When you advertise online, whether on Google Adwords, Bing, Facebook Twitter, LinkedIn or on other advertising platforms, one of your main goals is to get your prospective users perform a desired action. Normally a response to your call-to-action, CTA, which may involve, filling out a form on your site, buying a product, calling your business etc.

On the online advertising industry, it’s clear that getting a conversion is not a rocket science but getting conversions at the right conversion rate that translates into a positive ROI is. This is what make or breaks your relationship with your client or your bank account.

So what is the right conversion rate? There is not a fix all solution when it comes to conversion rate since different industries have different conversion rates. A great starting point would be to find the average conversion rate benchmark for the industry you are advertising for. If you are already managing campaigns for similar industries, you could look at their average conversion rate and compare that to your new campaign. If you do not have access to similar industries account your next option would be to look at how the conversion rate of the business in question is across other channels like organic, social, referral, direct, email marketing etc.

How do your findings compare to your PPC conversion rate? If your PPC conversion rate is higher or about the same, that is a sign that your advertising strategy is most probably going in the right direction. On the other hand, if your PPC conversion rate suggests a significantly lower conversion rate compared to other channels, that is a good news too because it shows that there are things you can do to improve your conversion rate. Taking the later scenario as the case, how would you go about optimising conversion rate?

 Conversion Rate Optimisation

There is a whole lot of strategic optimisation actions that could be taken to optimise for conversion rate, both basic and advanced. In this post I would look at PPC optimisation 101 and slightly scratch on the surface of the advanced optimisation practices.

Firstly take time to choose the right keywords that conveys the right user intent not necessarily the right user/demographic. Unless your industry is highly demographic focus, as a start I would suggest you focusing on keywords with the right intent rather than whether male or female. When you have gathered enough data you could then use bid adjustment to serve your ad more or less based on demographics.

Second on my list is ad copy. Ad copy is what stand between user’s search query (intent/need) and your landing page. I can’t emphasis enough how important it is to write ad copies that are highly relevant to your keywords and/or landing page (depending on whether you are using keywords or not, example is if you are advertising on Display Network). Imagine you (a male) searched for “men’s quality leather bag” and the ad you clicked on says “buy 5 star reviewed quality bags”. What would you do if on clicking the ad you were taken to a nice landing page that hosts beautiful women leather bags? Well don’t tell me that your wife or girlfriend would like leather bag too…

Third point is Landing Page. Always ask yourself, am I sending prospects to the most relevant landing page? If you have low conversion rate and you are convinced that your landing page is perfect, then do this: check your price and make sure you are competitive, make sure your form is not too long and you are not asking for too many personal info, check bounce rate on different devices, check page speed, make sure your competitors are not serving their ads on your landing page if you allow ads to be served on your landing page.

Next, run search term report and add negatives to weed out irrelevant searches. Use high search volume keywords you find on this report to create new ad groups so you can manage your bid on these new keywords. Sometimes restructuring your match type in Google AdWords and Bing would help to improve conversion rate. Then remember to run few months report and drop bids on keywords that accrued click with no conversions or with very low conversion rate and push those keywords that are performing well.

Other advanced techniques to look at are: Day Parting; if you notice that you convert better at certain hours of the day, set up ad scheduling and use bid adjustment to control your bid on those hours of the day. Check your conversion based on device and respond with device bid adjustment. Run demographic report, now also available on search campaign on Adwords, and tackle any issue with bid adjustment. Analyse your Geographic report, User Locations, Search partners and other options available then take the necessary actions to optimise your conversion rate.

Remember to give Marketing Signals a shout here if you need any help to optimise your PPC conversion rate.