PPC Chat Streamcap – PPC CRO (and every other acronym we can think of)

This week James Svoboda (@Realicity) guest hosted with a great question set titled “PPC CRO (and every other acronym we can think of).” The following is the transcribed Streamcap from the live chat:

Q1: When launching a new PPC campaign, what steps do you take to make sure conversions head up and to the right from the beginning?

  • Being sure ppc goals are set up and tagged properly! – Nicole Mintiens (@Tregesy)
  • To get an up and right line from the beginning I could just start the campaign off with really crap settings. – Richard Fergie (@RichardFergie)
  • It all comes down to structure, picking the right LP for the right targets. ads, kws, they can be adjusted, give them a head start in your site based on their search! – Chris Kostecki (@chriskos)
  • Make sure users can convert! Clear path to conversion, aligns with ad copy and is easy to complete. – Aaron Levy (@bigalittlea)
  • Great account structure, great ad copy, and relevant landing pages are critical. – Melissa Mackey (@Mel66)
  • Leverage historical data and structure accordingly. – Emily Las (@emlas)
    • If it’s a new campaign, there might not be much data to use. I think you’re getting a head of me. – James Svoboda (@Realicity)
  • Good keywords and many negatives is my first step in CRO for new PPC campaigns. Nothing kills conversions like bad keywords. – James Svoboda
    • Great strategy– I am a big fan of casting wide net then applying filters like negatives. CRO is ongoing process. – Emily Las
  • Probably stating the obvious, but make certain creative and offer make sense to the unfamiliar net new customer. – BloomReach Inc. (@bloomreachinc)
  • When testing new LP’s i try to get fresh eyes on them to make sure they see what I want them to see (even have ’em search & click). – Chris Kostecki
    •  Good point. We often have our own conceptions of what LPs should be that can be different for us based on age, gender. – James Svoboda
  • Track the right stuff. 100% conv rate=something is wrong. But seriously, pick KWs with clear user intent, clear conv path on LPs. – Francis Shovlin (@fmshovlin)
  • Is a very relevant question for us. A subquestion: how to spend the least amt of time/$ producing 1st conversion? – Eric Bryant (@GnosisArts)
    • Find the barrel with the fish in it, and start there. – Chris Kostecki
  • I always focus on segmentation so that ads and landing pages are as relevant as possible! – Amanda West-Bookwltr (@Amanda_WestBook)

Q2: How does your CRO strategy & considerations differ when taking over an existing PPC campaign, from launching a new one?

  • Information is power. If you have past historical performance of KWs, ads, & LPs, you can hit the ground running. – Emily Las
  • When taking over, 1st making sure their existing conversion tracking set up properly to know how accurate data is. – Timothy Jensen (@timothyjjensen)
  • Not much. Always (A/B) test. Have a client with a poorly designed website that converts very well. Focus on biggest pain points. – Francis Shovlin
  • Existing: Review vol. vs perf, starting at funnel top & work down. New: aggressively build up clicks & then measure response. – Chris Kostecki
  • Depends on how “irregularly” the acct was set up. Usually its bad. I like to delete everything & start anew w/ what i know. – John Lavin (@Johnnyjetfan)
    • I feel like burning it to ground and starting over sometimes, too! But all that lost data makes me want to cry. I guess downloading all existing data into a spreadsheet could help ease the loss. – Amanda West-Bookwltr
      • I hate the lost data too, but if the account was set up poorly, which it oft is, the data is probably useless. – John Lavin
        • Yes! recently looked at a campaign where all conversions were set to time on site, not actual leads. Useless. – Timothy Jensen
        • I don’t think the data is useless, just the settings, account structure, ad groups, ads, keywords. – James Svoboda
    • We don’t wanna optimize someone elses build! – Aaron Levy
  • Know timing of past site redesigns, product launches, major changes. Historical context can explain a lot that data doesn’t. – Lisa Sanner (@LisaSanner)
  • For existing start with 1) Bad LPs, 2) Bad keywords, 3) Poorly written text ads, 4) Negatives. – James Svoboda
  • If starting from scratch, do homework on whats converting well on the organic side. Leverage those kw’s to build out campaign. – BloomReach Inc.
  • Often that historical data Emily Las mentioned can lead CRO gold!

Q3: At what point do you feel you have enough data to make CRO decisions on Ads and Keywords?

  • Completely subjective to campaign? – Timothy Jensen
  • Stat significance is hard. I usually make sure its consistent over time and the volume is fair. – Chris Kostecki
  • When there’s enough data to say so. – Francis Shovlin
  • When the boss says so! – John Lavin
  • You’ve got to run a test to see if your data is statistically valid. There are different ways to do it, for sure. – Amanda West-Bookwltr
  • Depends on the volume of traffic. Statistical significance is good indicator. – BloomReach Inc.
  • Statistical Significance! Sometimes tough to get volume, but important to do it properly. – Blair Kerrison (@blairkerrison)
  • Aside from stats, CRO timeline depends on the campaign timeline– is it evergreen? promotional? – Emily Las
  • I like stat validity for testing all traffic, but when testing paid traffic, would rather make decisions sooner. – Chris Kostecki
  • If I’m working on an ad group where we’re still trying to flesh out many negatives that are affecting traffic quality. It’s difficult to judge conversions. If it is stable, then around 200-400 clicks you can start judging conversion rates. – James Svoboda
  • Depends on conversion type. W/transactional, 95% Conf Interval in Orders if AOV is similar. For lead gen, a lot longer. – Lisa Sanner
  • When the CTR levels off and my Impression share is acceptable. – John Lavin
  • When the client wants more sales! Generally wait for stat sig for ads, and have a CPA/ROI goal ceiling (or floor) for KW’s. – Aaron Levy
  • In long tail may have to look at aggregate (if you have grouped keywords well under individual campaigns). – BloomReach Inc.
  • I usually watch the costs and calculate what my ROI would be if I had a conversion with the average size. When that number becomes an unacceptable amount, I start to take action. – Rick Galan (@RickGalan)
  • When conversions are consistent, regular and (more or less) predictable. – Eric Bryant

Q4: How involved are you able to be with the Landing Pages for your campaigns?

  • Most built in-house, so I’m able to be very involved from layout to content to dev, as well as A/B test designs. – Timothy Jensen
  • The girl that makes my landing pages is right down the hallway! Admittingly, I give very little input to new LP’s – John Lavin
    • You do have to know your limits and what you are going to focus on. – James Svoboda
  • We’ll drive ideas/content/layout/tests, but leave the shiny stuff to others. Gotta remember we’re not designers. – Aaron Levy
  • Takes a while, but can create my own or support other specific efforts. Much much harder to update! – Chris Kostecki
  • We do as much in-house to influence as much as we can. Too often we have to work through a designer we end up training. – James Svoboda
  • Some clients with a user friendly CMS I’ll just jump in and create LPs. Other than that, wireframing LP concepts. – Rod (@rodsblog)
  • Similar point, but has anyone used Unbounce or something similar for LP CRO tests? Always wanted to try! – Aaron Levy
    • I’ve used unbounce! It’s a great option when you’re working with crappy websites & low budgets. – Cassie Allinger (@CassieAllinger)
  • Like to be more involved. – Elizabeth Marsten (@ebkendo)
  • Some clients with a user friendly CMS I’ll just jump in and create LPs. Other than that, wireframing LP concepts. – Rod

Q5: How and what do you address to make sure your Landing Pages will convert your PPC traffic?

  • First, make sure the LPO has continuity with keyword/ad copy. Delivers on the promise. – Robert Brady (@robert_brady)
  • Make the conversion CTA abundantly clear. And make sure you have tracking installed! – Melissa Mackey
  • Clear call to action. Content that matches user’s query. Nice, clean UI. Load time. – BloomReach Inc.
  • Keep it simple, stupid. LPs should be easy to navigate. Products/CTAs easy to find. White space is your friend, too. Too many websites and LPs have FAR too much on them. We’re simplifying all those pages right now, HUGE improvements. – Neil Sorenson (@iNeils)
    • Often. Times has not worked have been when the product/service is complicated. Often longer pages work better for software. – James Svoboda
  • Call to Action, Headlines, Where, What Color and How Big is the darn button. – Lisa Sanner
  • Look at the fold, H1 tags, make sure path is prominent. – Chris Kostecki
  • Check up on what’s new in colors, buttons, calls to action on sites like KISSmetrics. – Elizabeth Marsten
  • I find the best results focusing on the conversion funnel. Go Go Analytics Funnel Visualizer! – Amanda West-Bookwltr
  • Consistency with the CTA in the ad, and make sure its not just a form/buy now. Got to have content in there too. – Rod

Q6: What CRO tips and advice do you have for PPC Display campaigns for networks like Google, Facebook and/or LinkedIn?

  • Never stop testing. Things as simple as button color, location, and size affect conversion rates. Test ’em all! – Neil Sorenson
  • For FB, rapid-fire testing is key. Testing is key for ALL PPC but needs to be fast in FB. – Melissa Mackey
  • I have had absolutely zero success, in terms of stable conversions, with either FB or Linkedin. – Eric Bryant
  • Test animated banners vs static. Eye catching animation can increase CTR, and the extra slides can relay more of a message. – James Svoboda
  • Match demographic targets with LP creatives. – Chris Kostecki
  • Also, understand your objectives. If you’re going for awareness, maybe you care more about impressions & clicks than conv. – Melissa Mackey
  • Invest time in setting up campaigns to target the right demographic and serve up right experience when land on your site. – BloomReach Inc.
  • The customer isn’t actively looking for you in display. Gotta optimize different factors & selling points! – Aaron Levy
  • Match landing pages to demographic groups. – Robert Brady

Q7: What PPC CRO advice would you give to someone just getting started in Pay Per Click Advertising?

  • You can tweak anything at any time. Set a goal and work towards it, know how each element plays into the next. – Chris Kostecki
  • The standard: follow PPChat – Eric Bryant
  • Read every piece of CRO material you can find. Examine EVERY website you visit for fun or work, identify strengths & weakensses. – Neil Sorenson
  • Go to a @bgtheory AdWords seminar or @ppchero conference! – James Svoboda
  • Test, test, test. – Robert Brady
  • There’s also that law, can’t remember the exact name of it: but basically says, things improve solely by the act of measuring. – Eric Bryant
  • And, learn tracking & analytics. Crucial for PPCers. – Melissa Mackey
  • Don’t blow your budget on expensive keywords. – BloomReach Inc.
  • Challenge assumptions, challenge best practices, test everything. – Rick Galan
  • Read @unbounce,@KISSmetrics@ioninteractive,@WhichTestWon for CRO great reated post. Join these 2 LinkedIn groups:#ppcchatlinkd.in/xWPg3x and CRO Pros: linkd.in/cqcqz6 – James Svoboda
  • Mind your profit margins. The best converting campaign can still put you in the red if rev. per conversion is too low. – Eric Bryant
  • Familiarise yourself with the website and use the pages that are there. Always think “What is the searcher’s intent here?” – Rod


More PPCChats

Don’t forget to stay tuned for the next #PPCchat on Tuesday at 12 noon Eastern, 9 am Pacific and 5pm in the UK. Same Chat time, same Chat channel.


Check out the PPCChat Twitter list to see and connect with all current and prior participants.

• Matt Umbro (@Matt_Umbro)
• James Svoboda (@Realicity)
• Paul Kragthorpe (@PaulKragthorpe)
• Aaron Levy (@bigalittlea)
• Amanda West-Bookwltr (@Amanda_WestBook)
• Blair Kerrison (@blairkerrison)
• BloomReach Inc. (@bloomreachinc)
• Cassie Allinger (@CassieAllinger)
• Chris Kostecki (@chriskos)
• Elizabeth Marsten (@ebkendo)
• Emily Las (@emlas)
• Eric Bryant (@GnosisArts)
• Francis Shovlin (@fmshovlin)
• John Lavin (@Johnnyjetfan)
• Lisa Sanner (@LisaSanner)
• Melissa Mackey (@Mel66)
• Neil Sorenson (@iNeils)
• Nicole Mintiens (@Tregesy)
• Richard Fergie (@RichardFergie)
• Rick Galan (@RickGalan)
• Rod (@rodsblog)
• Timothy Jensen (@timothyjjensen)

About StreamCap’n Crunch

This is a guest post by Paul Kragthorpe; WebRanking SEM Manager in Minneapolis, Minnesota, #PPCChat Streamcap Grabber, SEO Blog Author. Connect with me @PaulKragthorpe, and Google Plus.

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