Capturing Traffic vs. Generating Demand

This week Matt Umbro (@Matt_Umbro) came up with yet another great question set titled “Capturing Traffic vs. Generating Demand.” The following is the transcribed Streamcap from the live chat:

Q1: What is the biggest misconception you encounter w/ client expectations for what PPC can do for them?

  • Get them ranking No.1 organically. – George Brown (@GBPPC)
  • Solve their website and conversion rate optimization problems. – Lisa Sanner (@LisaSanner)
  • The tendency of thinking “I’M GOING TO MAKE ALL THE MONEY!” regardless of what expectations I set with them ahead of time. – Nate Knox (@nateknox)
  • That PPC will be a magic bullet that will take care of lead generation/sales all by iteself. – Matt Umbro
  • That it’s instantly going to be successful with no LP work, limited budget, etc. – Robert Brady (@robert_brady)
  • That it is without limits beyond $$ willing to spend. – Julie Bacchini (@NeptuneMoon)
  • Compensate for poor website experience. – Amy Middleton (@amyxmiddleton)
  • That throwing more money at a campaign automatically drives more clicks and conversions. – Matt Lukens (@mmlukens)
  • Another one is that their potential clients/customers are ALWAYS searching for their business. – Nate Knox
  • That PPC will magically create traffic flow for a previously non-existent product or service. – John Lee (@John_A_Lee)
  • Lead-Gen: Send pre-packaged leads with no need for further sales action, E-com: Make $millions the day after campaigns go live. – Kirk Williams (@PPCKirk)
  • Better ROI and higher volume. – Richard Fergie (@RichardFergie)
  • PPC is Pre-Click account management only and that everything can magically happen there. – James Svoboda (@Realicity)
  • To not fall into misconceptions and stay proactive i clearly identify the goals and targets of clients PPC plan and project. – Daniel Grand (@DanielGrandMGMT)
  • That you can turn their mismanaged account around within a month and only see 100% improvement. – Christina Hall (@Chrissie_Hall85)
  • 2 extremes: They either expect tons of leads for pennies per click, or don’t think PPC will work at all. – John Budzynski (@Budzynski)
  • Deliver ROI without fixing a broken website first. – Timothy Jensen (@timothyjjensen)
  • Expecting a home run Day 1, before we’ve done any testing or refinement. – Ross Tudor (@Rtudor9)
  • Testing takes time. Insufficient data = poor optimisation. – George Brown
  • That it only takes 5 minutes to set up & run well. – Julie Bacchini
  • That every single following month will only show upward trends. – Timothy Jensen
  • Most don’t realize that on launch most campaigns fail and that it takes continual optimiz. to succeed. Instant results expected. – Jesse Semchuck (@jessesem)
  • The most common, for me, is within the first week… there’s no instant gratification. Or they sit & search all day and start fires. – Nate Knox
    • Or search obscure terms and wonder why they don’t see their ads. – Timothy Jensen
  • Take care of their business issues. i.e. figure out their USP, make sales team better, etc. – Luke Alley (@LukeAlley)
  • Changing agencies will make everything better. – Zach Griffith (@zachgriffith)
  • You just buy kw’s right? Then I get leads and revenue? So I just need to spend more on kw’s to get more? – Heather Cooan (@HeatherCooan)
  • New campaigns, even when created by pros, are still educated guesses about what will work. Need time to optimize. – Julie Bacchini
  • That they can set it up for a one time fee and leave it alone for months. – Joe Martinez (@MilwaukeePPC)
  • Instant data seems to translate to the client as an expectation of instant results, whereas same expectations not on other channels. – Kirk Williams
  • That you can recycle your advertising from other media and it will magically work. – Julie Bacchini
  • Too often clients think PPC can save their floundering business. – Michelle Morgan (@michellemsem)
  • That the public, at large, actually cares about made up product names. – Matt Lukens
  • Immediate ROI without addressing ANY other elements of their internet existence. – Tyler Weber (@TylerYWBD)
  • If you bid on it, they will come – many believe that just by doing paid search one can drive demand. – Mike Grinberg (@MikeGrinberg)

Q2: Do you find most clients conflate capturing traffic with generating demand? Why?

  • Somewhat. They believe PPC is a bottomless well. Just find the right kws. To some degree, yes, but there are diminishing returns. – Michelle Morgan
  • Yes. They use traffic and demand interchangeably. – Heather Cooan
  • Yes. It’s a lack of understanding. Many are still in the dark about ppc (even those who are marketers). – John Lee
  • It’s often clients that don’t have a real biz model or UVP who think “marketing” is synonymous with “showing up”. – Amy Middleton
  • Big yes. Clients assume that the search and display networks run on same user habits and tactics. Education needed. – Joe Martinez
  • That happens often. They want huge traffic & conversion volumes, but the two rarely go hand-in-hand, if ever. Depends on $$$. – Nate Knox
  • I think it’s actually lack of understanding of how search works, and then once they get that how display/social are different. – Heather Cooan
  • Absolutely they conflate the two. PPC cannot make someone do a search, only capture then when they do it. – Julie Bacchini
  • They usually get it once you say we can respond to searches but we can’t get people to search. – Heather Cooan
  • They confuse them, but it’s another education opportunity. – Robert Brady
  • Not really. May have been more confusion a few years ago. – Richard Fergie
  • This can be especially hard with small clients. They don’t understand we can’t make someone want & search for their business. – Michelle Morgan
  • Yes, because they don’t understand synonyms and antonyms. – Matt Lukens
  • Yes. They overestimate the appeal of their website, their competition, and the public’s interest. – Theresa Zook (@I_Marketer)
    • True. They believe their site should convert. It’s our job to be brutally honest about their site & expectations. – Jesse Semchuck
  • Yes. Demand and awareness are totally different things, and clients tend to think they are the greatest thing since sliced bread. – Tyler Weber
  • Hopefully, if we run prep & discovery meetings right, we shouldn’t have to deal with this issue. But there’s always something. – Nate Knox
  • Not “most clients,” but an unhealthy plurality struggle with search’s role, assigning it too much or too little. – Siddhartha Naithani (@noeticsound)
  • Happen alot for very niche clients… Menopause DVDs for Men was 1 instance. – James Svoboda
  • When launching something brand new, I think it’s more about hope than thoughtful conflating. – Lisa Sanner

Q3: How do you explain the difference between capturing traffic & generating demand to clients?

  • Someone seeking your product or service vs. introducing them to your product or service. – Zach Griffith
  • I always say I can generate traffic by advertising free iPads. Demand gen = real leads. – Melissa Mackey
  • We can capture existing traffic right away & work in other ways (outside PPC) on increasing traffic available. – Julie Bacchini
  • Demand Gen captures current intent in marketplace traffic builds awareness potential demand. – Bryant Garvin (@BryantGarvin)
  • We try to capture the crowd actively looking. If no one is searching for their services, tactics like PR or Display can help. – Joe Martinez
  • It’s a lot like explaining view through conversions. “What’s real? What’s not? Let’s talk through it.” – Lisa Sanner
  • Usually just explain the demand gen is getting people to search. Capture is having an ad there when they do. – Robert Brady
  • I have actually said ” You need Oprah or Ellen to talk about this” – Elizabeth Marsten (@ebkendo)
  • I simply say that qualified traffic is the easy part. The hard part is getting your site to convert and closing the leads. – Jesse Semchuck
  • In middle of cold snap, will have tons of interest in heating svc. When temps rise, not so much. Can’t influence that in PPC. – Julie Bacchini
  • Set expectations on qualified traffic / their existing conv rate. Pretty easy to back into a projection. – Jesse Semchuck

Q4: Do you believe there is a point where capturing more traffic becomes more important than generating demand? Why?

  • Sure, when demand is sufficient to meet goals but traffic is not, capturing traffic becomes more important. – Siddhartha Naithani
  • It’s an awareness game then… very industry/product dependent. People don’t always need a new car, boat, adventure, etc. – Nate Knox
  • If there already is a huge demand for your product/industry, I’d always recommend converting that first. – Joe Martinez
  • Actually, I believe that PPC should start with capturing demand. Generating demand is for TV, Radio or Display. – James Svoboda
  • Absolutely, depending on budget, existing search volume, impression share, etc. – Amy Middleton
  • On ‘buying’ products or KWs when you need to drive as much low funnel traffic as possible. – Jesse Semchuck
  • You should almost always look to capture/convert demand first. If you can’t convert, what’s the use in creating a buzz? – Michelle Morgan
    • 100%. the destination’s ability to convert is critical. creating and capturing demand come after. – Siddhartha Naithani
  • Always capture what is available already at highest rate possible before worrying about generating more demand. – Julie Bacchini
  • Tough one. Maybe when existing tactics are fully optimized. Then branch out testing new things. – Theresa Zook
  • Targeted traffic is generally far cheaper and has a higher immediate ROI vs creating awareness or demand gen. – Zach Griffith
    • Depends how you calculate ROI. you need demand to capture it, which often costs money and/or time. – Siddhartha Naithani

Q5: When client thinks that they can get more traffic just by increasing spend (if not at budget limit daily) how do you respond?

  • I say yes. (I have NO clients who have maxed out the traffic for our existing strategy.) – Theresa Zook
  • This is where you have to educate about quality vs. quantity. And usually talk through additional metrics and tracking, micro KPI’s. – Heather Cooan
  • Sometimes they can. But if already capturing 100% SOV, then need to expand to new audiences. – Melissa Mackey
  • And usually talk through additional metrics and tracking, micro KPI’s. – Heather Cooan
  • AdWords is best utilized as part of a multi-tiered marketing strategy. Acquisition methods are nothing without demand. – Leo Sussan (@lsussan)
  • I make sure to frame it as a test. Want to compare quality before & after. Is volume really there? etc. – Robert Brady
  • Great time to talk about conversions & what can be done to improve those rates. Also quality of traffic. – Julie Bacchini
  • I say it’ll happen, then throw in broad matches for dog, cat video and recipe, then jump out the window. – Nate Knox
  • Entirely dependent on how they measure success. If it’s ROAS? I’d advise against it unless you’re ready to take a hit. But if the client / boss gets the tradeoffs, or if KPI is something different (profits!), then we can proceed. – Leo Sussan
  • If ads are converting well that day and they want to bump it up It isn’t s a problem. – Richelle Anderson (@lighthousewebms)
  • Typically there are ways to expand, just have to look at what has/hasn’t been done yet. – Luke Alley
  • We usually start testing new PPC channels or audiences with the incremental budget. Or spend on CRO to convert more. – Andrew Miller (@AndrewCMiller)

Q6: Do you believe there is a limit to the amount of quality traffic that can be captured? Why or why not?

  • There is always a saturation point. – Robert Brady
  • In each niche, yes. But there are lots of new niches(keywords, display sites, etc.) to test. Always room to grow. – Luke Alley
  • For many services, yes, there’s a limit. For products–maybe a very high one? – Theresa Zook
  • Absolutely. There just aren’t that many people interested in Magnesium Thixomolding. – Matt Lukens
  • Yes for existing segments, mediums and platforms. No if you’re willing & have the budget to expand your efforts. – James Svoboda
  • Depends on the market, but in many cases there are ceilings and in that case, you have to get your demand gen rocking. – Zach Griffith
  • If speaking of a local or niche business, than probably. – Kirk Williams
  • It depends on how you define quality traffic…top of the funnel traffic may be important to you down the line. – Matt Umbro
  • Emphasis on quality, then generally yes, will reach point of diminishing returns eventually. – Julie Bacchini
  • The answer has to be Yes. If there’s no ceiling, then ALL traffic is quality and bounce rate would be irrelevant. – Nate Knox
  • There is always a limit but you can find other avenues to capitalize on existing quality traffic. Remarketing, RLSA etc. – Andrew Bethel (@AndrewPPC)
  • No, quality traffic is limitless. even if all 6BILL clicked on my ad and converted, there are more “worlds to explore.” – Siddhartha Naithani
    • I would tend to agree…ultimately it does depend on your definition of quality traffic and ability to convert. – Matt Umbro

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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)
• Amy Middleton (@amyxmiddleton)
• Andrew Bethel (@AndrewPPC)
• Andrew Miller (@AndrewCMiller)
• Bryant Garvin (@BryantGarvin)
• Christina Hall (@Chrissie_Hall85)
• Daniel Grand (@DanielGrandMGMT)
• Elizabeth Marsten (@ebkendo)
• George Brown (@GBPPC)
• Heather Cooan (@HeatherCooan)
• Jesse Semchuck (@jessesem)
• Joe Martinez (@MilwaukeePPC)
• John Budzynski (@Budzynski)
• John Lee (@John_A_Lee)
• Julie Bacchini (@NeptuneMoon)
• Kirk Williams (@PPCKirk)
• Leo Sussan (@lsussan)
• Lisa Sanner (@LisaSanner)
• Luke Alley (@LukeAlley)
• Matt Lukens (@mmlukens)
• Michelle Morgan (@michellemsem)
• Mike Grinberg (@MikeGrinberg)
• Nate Knox (@nateknox)
• Richard Fergie (@RichardFergie)
• Richelle Anderson (@lighthousewebms)
• Robert Brady (@robert_brady)
• Ross Tudor (@Rtudor9)
• Siddhartha Naithani (@noeticsound)
• Theresa Zook (@I_Marketer)
• Timothy Jensen (@timothyjjensen)
• Tyler Weber (@TylerYWBD)
• Zach Griffith (@zachgriffith)


Capturing PPCChat, Generating Streamcaps

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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