How to Make Those Clicks Result in ConversionsKyle is browsing one of his favorite sports websites. He's reading about the new marathon that he'd like to participate in. Suddenly, there it is! In the middle of the article, an ad jumps up at him. It's showing a pair of running sneakers with a special discount just for him. Kyle isn't annoyed by this because wouldn't you know it, he's actually in need of a new pair. He clicks on the ad and flies through to the landing page on your brand's website. He takes a look, maybe browses a bit more, and then decides to go back to his marathon website, without buying anything.
Is Kyle Aware of Your Brand and Product Quality?Brand awareness is hard to measure, but it’s a vital investment when it comes to making a successful brand (Forbes). Before measuring how many customers are moving down your sales funnel, you should make sure that you communicated your brand’s value to the audience group that you’re expecting to convert. It’s also highly relevant to think of the messaging consistency. If you’re working on communicating a specific selling point of your product, all phases of your campaign should be planned in line with that offer.
Even if Kyle did get to your product’s landing page, he might decide not to buy only because he never heard of your brand.
Is It Really Kyle You Wanted?The importance of knowing that the right person is seeing and clicking on your ad can’t be overstated. Kyle is into sports and running and looks like a perfect target, but that doesn’t mean that he’s expected to move down the sales funnel. When we’re looking for a person to actually buy a product, targeting shopping intenders is the right way to go.
Alternatively, deciding to go with Google ads and using the cost per click payment method could save you from wasting too much budget on people who are not interested. In that case, it’s of paramount importance to keep with the Google AdWords trends (Google Ads Blog). Research the keywords you’re looking to bid on and the max amount you’re willing to bid for each of them. The more time you spend on the actual campaign setup, the easier it is to get to those sweet conversions. Making sure that your ad groups are targeting the right audience, at the right time, on the right device, with the right message, AND are leading those who click to the right page means you’ve done everything in your power to actually get that conversion.
What Device is Kyle Using?It’s not a secret that mobile search is a dominant force to be reckoned with. In fact, Digiday predicts that mobile will take up to 72% of total digital budgets by 2021. Additionally, Forrester predicts that more than a third of US retail sales in 2018 will include usage of smartphones. This means your website absolutely needs to be optimized for mobile as well as the desktop/tablet. It’s not rare that we see advertisers scratch their heads when looking at clicks/conversions rates only to discover that 60% of their clicks happened on mobile and their website isn’t optimized for it. Users don’t like navigating endless mazes of pixels, they like simple and smooth experiences. Google research concluded that 73 percent will gladly leave a website with poor mobile experience and switch to an alternative one. There are many ways to test whether your website is optimized for a specific device and Google offers a good starting point.
Were You Honest with Kyle?One of the things we often encounter is an offer mismatch between creative and landing page. Usually, this is a result of an internal error. Nevertheless, users get confused or, even worse, feel cheated when they click on a 20% off offer only to arrive at a landing page offering only 10% off. This can damage your reputation and cause more harm than good. It’s a crucial thing to put on your campaign launch checklist – always make sure your offer is consistent. Click baits just don’t work anymore and are more likely to damage your brand than to lead to a positive outcome.
Did You Make Kyle’s Life Hard?Make sure your website runs smooth and fast. You don’t want to have your users wait in order to give you their hard-earned money. Optimize each and every detail to avoid it. Also, you don’t want to have your users take too many steps before converting. The shorter the path to conversion is, the better. Users tend to back out when they have to do too much work to place an order. Be respectful of their time. Track the performance of landing pages for each and every step in order to identify where they lose interest. No matter how great your online campaign is, it might be ruined by an overcomplicated and sluggish landing page.
How Many Kyles Can Be Expected?It would help if you set a benchmark number that you’re trying to achieve. If you’re just starting out, you need to research the industry and ask your publisher or agency what to expect. Most publishers don’t guarantee conversions, but they do have an idea of the results that similar advertisers are getting. If you’re using AdWords, it isn’t too hard to get the benchmarks for your industry, as they are often published (WordStream). Also, once your campaign kicks-off, it’s pretty easy to optimize towards the activations that are yielding conversions as long as you’re tracking them correctly. Other than tracking the actual number of conversions, other insights can also help you optimize, like the bounce rate, the time users spend on your website, etc.
If you’re seeing low numbers across the board, maybe your brand awareness isn’t as high as you expected, or something is not working right. It’s a good practice to check on what your competition is doing and pick up on their best practices. Also, for those users that are not ready to buy, you can always offer an alternative conversion, for example, to subscribe to your newsletter. You might not be getting the most critical metric, but at least you’re getting a secondary value.
Finally, you need to be aware that it's practically impossible to track the conversions that didn't happen right away. In this particular case, Kyle might be pretty difficult when it comes to buying footwear. He wants to try the sneakers on before he buys them. Everything worked perfectly and you got Kyle to go to the store and buy exactly the pair showcased on the ad that targeted him. However, if Kyle didn't tell you himself that this is what happened, you'll hardly be able to backtrack where this conversion came from! The power of brand awareness is great but very hard to quantify.
At the end of the day, the important thing is that you find the right Kyle, show him the right ad, make sure that the landing page looks good and accessible no matter the device, that Kyle's greeted by the same offer on the landing page that got him there in the first place, and that it is easy for him to convert... piece of cake, right? Everything else is up to Kyle!