It’s no secret that online advertising campaigns play a critical role in fueling the sales cycle for many B2B companies. With so many channels, where does each tactic fit into the sales funnel?
One of my favorite online tactics, and one that is key to our online strategy at Salesforce is search engine marketing (SEM). If you’re a direct response marketer, you’re more than likely using SEM as part of your online strategy. So why and how do you measure the success of your SEM campaigns? Let’s dive in a little bit more!
Tracking Success Metrics
Whether you’re running SEM campaigns to drive website traffic, generate leads for your business, increase sales, or drive other meaningful demand related activities, it’s important to measure the success of your campaigns. This will help you determine how effective your online advertising programs are, and whether you’re investing your money in the right channel or specific campaign to drive your business forward.
Implementing conversion tracking will allow you to see which ads, ad groups and campaigns are driving the most valuable activity for your business. For example, you may have broad category keywords you’re bidding on that are driving increased cost per click numbers – ultimately driving up spend on your overall campaign. Higher costs are ok if they provide high return or value from the spend. However, let’s say the broad category keywords are not driving much return at all, thus providing lower lead numbers and decreasing the efficiency of your program and online marketing budget as a whole. By measuring performance on each ad group, you can determine the best place to distribute your budget, and where you should bid more aggressively or decrease bids to optimize your return.
So, How Do You Measure Success?
Conversion tracking is actually fairly easy to implement. It begins with creating a conversion action in your AdWords account. Conversion actions can be anything from a form fill, to a purchase, an event registration, or email sign up – just choose a metric that is important to your business. Once you have your actions setup, add a conversion tag to your website on the pages you are trying to track. When a customer completes the action, a conversion will be recorded in your AdWords Account.
You can also track your AdWords conversions right within your marketing automation system. For example, in Pardot, all that’s needed is to add your conversion code to the thank you code area of your Pardot form. Or if your form redirects to a separate Thank You Page rather than showing the form’s Thank You Code, place your AdWords conversion code on the Thank You Page that you redirect to. Voila, conversion tracked!
The best benefit of connecting AdWords with Pardot is the ability to see how prospects are interacting with my SEM campaigns. This also gives our sales team the insights into what keywords a prospect came in on and what content they may have downloaded. And if prospects aren’t ready to convert yet, I’m able to nurture them with content relevant to the keywords they searched to help move them down the funnel.
Want to learn more about how we approach SEM at Pardot? Check out our recorded webinar “Step up your SEO and SEM.”