In this live 30-minute webinar with Convirza and Big Leap, you’ll learn:
– The importance of data gathering, including how to use the data you collect to tell a more complete story and make smarter marketing decisions.
– Strategies for compiling cross-channel data, with an emphasis on using AdWords as a hub to layer organic and paid search analytics.
– How testing and categorizing traffic from multiple marketing channels can improve your targeted messaging and improve overall conversion rates.
– How to sync online and offline goal completion to better understand the value of each campaign and create a closed loop attribution plan.
About the Presenter — Tim is the COO of Big Leap, a digital marketing agency based out of Lehi, Utah. Tim loves all things digital marketing, but is especially interested in the intersection of paid search and CRO.
Tim: I wanted us to talk about Google Search Console, first, which is formally known as Google Webmaster Tools. Which will help you gain better insight into many of the organic tools and information that your site will have to help identify: What pages are being indexed, keywords that have the most impressions, even a sample of their rankings.
Now, let’s take Google Analytics, the lifeblood of all things pertaining to your website. If you don’t have Google Analytics set up on your site, please do so immediately. This will help you identify where your traffic is coming from? How long they stayed on your site? Being able to set up and track custom goals and metrics, conversions, geographical reports, behavior reports, and much, much, more.
Okay. Now, let’s shift over to post-goal completion, and talk about Salesforce the world’s largest most common CRM. Salesforce allows you to track leads, their current status, who they’re assigned to, where they came from, how many times they’ve been contacted, even revenue figures, really, really cool dashboards, and much, much more.
So I realize this is a lot to take in. But, a good percentage of companies utilize all three of these data sources on a daily basis, to help them make some of the most important business decisions a business can make.
If you’ve ever taken a look at Google’s Quarterly Financials, you’ll see that about 70% of the revenue come from Google AdWords. That’s in the ballpark of $70 billion, annually. Suffice it to say, I think Google AdWords needs to be on this shortlist as well.
Most would describe the AdWords platform as the interface to manage and optimize paid search campaigns. While this is true it can also be used as a powerful data hub. It’s true. You can actually start to import data directly from Google Search Console, Google Analytics, even Salesforce directly in the AdWords. So you’re probably asking yourself, “Is this really possible?” The answer is, “Yes.” To quote the great Kevin Garnett, “Anything is possible.”
Coming back to Google Search Console, one of my favorite ways to collect and compare data on how one channel influences another is to pull a report called the Paid and Organic Search Report. You can find this report directly in the AdWords interface, located under the dimensions tab. If you’re a paid search analyst, you probably know exactly where to find this. If you’re not, hopefully this is still valuable, in some way.
All you need to do is to be able to connect your Google Search Console data into AdWords and see: the keyword ranking you’re bidding on, how they’re impacted by organic rankings, the combined number of clicks, queries, even what the cost per query is, when you add up paid and organic together.
We actually did a blogpost about this entitled, “How One Plus One Equals Three.” It’s on our website, bigleap.com. If you ever get a chance to look at it, please do so. It’s pretty cool.
Okay. So here’s a screenshot of what the report looks like. When I worked in-house at a fairly larger company that I referenced earlier, we had big budgets and even bigger targets. One of the goals was to grow the company’s campaigns to a much larger size. This means spending more. And therefore the expectation was to acquire more customers through the process. The issue soon became, as we began to scale, that the high costs of the core necessary PPC keywords became so great we were spending upwards of $70 to $80 a click. So in order to bid on those keywords, ultimately, would mean our financial threshold would simply be outside of the norm and we wouldn’t be able to acquire a customer because those costs were going to be too high.
So we started looking at all of our digital campaigns and even some offline campaigns, such as TV, radio, billboard, certainly email. And then we hit a breakthrough. Looking at the Paid and Organic Search Report, we found that when our paid ad was being shown in the top three search positions, our organic listing received a 600% increase in traffic. Pretty cool stuff.
This report can be a great tool in also determining whether or not to bid on branded search terms. Having been in the industry for a few years, I’ve been asked that question dozens, maybe even 100s of times, both, working in-house and as an agency. If you’ve ever had this question, or even had the question for yourself, pull this report and look at the differences between when paid and organic show up together. It’s pretty interesting stuff.
Okay. So now, that we saw in the Paid and Organic Search Report you’re able to pull really useful insights directly in the advent of AdWords. So now, we’ll talk about Google Analytics. Some of the most common metrics that can be pulled from Google Analytics, include: Time on site, percentage of new sessions or new visitors, even bounce rates. How valuable is it to understand this type of behavior that, one, exhibits after they’ve clicked on one of your paid ads.
And remember, you’re paying for this visit. So take advantage of learning as much as you can. Just because they didn’t come for it on their first visit doesn’t mean that was money thrown away. Look at the data, and see how valuable it can be as a researching tool that determines staking points, and really open up the best ways to improve that user experience. All of these things in the paid search world, what I would say, impacts quality score.
I would say quality score is the, if not one of the most important factors in determining the success of your campaign. High-quality scores. High-quality scores will likely result in success. While low-quality scores could potentially serve as the cancer that spreads to other keywords in your campaign, causing diminishing returns.
Okay, all of this is interesting…or, at least, I think it’s interesting. But let’s talk about what all this means. So let’s take, for example, a C-Suite team.
The CMO for a Fortune 500 company is not likely to be interested in quality scores, click-through rates, or even potentially lead costs. They will be interested to learn about the result of all the data and effort that goes into getting these leads by the output sales. This is where Salesforce comes into play and really leads the way. If you have experience using Salesforce, you know how great and also how frustrating it can be. Sometimes I tell our partners, “One of the greatest things about Salesforce is that it’s highly customizable. One of the worst things about Salesforce is that it’s highly customizable.” No two companies use it the exact same way. No two companies have the exact same goals for measurement, value leads the same way, have the same revenue figures, the records the same way. So if you claim to be Salesforce expert, which I do not, you have a unique experience to be able to learn and relearn how to use Salesforce from one company to the next.
So to break this down to a more computable level. There are a few metrics that are somewhat standard that can be pulled into AdWords, using custom metrics. These include closed-on opportunities, which essentially means a lead that has closed into a paying customer. Revenue, which is somewhat self-explanatory but can be represented in annual or monthly recurring revenue if your business model is put around a recurring revenue. Leads, which are actually different, than converted clicks or conversions. In this case, a Salesforce lead usually represents somebody that’s filled out a white paper or downloaded a piece of content, call in, participated in a webinar. And then, has become qualified by the salesperson, to move into a more qualified lead category.
An example might be, if your company sells a piece of software that only works for other companies that have 50 employees or more. Well, my company has 42 employees, so it’s likely that I would be filtered out of that process and would not become a qualified lead showing up on this report simply because my company wouldn’t qualify.
From there, you can see how easy it is and how important it is to be able to look at this cost data on acquiring highly qualified leads that are actively being nurtured. And how much it costs, really, at the end of the day, to acquire a customer. Or what I would consider a true cost-per-acquisition.
What may be even cooler about this report is that you can pull all of this information on a campaign, ad group, ad, even a keyword level. It’s pretty awesome.
So now we have data. How do we use it to better target, test, and track? The digital marketing space is shifting away from traditional keyword targeting. And more about audience targeting, but often still using keywords to reach specific audiences. So let’s think about the days when telemarketing was much more prevalent.
Oftentimes, we would get phone calls at my home growing up from numbers we didn’t recognize. We looked at the caller ID, and it was from random number, oftentimes it was an 800 or an 888 number. So we had the unique opportunity to screen all of these phone calls for my parents. One way of knowing whether or not we were being spammed by a telemarketer was to determine whether or not the person on the other end of the phone knew how to pronounce our last name.
If they asked for Mr. Aire, or Mr. Air, we knew they were telemarketers. And we’ve landed on some random sales list to be sold. However, if they asked for Mr. Eyre or Steve Eyre, which is my dad’s name, we were much more willing to cooperate and hand the phone over to my dad.
The same is true for visiting a website or looking at an ad on Facebook, or LinkedIn, even Google. If the messaging is custom and if you speak to them directly, they are much more likely to respond. Being able to pull the data to better qualifying, customize the message, really relies on examining the experience that different individuals are having on your website.
Google Analytics, among many other really cool platforms allow you to pull reports that show you the path that different groups or visitors experience. This particular example is called the behavior flow report, and is found in Google Analytics. This report can show you really cool things from customizable date ranges, being able to pivot off of landing pages or marketing mediums. Even drill pages to better determine why people on your site are leaving. All this is based off of patterns.
If you haven’t had a chance to look at this report, take some time to do so. It’s a little bit overwhelming. But, as you work through it you can highlight different patterns, different paths. And, ultimately, I feel like it’s a pretty intuitive report for the most part. It’s not static. It’s totally dynamic. It’s ever moving. It’s ever changing. And if you ever want to just call up Big Leap and talk about it. I’d be happy to, because this is one of my personal favorite reports. And really like to get into this one.
All right. So we have two funnels, here. The funnel on the left is really designed to be more of a marketing campaign funnel. So let’s walk through what’s really, here.
Step one, gather traffic. Step two, create custom audiences the traffic and put them in the bucket, such as isolating visitors that clicked on a Facebook post or [inaudible 00:12:11]. Step three, quality the audience by serving up some custom messaging in your marketing efforts. Step four, educate them by requesting that they take a free product demo. By nurturing them with a white paper download, a product video, or even a webinar for that matter. Essentially, anything that you can do that will help them take the big leap. I know that was super cheesy but I had to throw it in there at least once. So I apologize.
From there, just simply close the deal. This is a much more simplified way of looking at a more complex, but potentially accurate view of what a salesperson may look at in their sales funnel, which can be illustrated on the right. Ultimately, the more data that you have allows you to make better decisions. Further your own reach within your company’s political balance, if you will.
So if you’re trying to justify…let’s say if you’re working to house the budgets that you’re responsible for, you can further your reach by justifying how much influence you have by increasing revenues for your company. If you work for an agency, you can better justify the fees you’re charging, quite possibly, keep your job.
You might say this is a really complex, really hardcore thing to say so how is that true?
I would say, by being able to be responsible, at least, in part of bringing in more revenue and pulling the right levers that open the gates for even more revenue. Revenue. Revenue. Revenue. Isn’t that the one that keeps everything going in a company. I’ll say it one more time: Revenue.
Okay. So let’s talk about goals and so how no two goals are created equal. In Google Analytics, AdWords…or, really, pick any marketing platform, there’s usually a column that’s titled,”Goals” or “Conversions.”
The truth is, there are many types of conversions that may be counted the exact same way but are worth very different amounts to your company. Let’s take for example. a white paper download.
Certainly, it should be considered a conversion. Perhaps the very entry in point the sales funnel. Where, maybe a newsletter could be really valuable for a social media campaign or a lead-nurturing campaign. But what about, somebody filling out a form submission on your website? Well, even a phone call to sales team may prove to be the most valuable lead there is. Again, shouldn’t weighted conversations be played in here because a phone call can often convert 10 times more likely than a white paper download or even somebody submitting this information to your newsletter. So speaking of phone calls, you might ask the question, “Well, Google Analytics is great for capturing online data but it doesn’t really capture offline data.”
But how do you weigh the value of a phone calls, a forms submission, even a white paper download that’s given in the previous slide?
Very simple. One easy way to do it is to better weight and classify these different goal completions, can be done, directly, in Google Analytics. Simply set up custom goals. Enter a value associated with each goal. Even import these goals directly into Google AdWords, so you can see the impact each of your paid search campaigns is having on acquiring these different goal types.
All right, now we have goal tracking set up. We’re measuring the impact one channel has on another. We’re examining user behaviors on our site with the Behavior Flow Report. We’re now weighting different goal types based off of our company’s specific needs and Google Analytics. But, we’re pulling in those custom weighted goals in the Google AdWords. So how do we attribute value to each channel along the way.
Many companies have upwards of 10 touch points along their path to becoming a converted paying customer. So the question asked, which touchpoint should get all the credit? Many advertisers use the last-click or last interaction model, which essentially gives 100% of the credit or value to the last channel the customer was on at the time of conversion. This model can be in the baseline in which to compare other models. Then, on the flip side, we have the first-click, or first interaction. Which assigns all credit to the first campaign that brought in the, now, customer to the site. This model is often used in PPC and various branding campaigns to help measure acquisition impacts, and also brand awareness.
Next, we have a linear model, which distributes credit equally across [inaudible 00:17:23] points. This can be good if you have an elongated sale cycle and a certain amount of retargeting and lead-nurturing goals along the way for acquiring this potential customer. This is a position-based model, or some call it the U-shaped attribution model, which can be adjusted. But, typically assigns the higher percentage of credit to the first and the last interactions. We also have a time decay model, which assigns more credit to each point the closer to the time of conversion. I personally like to flip this around to do a reverse time decay model, assigning more credit to the touch points that occurred at the beginning part of the conversion process.
These are just a few of the different attribution models that you can look at. All these are actually found directly in Google Analytics. So if you haven’t had a chance to pull this data and look at it in the way of comparing different models, I highly suggest that you do. It’s really, really cool. Depending on the different campaigns you’re looking at, you can actually differentiate different goal types. You can actually bucket different types of traffic, like paid and organic, together. Looking at display and the potential impact a display campaign has. If you’re looking at a linear model or a time decay model, oftentimes, this for marketing and display ads tend to get to weighted more heavily than they do with more of a traditional first or last interaction models.
Another more custom method that we use is called the W-Shaped Attribution Method. We often pull this type of data, and here’s a screenshot of one of the reports we pull on a weekly basis, to review the differences between…and this is, it would be first-touch, and the W-Shaped Model. Which, really, is about assigning the most credit to the first the mid, and the last touchpoint along the conversion process.
Now, I get this model is not going to work for every business. But for this particular B2B SaaS company, it makes sense to present the data in this way, to be able to analyze the differences between the two.
Whatever attribution model you use, do you best to get everybody at your company looking at the same data, and using the same reports. Things can get really messy if marketing finances and sales are alway looking at different models. Trust me, I’ve been there on numerous occasions and it’s a real mess.
Okay. So lastly, you’re probably asking yourself, “Mr. Eyre, how am I going to be able to do all of this?” I realize there’s only so much time in a day, so anyway we can automate some of our processes and free up some time to do some more of the fun stuff, like deep-diving and data mining, then let’s do it.
So this slide is specifically for AdWords. Again, I’ve been in this space for a long time, and my passion is paid search. So if I’ve lost you already — my apologies. But you’re still on the line and you’re interested in AdWords and paid search, then we have a lot to talk about.
Okay. So one way to do this is to create your own bid rules. And you can actually do this directly within AdWords, and create your own bid management system with customer rules. Some of the things you’re able to do is automate your rules based off of time of day, labels, which could be separated by brand search terms and non-brand search terms, height click costs, and low click costs. However you want to set up your labels, we can do a whole training on just proper usage of labels and AdWords. Adjust bid by the time of day, taking advantage of some of those custom metrics like, revenue, cost per lead, any of those Salesforce metrics that we’re able to pull into AdWords, you can actually run bid automation based off of those custom rules as well, or those custom metrics.
Really, really cool stuff. This is an example of what it actually looks like in the bulk operation section of AdWords. It’s really complex. One way that we like to do it is actually have our own MCC, or an old product, if you will. To be able to run some of these formulas to pulling in sales data from Salesforce. And, also doing all of our bid optimization and automation is done through a specific product that we have, here, at Big Leap.
But one thing I would say is caution yourself, if you get too automated, you don’t want to remove yourself too far from the intricacies of PPC management. So one thing that’s kind of cool about this is you’re able to email notifications to yourself or others if there’s errors or any time a certain rule is run. Really be able…a strong connection to what’s going on in your AdWords campaigns by the use of emails.
To read the Q&A portion of the presentation, visit our blog.