Fix your marketing problems

From time to time I’m asked to set up and manage Google AdWords campaigns for clients or I’m asked to advise them on how they might improve their campaigns. I’ve found that many clients would get their Google AdWords report but wouldn’t know what to do with it. So I developed this tool a couple of years ago to help me guide my clients’ thinking in their AdWords management and help them to create contingency plans prior to starting up their first campaign.

AaronHoos_businesswriter_marketingfixquadrantIt works like this: There are basically 4 potential outcomes in every Google AdWords campaign — high or low click-throughs and high or low conversions — and each of these 4 outcomes might occur in different degrees of severity. The purpose of this tool is to prompt the user to consider what action they should take for each potential outcome.

So here are the outcomes:

A. Low Clicks/Low Conversions:
What this means: People might be seeing your ads but aren’t clicking. Or, they’re not seeing your ads enough.

What to do: Start by increasing what you bid on your ads and then look at how your ads are written. If you’re running one ad, or several ads with only minor variations, consider mixing them up with dramatically different ads. Have someone else look at your ads to see if they make sense and if there’s something you might have missed. Since your click-throughs might only be 1% of impressions and your conversions might only be 1% of click-throughs, you’re better off trying to get traffic to your site before you worry too much about your conversion rate. Also, make sure that you haven’t defined a target audience that is too small (i.e., running your ad only between midnight and 4AM and targeting Spanish-speaking people in Witchita Kansas).

B. Low Clicks/High Conversions:
What this means: This is a great place to be because the people who are clicking your ads and going to your site are seeing the value you offer and are buying. So the problem is on the ad side.

What to do: Start with your keywords. Are you using keywords that are too narrowly defined? Try broadening them. Make sure your bid rate is competitive. Don’t do much to change your ads right now because they seem to be effective, but instead work at trying to have your ads seen by more people more often; keywords are going to be your ticket here, probably.

C. High Clicks/Low Conversions:
What it means: I suspect that this is the most common problem in Google AdWords; it’s also a money-loser. If people experience this for too long, they sour from AdWords.

What to do: The ads seem to be attracting people, which is good. But there are two likely problems: It’s possible that the landing page needs work to do a better job of presenting the value you offer. There’s another possibility that is often missed, though. It could be that there is a misalignment between the ad and the landing page. Perhaps your ad is offering discount shoes but it takes the prospect to a landing page that only shows high-end sandals. So, the first place to start is to make sure that there is alignment between the ad and the landing page. If there is, then look at the landing page and make revisions. Highlight the benefits, make it really clear what the next step for the prospect is, and highlight the benefits again. Oh, and make sure you close the deal with a clear call to action. Once you’ve revised your landing page, make sure you review it with the ad again, just to make sure there is still alignment!

D. High Clicks/High Conversions:
What it means: You might be surprised to learn that I don’t think this is the ideal place to be. Probably because it means that your price is too low or, if your AdWords ad is selling a service it could mean that you’ll get an overwhelming number of orders that you can’t handle on your own.

What to do: If you’re selling a product, raise your price. If you’re selling a service, either raise your price or find out if there is a way to scale your staffing situation through temp workers, virtual assistants, and even family who can help out in a pinch.

Is there a sweet spot?
Ultimately, you should aim to have your clicks and conversions in the middle of the upper-right quadrant — not too high that you’re losing revenue or are overworked, but not any lower, either.

But wait, there’s more!
Although I use this tool primarily for AdWords, it does have broader applications and I have used an augmented version to help manage other marketing channels. By swapping out “clicks” for some other type of metric you can easily adjust this for many other types of marketing.

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