Pay Per Conversation

Aug 18, 2008 - 3:29 pm 0 by

For marketers to become successful in their SEM efforts, PPC can no longer stand for "Pay Per Click" — it must stand for "Pay Per Conversation." Many marketers agree that the current state of the economy is having an impact on their marketing plans. That's why every dollar and click matters. Every click is a potential customer trying to engage you; will you continue the dialog or have them bounce off your landing page just moments after they arrive? What you want to do is engage and persuade your visitors to keep taking the next click, all the way through the purchase funnel. To achieve that, you must demonstrate the value of your products and services in all your marketing, especially when sales are decreasing. You do that by planning content to improve relevance and test continuously until you have the best conversation. This session will show you how to identify missed conversations and what you can do to improve them and your PPC ROI.

Introduction by: • Anne Kennedy, Managing Partner & Founder, Beyond Ink Speakers: • Bryan Eisenberg, Co-founder, Future Now Inc. • Brett Crosby, Group Manager, Google

Bryan: Pay per conversation, how did we come up with that…

When you think about search engine strategies, you think of PPC and organic. I don’t think PPC should stand for pay per click, it should stand for pay per conversation. The purpose is not the clicks, but rather the goal is to turn them into business. We are also going to change SEO to searcher experience optimization, rather than search engine optimization so the searcher has the best experience leading them to convert.

What matters in terms of getting the sales is communication. The biggest challenge is that 53% of people’s budgets are focused on just driving traffic – not doing anything except for getting people to the site.

There is a huge discrepancy of driving traffic vs. analytics, testing, etc. the budgets are almost none, so people are not getting the returns they are expecting. Think about your typical customer. I think of them as toddlers with money. What do toddlers always ask…why? Your customer does not have as much patience. We are going to address the issue of why conversations are failing. It’s because users don’t have confidence. So getting through trust is a big thing. The second thing is relevance. People will look for something very distinct – if we don’t give it to them the second they want it, they leave the site.

10% of traffic drops off after the first click to your site. OK, that’s untargeted. But 55% drop off after the second click! Something is wrong – the user got distracted, lost confidence, lost relevance, lost the scent. This has not changed since the early to mid 1990’s! So we must focus on scent. Jakob Nielsen has said that people are so goal oriented that they ignore everything except what they are looking for – so that’s what costs you money.

Example: “pink roses” – the first site landing page shows red roses! So the searcher leaves. The second and third ones – also no pink roses! So I finally go to the fourth ad – and there are finally pink roses. So the first 3 out of 4 failed. People are missing the basic point of conversions. They are missing the landing pages. 67% of customers leave your site because the site does not provide enough information. Two-thirds! It’s because we are not continuing the conversation, and just burning the money.

Marketing is about understanding people’s needs. So we must re-think the conversation, the path of conversion. Different people come in with different needs. Our job is to figure out what needs to be in that conversation in the moment they come to you. Start thinking about optimization in a conversion point of view.

Brett will shed some more light now. Brett is one of the founders of Urchin, and will walk you through what you will need to be looking at to improve relevance and find opportunities.

Brett Crosby, Google: It all sounds easy with Analytics, but where do you start? Everyone should always be testing. But you need to start with the idea of a scent, and grow from there. Let’s take a look.

Focus on the high traffic areas with big revenue potentials: landing pages, site overall, internal site search pages, and leaky funnels.

How do you know if the page is actually broken, or the keywords?

I want to start with my own metaphor: Here is a map of San Jose. We just hired you to minimize traffic accidents in San Jose. What will you do first? Look for: where is most of the traffic? Where are the most accidents occurring? Do we have wrong or no street signs? Seasonality issues like rain or snow? Timing: a convention going on at the convention center?

It also helps to know your website. Maybe you want to watch a friend click on your ad and navigate through your site.

I know from experience that when you start going into the reports, the data is overwhelming. We redesigned Analytics about a year and a half ago to make viewing the data easier. We want the new interface to prompt you to ask questions about your data.

(Analytics screenshot) Look across the top at the traffic over time for the date range you’ve selected. Do you know what bounce rate is? It’s when people leave right after coming to your website. Below that, we tell you geographically where people come from, and then virtually where people come from. On the left side nav, we start with the visitors, the content, the goals, then the e-commerce. Understanding that mental model and applying it can really help.

The most relevant part of our reports is in the content section. Any one of those sections will have great data for you to look at. Number of entrances and landing pages, bounces and bounce rate. Bounce rates are a big opportunity.

Next is funnel reports, one of my favorites, do you know about this? People can enter through the center or side of funnels and you want to look at where people are leaving the funnels, the leaky pages. It is valuable to know something about your site. Where people are exiting is a great place to start.

Then I will take a look at site overlays, where people are clicking, converting, buying. It’s very useful. Just looking at this you can come up with some great ideas. Maybe switch placements of products on the page. It will give you some ideas.

Internal site search: basically, if you have a search box on your website, are people using search within your website? We have a whole section of reports on site search. Where did visitors start their searches and which page did visitors find?

Back to the question: how do you know if it’s the ad or the page?

We have Analytics pages on landing page optimizations: shows keywords and entrances. You select “non-paid” keywords, and take a look at the bounce rates. Now let’s take a look to see if the page is the problem. Select “paid” keywords, and it tells you 0% bounce rate! So that means it’s not the ad copy that needs rewriting, it’s the page that needs attention.

One practical tip: I’ve worked in small and big companies; sometimes in a small company you can go to the main point of the website. But in a big company you sometimes need some consensus building: I believe in something but need my boss to believe in it. So start small, focus on improving one area of the site.

Bryan is going to speak now, if you have any questions come by our booth.

Bryan: So how does testing work? It’s super simple. Now that you have these reports, what do you do? I am a big fan of Google Analytics – because it’s free – and you get great stuff from it, and maybe you decide to pay for a product later on. Anyway, the basic concept is, let’s take all the traffic coming in to your page and split it among the different sections of the page. Take a script at the top of the page, track at the bottom of the page, and track your goal page.

Every single hyperlink out there is a contract between you and your visitor. Different people might type in the same keyword but have a different intent. Web analytics measures these things. Some people will get rid of the keyword, say the keyword didn’t convert. But it’s not the keyword – you need to understand the intent behind that keyword.

Take a look at big retailers and how they are selling digital cameras – by brand, megapixels, features. They have been selling cameras the same way for many years. What about by shuttle refresh rate? What people are actually frustrated about with the camera? No one mentions that a specific model is the fastest, takes 5 pictures in 5 seconds!

There is a great plugin for Firefox that pulls the reviews – but nowhere in the ad copy does it talk about I the topics that people are mentioning in their reviews! If this is what matters, why aren’t retailers putting it up front!!!!

How people gather information and how they make decisions: this is what it’s important in marketing. Take a look at these ads (projector), which is more logical/methodical and which is more emotional. People act differently with your content! Some look straight at the image and leave. Others look at the content. You don’t need to be an expert in personality types to understand this. Jakob Nielsen says there are 4 types of eye tracking when people come to your site. Spontaneous, humanistic, methodological, competitive (people coming in quickly and leaving quickly if they don’t see what they want). So, now that you know that different people act differently, how can use it to optimize your page?

Start simple. The analytics says that 90% of people who came to this page bounced. Let’s look at the personality types and think about what they would want to see on the page. You need to appeal to them. Every day that hole is not fixed in your site cost you money. Go through every page and make sure the pages appeal to all personality types.

Also look at reviews and see what people saying about the product: the way it looks and feels (emotional) vs. the functionality and practicality (methodological) and you can adjust the product copy accordingly. Use their voice to give back to them. Use the voice of customers and integrate into product descriptions.

Using product images – also applies to videos, not everyone will respond to videos – 24% of photos in a study did not allow the customer to enlarge a product image, and 65% did not offer multiple views of a product! That will have an impact on the consumer.

Some sites focus on the glitz and glamour, that they miss the basics.

Let’s talk about credibility issues: some examples – who are you? People care about the “About Us” page, it will establish some of the confidence. Contact information – have it! Put the contact info in various places, it will inspire more confidence and legitimateness. Does your site look professional? Even if you are not a design person, you can tell. Other examples of breaking confidence: small font type in gray! Be conscious of these things.

What can you add in to build confidence? Point of action assurances: We value your privacy. How long it will take for a customer service rep to contact someone who fills out a form. Return policies, guarantees. Make sure it’s all there for the consumer.

Other points: 59% of sites in a study did not provide shipping costs early in the check out process and 35% have a checkout process with more than 4 steps! 41% do not provide assurance points in the checkout process. Many sites do not offer in stock availability. Make sure you offer estimated delivery date, etc.

Others credibility points to add to your site: certifications, awards, other review sites that look your site.

Testimonials can also be very effective, but also can have no impact on you. Look at different styles and see what works best for you.

What kind of financial impact can this have on you? You can double your sales just by adding policies.

Contributed by Sheara Wilensky of Promediacorp.


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