Target Conversion Funnel In Paid Search Strategy

April 18, 2014

PPC account managers should consider the conversion funnel while modeling an account’s structure.  Well-thought-out campaign organization and intelligent keyword selection will help build a quality user experience and improve performance. Think hard about the content your visitors are looking for and deliver it at the right time by building an account focused around these concepts.


Organize keywords into intent-oriented campaigns

When we talk about the conversion funnel we are referencing the variety of psychological phases a visitor goes through on the path to completing a conversion on your website. This path will vary depending on your goals, but the stages are typically referred to as: awareness, consideration, conversion and retention. Some of these stages may be more important to you than others depending on your goals, and building your campaigns this way lets you focus on the areas that matter most by developing a comprehensive budget segmentation.

Make data-driven inferences

Consider many factors when analyzing keywords. Think about how some keywords’ metrics are dramatically different than others and what that means about each individual keyword. A lot of information about your site visitors can be gained from asking questions about your keywords.

Does one keyword have thousands of impressions with a very, very low CTR? Does another keyword see a moderate amount of clicks with better than average behavior metrics? Does yet another keyword see a low number of clicks but a high conversion rate? Are branded keywords trending upward over time? Do some keywords have many assist conversions with very few direct conversions?

Each of these questions represents a different stage of the conversion funnel. Build campaigns full of awareness-oriented keywords and see how they contribute to other marketing channels. Build campaigns full of conversion-oriented keywords and watch your ROAS soar.

Match type matters

Similar keywords, those sharing identical text, may actually represent different stages of the conversion funnel. Again, use data to identify trends. For example, a keyword like [hiking shoes] will perform much differently than +hiking +shoes. The exact match example targets a single head term while the latter targets the long-tail of search. These two keywords may actually belong in separate campaigns depending on their individual performance metrics.

Don’t forget about ad copy and landing pages

Since you’ve already done the work to identify the keywords representing each conversion phase, it would be a shame to stop there. Take your paid search campaigns a step higher and create unique copy and landing environments to match the conversion funnel stage as well.

If you’re targeting the conversion phase, ask users to complete the goal in your copy and on your page. If you are instead attempting to generate awareness, ask visitors to “learn more” or to watch a video about your service. Deliver the best content when it’s needed most to build the best user experience you can.