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The PPC Nexus: If You Build It They Will Come

The following post was submitted by Wakefly, a Gold Sponsor at Elevate 2012, the upcoming Pardot User Conference. Elevate 2012 will take place October 23-25 in Atlanta, Georgia. For more information on this event, please visit elevate.pardot.com.

Landing pages, the written offer, split testing messaging and so many other weapons in the online marketing arsenal are all contingent on one simple prerequisite:  traffic.

When Kevin Costner laid out his baseball diamond in Field of Dreams, he literally bet the farm that his effort would yield fruit. As online marketers, we don’t need to take the same risks. We can flood our online presences with targeted visitors. We don’t need to wait months or years for PR, SEO or social media to magically take off. Thus, if we build it, they will come! One of our ongoing responsibilities is to ensure they (the visitors) come in droves — in most cases visitors are needed on a large scale to achieve a degree of statistical significance and surety in your marketing measurements and outcomes.

With marketing automation tools like Pardot, companies are producing targeted landing pages and offers at an increasing pace. From a marketing agency perspective, so many marketers we work with are trying to read the tea leaves on small visitor counts and conversions, and trying to change course mid-stream and adjust based on data that is — to put it gently — sparse, due to the miniscule number of visitors seeing their pages and offers. If this sounds familiar, more emphasis needs to be put into driving visitor count with PPC.

There are many sources for visitors online, including: direct visitors, referral traffic and search engine traffic. One specific type of search engine traffic is pay-per-click (PPC) traffic bought from search engines like Google and Bing. For many B2Bs with maturing online marketing programs, the nexus between landing pages, testing messaging, offers, and a successful, fully-trackable web presence flush with visitors is PPC traffic.

PPC traffic is completely trackable and does not require much lead time to begin receiving visitors. Certainly, you will be paying a market rate on platforms like Google AdWords, which is determined by the competition and the relative quality of your advertising – so things can get expensive (and quickly) if you are not careful. However, the cost-benefit analysis of paying for hyper-targeted visitors to your website that otherwise may have been sponged up by your competition should quickly prove the logic of paying the market rate for a targeted visitor.

In most cases, PPC results improve over time. The close study of real results and regular adjustments create a trajectory of postive, linear improvements in results.

In a recent survey of companies seeking PPC assistance, we found nearly 75% of the companies that approached us were getting their clocks cleaned by their competition – hemorrhaging market share, money and visitor count by not paying attention to the one activity that can bring more visitors today. These same companies were overypaying for PPC traffic by nearly 130% based on the quality of their advertising.

With so many B2B companies doing PPC so poorly, it is not surprising that PPC represents a significant opportunity for those companies that get this right. Flooding those newly created Pardot landing pages and thought leadership articles with high-quality traffic will give you more chances to generate better leads. Avoid the common pitfall of focusing on just landing page creation or content creation and ensure you are driving  targeted visitors to your marketing assets effectively.