We watched a high-speed digitalization in the past 10 years as digital marketing grew faster than ever. However, it's easy to realize how saturated marketing channels have become.
Many businesses run online paid campaigns to acquire users and increase ROI. Obviously, it allows marketers to reach a greater audience than organic campaigns could possibly do. Nevertheless, users became overwhelmed with many untargeted and irrelevant ads over time, which harm their browsing experience.
This blog post covers the leading causes of marketing cost inflation and brings possible solutions to help you boost your ads performance.
Creating a marketing campaign goes beyond nice copy, design, and offers. The success of a new product launch is coupled with a good narrative, a well-planed journey, and a strong positioning. That's why CRO professionals usually split the optimization opportunities into these different types:
- UX optimizations
- Pre-click optimizations
- Post-click optimizations.
People usually link UX with product and design initiatives, but there's a lot of UX in marketing campaigns. Think about how users interact with your ads, how they land on your website, which pages they browse, how the decision-making happens, and how they engage with the brand. It is all related to the user experience.
You may argue that sometimes these topics are too broad or even unmeasurable, but there's always a way to run experiments and relate KPIs to pull quantitative correlations.
Let's use the example of message matching. The lack of correspondence between ads' copies and the exact search term frustrates them with the uncertainty of not finding what they're looking for. The same frustration happens when the copy offers an ideal product, service, or information, but the landing page content doesn't correspond to that. It is so important that Google started to penalize advertisers that use specific keywords to place their ads on the top results but don't offer the suggested content on the landing page.
And that makes sense, right? After all, no one wants to waste money on ads that bring traffic but not conversions.
Some optimizations that fit the topic above enclose both the pre- and post-click user journey phases. Pre-click optimizations are the most common CRO tactics to improve conversion rates and reduce CAC, so let's briefly discuss them.
Suppose you own a French language school in your town, and someone searches for online free French classes on Google. You wouldn't want to pay for those impressions, right? Therefore, Google Ads allows you to set negative keywords that shouldn't trigger your ads.
In an ideal world, you would have infinite resources to show your ads to the biggest possible amount of people, right? But the truth is you have to put your money and effort only into showing it to people who are likely to purchase from you. Segmenting your audience means drawing that line; if you do it right you can expect better results from your ads.
Dynamic text replacement means your ads copies change based on the audience. That helps you improve your message match and make ads more relevant.
Using ad extensions is not simply about having more space to communicate with users about your products. It allows you to organize product categories into clusters as shortcuts for users to go straight to the page that matters to them. That also helps message match between ads and landing pages and increases the quality score.
As an advertiser, you're automatically in an auction that defines which ads users will see and in which order. That's why you have to choose if you're focusing your bids on impressions, conversions, or clicks, depending on your objectives and users' funnel stage.
Although many performance marketers only put effort into pre-click optimizations, both pre and post-post click optimizations are key for successful campaigns. Post-click includes everything that happens after the user clicks your ad.
After some time working with paid media, companies hit a conversion plateau with pre-click optimizations. It stops increasing no matter how hard you try to optimize. Also, most conversions don't happen on the first visit. So if you want to stand out and actually see game-changing improvements in your campaigns' performance, you need to go the extra mile and start optimizing what happens after the user clicks your ad.
Let's dive into each of the post-click optimization possibilities.
There are many ways to optimize landing pages. You can create a good design, avoid distractions that keep users from converting, use standing-out call-to-action buttons, craft easy-reading short copies, or place short forms for users to fill with essential information only. It all helps.
But let's suppose you're advertising different products or services for different audiences, or even the same product or service for different audiences. Each one is trying to solve one kind of problem or get one job done, even though the answer is the same for both. It makes sense to have different messaging for each one, right? So why should two distinct individuals see the same landing page?
Bearing the message match matter in mind, you should build different ad headlines and landing page content for each audience. To make sure it doesn't turn out costlier and more complex than it should, you can use dynamic content to provide different versions of the same landing page in a single URL. We also recommend you test the content to ensure each message resonates with each audience. If you don't know how to do it, check out our blog post about personalized landing pages.
Now let's say you have a fully optimized landing page with killer copies, great design, and personalized content. That's great, but your user still needs to consider it, search for better prices, and ask for their friends' opinions. When they finally decide, it's time for them to go back and hit the “shop now” button. You wouldn't want them to come back to your homepage looking for the offer they first saw in the ad and struggle to find it, right?
That's where personalization comes again into play. Some platforms these days (ours included) offer the possibility of personalizing your site based on anonymous users' browsing behavior. That means you can create rules for showing returning users the same offer they previously saw in the ad and on the landing page.
After the user clicks your ad, checks the landing page, comes back many times later, and finally completes the purchase, it's time to ensure they'll keep loyal to your brand. For that to happen, it is important to optimize not only your ads, landing pages, and home page but also the subsequent pages they may visit on your site.
Keeping the message consistent throughout all user journeys is fundamental for having happy customers and cheaper than acquiring new customers. Creating new rules for segmenting your audience and personalizing your site to meet each individual's needs is key to having a constantly optimized site. For that to happen, you should also leverage an experimentation culture in your company and have an AB testing mindset to validate hypotheses on what personalizations would actually make sense to each audience.
Keeping users engaged despite all the noise they find online is not an easy job. That's why focusing only on pre-click optimization is not enough to boost your ads performance and thrive among your PPC competitors.
Looking at the whole user journey allows you to get the most out of your traffic, while personalization and AB testing are the key tactics within a good marketing strategy these days. If you don't know where to start, check our blog post about how to implement dynamic content in your site using our platform, or get in touch with us. We'll be glad to share our experiences.