What you need to know
Since 1996 businesses have been using pay-per-click advertising (PPC) to drive targeted traffic to their website. With their monopoly position, the majority of this money has gone to Google. Over time, the way that PPC works has become steadily more sophisticated, and more expensive. What was once a cheap way of generating traffic is now big business, with some of the most popular keywords commanding a cost per click in excess of £75.
Businesses are looking for ways they can minimise wastage in their PPC campaigns and improve their quality score, with good and relevant page content that helps to 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. Guaranteeing that PPC budgets get spent on directing ‘true prospects’ to a website seems challenging, given the tools and level of insight available through Google Analytics.
CANDDi’s analysis of over 500 B2B businesses’ PPC generated traffic, shows that a relatively small proportion is actually from potential new business prospects.
At CANDDi’, we categorise PPC traffic into the following:
This group is made up of an organisation’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, and it’s a given that they’ll be checking your website out too, but do you really want to pay for their clicks? This group will include companies who are trying to sell you something – the ultimate frustration is that their (often unwanted) attention could be costing your business in PPC charges.
These are either existing customers or prospects who know what you do, and are already on your radar. An example of this is when one of our lovely CANDDi customers was using their Chrome toolbar to navigate to our website, thus clocking up more in PPC charges than the revenue that we generated from her business. Paying for people who already know how to find you can be costly.
These are the visitors you’d gladly have click on your PPC ads. They are searching for your key terms, and clicking through to your site for more information. This is the audience that you want to attract, and who your PPC ads are intended for! . I have a whole raft of information on how you can do this using marketing automation tools – but that is a whole different article
Research conducted by CANDDi shows that up to 52% of clicks to a B2B website come from from ’The Unwanted’ and ‘The Known’ categories. That’s a lot of your PPC budget being wasted attracting your staff, your customers, your competitors, and companies trying to sell you something.
Four Steps to Better PPC
Once your PPC spend is over £2000 per month, it is worth investing time and resource to cut out as much wastage as possible – this means that more of your budget is being spent on the ‘The Wanted’ group, your prospects! To do this, we advise you to deploy a more intelligent layer of insight to enhance the data provided by Google, with context specific or offline specific information.
Follow these four steps to make the most of your PPC budget:
Identify the IP address pool. This is a list of the people who have already, or are likely to, land on your site. Tracking tools, such as CANDDi, can give you an insight into who has landed on your website.
Establish the registered owner of these IP addresses so you can distinguish the company names – again, there are tools that enable you to do this.
Decide which IP addresses/individual machines you should block. This is where you identify the staff, competitors, existing customers and time- wasters 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.
This may seem like a lot of effort but you can automate the process up to a point – some data resides in the heads of staff members and there is always a need for sense checking.
How often you’ll need to review your ‘blocked list’ depends on the level of traffic you attract, your PPC budget, and the nature of your visitors (eg. do your customers have to come back to your site to login?). . The busier your website is, and the more customers you sign up, the more regularly the list will need updating!
The Inside Track on Using CANDDi
for Tagging and Categorisation
- 1.Build Streams to represent different categories of website visitors. Example: Competitors, Customers, Prospects etc. Your CANDDi Account Development manager can help you here.
- 2.CANDDi provides two custom reports to identify the most frequently occurring IP addresses within these Streams. One report looks at aggregate traffic by IP address over the last month and spots new offenders to be blocked. The other looks over the past three months’ data to identify lower frequency offenders who keep returning. These two reports can be run on a weekly or monthly basis through the CANDDi report manager which delivers results straight to your inbox.
- 3.Eyeball the data in the CSV files to ensure that CANDDi doesn’t “want to block” the wrong IP addresses by mistake. For example, for one customer the reports suggested blocking “anyone on the O2 mobile network” from seeing ads. Identify the list of IP addresses “irrelevant” to your Company. Your individual requirements will determine the “cut-off” level, however CANDDi recommends three visits within the monthly report or five visits within the three-monthly report as sensible benchmarks.
- 4.Log into your Google Adwords console, select the relevant campaign and exclude the IP addresses selected from the report above.
Success: Be your company’s PPC Police!
Taking the time to identify and filter out unwanted and unnecessary paid for clicks pays dividends, enabling PPC budgets to go further and be more successful. Attract the traffic you’re actually after from new leads, rather than ‘The Known’ or ‘The Unwanted’ visitor groups.
In our experience at CANDDi, by following the steps outlined in this guide companies will typically see a 15-20% increase in efficiency and massive improvements in their PPC performance. The number of clicks that they generate doesn’t necessarily increase, but the chance of conversion is drastically improved.