Among the many buzzwords you hear about pay-per-click, or PPC advertising, “conversion-based optimization” or “conversion optimization” may be one that you have come across. While some digital terms are simply a trendy attempt to grab your attention, conversion-based optimization is an important concept to understand when you are looking to start or to maximize your search advertising campaign.
What is Conversion Optimization?
Conversion-based optimization is a process that helps businesses increase conversions like calls, emails, or form submissions from their advertising. With PPC advertising, this means looking at what campaign elements, like specific keywords and landing pages, are bringing in these conversions so you can shift your dollars and campaign setting preferences towards those elements for the best chances of future conversions. This can be automated with tools like Google’s Conversion Rate Optimizer or the technology built into ReachSearch, ReachLocal’s PPC advertising solution.
How Does Conversion-Based Optimization Technology Increase PPC Conversions?
When someone searches for a keyword that you’re bidding on for your search campaign, many pieces inside your campaign spring into action to capture that searcher’s click. Elements such as your bid on that keyword, the device the searcher is using, the search engine being accessed, and the text of your ad come together to display your ad in the search results. If these elements are right, the searcher clicks on your ad, and, if they are the right type of searcher, they will contact your business. Using conversion-based optimization in your search campaign enables you to determine which elements led to a conversion and reuse them to create more conversions.
As a simple example, let’s say a user searches via Google on their cell phone for “accountants near me,” a keyword you are bidding on for $6.50. Your ad is triggered, and the searcher clicks on your ad, and then fills out a contact form on your website. Conversion-based optimization technology recognizes that these elements were part of that form fill and will favor those elements (such as the Google search engine, mobile preference, the keyword “accountants near me,” and the cost of $6.50) in order to increase your chances of another PPC advertising conversion. And, with technology like ReachLocal’s, optimization can occur across multiple search engines.
How Does Conversion-Based Optimization Technology Maximize Your PPC Advertising Budget?
Campaign adjustments based on conversions are all not made once. The technology constantly learns and optimizes your PPC advertising campaign over and over and over again across many elements after every successful conversion and every failed attempt. Over time, the system has enough successes and failures to uncover and favor the patterns that show a searcher is serious about contacting your business. By better identifying these high-quality searches, conversion-based optimization spends your campaign budget on those elements most likely to trigger a conversion and avoids those that don’t.
Additionally, conversion-based optimization technology maximizes your budget by determining not just what is driving conversions, but which are bringing in the lowest cost leads. In our simple example above, “accountants near me” brought in a conversion for $6.50. Let’s say our campaign had another conversion from a $15 bid on the keyword “best accountants in Chicago.” Conversion-based optimization will favor the keyword that cost us $6.50 because it brought us the same success for less than half the price.
Couldn’t You Do Conversion-Based Optimization On Your Own?
Sure, you could increase conversions by tracking conversions on your site, and examining which elements drove successful conversions at the lowest cost, but not at the scale or accuracy that technology can. Conversion-based optimization technology uncovers the patterns of publishers and keywords that drive successful conversions every time your ad is served so that you are delivering the right message to the right searcher at the moment they are looking for you.
Why is It Important to Measure More Than Just Clicks?
The key to getting more from your PPC advertising budget is optimizing around true conversions, like calls, not just clicks. Searchers may click into your ad by accident or in order to simply research your business, causing you to pay for low-quality clicks. If you’re only measuring your campaign performance and optimizing around clicks alone, your campaign costs could go up, and you could be missing out on the most valuable searchers for your business.