Over time the way that PPC works has become steadily more sophisticated, and more expensive. Tim Langley, the co-founder of CANDDi (Campaign and Digital Intelligence) says that what was once a cheap way of generating traffic is now big business with some of the most popular ad words commanding a cost per click in excess of £75.
Businesses are looking for ways that they can minimise wastage in their PPC campaigns and lower the cost they have to pay for each click.
Quality not Quantity
Unfortunately, businesses are still bleeding cash when it comes to the quality of traffic actually clicking through from their paid for links.
Analysis of the average B2B businesses’ PPC generated traffic shows that a relatively small proportion is actually from potential new business prospects. Instead there are several distinct categories of visitor creating PPC costs that will never bring returns.
We categorise PPC traffic into the following:
This group is made up of a business’s staff and competitors – individuals who should not be generating PPC costs as they offer no prospect of ever converting into a sale. We all browse our competitors’ websites, but do you really want to pay for your competitors’ clicks? This group can also include companies trying to sell you something – the ultimate insult is that their (often unwanted) attention could be costing your business in PPC charges.
Wrong Stage Prospects
These may be existing customers or prospects who are already aware of, and engaging with your business. Paying for people who already know how to find you can be costly.
These are the visitors worth paying your PPC dollars for. They are searching for your key terms and clicking through to your site for more information. This is the audience that you want to identify and invest in engaging with.
Our analysis of the makeup of PPC traffic from typical B2B businesses looks like this:
Unwanted – 3%-21% of clicks
Wrong Stage Prospects – 9%-31% of clicks
True Prospects – 48%-79% of clicks
That’s a lot of PPC spend going on getting staff, existing customers, sales people and other timewasters to your site.
Four Steps to Better PPC
Once PPC spend is above a level of around £1000 per month, it is worth investing time and resource to cut out as much wastage as possible. To do this, businesses must deploy a more intelligent layer of data to enhance the data provided by Google, with context specific or offline specific information.
Here is a four step programme to cutting out PPC waste:
- Identify the IP address pool – this is the list of people who have already, or may land on your site. There are tracking tools, like CANDDi available that give you the inside track on who has landed on your website
- Identify the registered owner of these IP addresses so you can distinguish the company names – again there are tools that enable you to do this
- Work out which IP addresses/individual machines you should block. This is where you identify the staff, competitors, existing customers and timewasters who are eating into your budget
- Create an aggregated list that you can upload to Google’s AdWords platform to stop your advert appearing in paid for searches undertaken by those on your list
Taking the time to identify and filter out unwanted and unnecessary IP addresses pays dividends, making PPC budgets to go further and ensuring that clicks are from from new leads, rather than known or unwanted entities.
Typically, the companies that CANDDi works with see 15-20% efficiency improvements in their PPC performance. The number of clicks that they are generating doesn’t increase, but their quality and chance of conversion is greatly improved.