UMi's platform: https://www.weareumi.co.uk/webapp/
Contributed by Gez McGuire
Neina Sheldon
Article by Neina Sheldon
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