While the focus of AdWords ROI is usually on ad performance and improving quality score (QS), aligning your content marketing strategy with your AdWords strategy can bring your total ROI to the next level.
Let’s break it down into the types of content and strategies that can improve AdWords ROI.
Coming up with content ideas can seem like a daunting task, but perfectly doable once you’re in the habit of doing so.
Jeff Bullas puts it this way:
“How do you find inspiration? You need to give it the fuel and ideas to come up with inspiration. Then create a habit of daily creation.”
To get the creative juices flowing, let’s take a look at a few different types of content to get started with.
Website and Landing Page Content
When most marketers begin using AdWords, they tend to focus mostly on the ads. The ads are certainly important, so that’s a good place to start.
More savvy marketers realize that landing pages are critical for improving Quality Score, which is a major determining factor in the ROI you achieve. Optimizing your Quality Score is another critical component of AdWords ROI.
The best marketers, however, will realize that the majority of people who click on their ads won’t necessarily convert in that moment, but it doesn’t mean the opportunity is lost. Actually, the lead nurturing process is just getting started. There are still numerous opportunities to pull the prospect further into the conversion funnel with content. In fact, if you’re not aligning your AdWords strategy with your content marketing strategy, you’re leaving money on the table.
Realizing that a large percentage of prospects aren’t going to convert from that initial AdWords landing page, you’ve got to ensure you’re optimizing your entire web presence for conversion.
Here are a few things you should be doing, not only on your AdWords landing pages, but across your entire web presence:
Communicate Your USP
AdWords returns multiple ads for one search query. When someone clicks on your ad, your branding message should stand out and separate you from the competition. Whether you’re an eCommerce brand or a B2B services brand, every page of your site needs to efficiently and effectively communicate your brand’s unique selling proposition (USP).
Begin to Build Trust
A recent advertising study shows that 83% of consumers take action because of trusted recommendations. When a prospect clicks on your ad, is it easy for them to find reviews, testimonials, trust seals, etc.? Are those trust signals reinforced throughout your website? If they click through to your social media channels, can they see reviews on your Google My Business or Facebook page?
Use the Right Call-To-Action (CTA)
The word is out that pretty much everything a digital marketer does can be measured, and as a result, digital marketers have more revenue accountability than ever. Perhaps the favorite KPI of most B2B CMOs or marketing VPs is Marketing Qualified Leads (MQLs). So it makes sense that every CTA on your site should be to “Contact Us,” right?
Although “Contact Us” seems to be the CTA of choice for most campaigns we see, it’s not the most effective approach in most cases. It might be if you have very short sales cycles, but for longer B2B sales cycles, asking a prospect to contact you from a top-of-funnel touch point is way too forward.
If you’ve invested money in a Marketing Automation platform and gone through the trouble of setting lead nurturing workflows, then let that system do its job. The primary goal of your website content, then, should be to identify the prospect and get them into your system.
How do you do that? Offer something of value in exchange for an email address, and nurture the lead from there. Think in terms of CTAs that offer instant downloads – ebooks, whitepapers, special reports, etc. – that are as closely related to the corresponding page’s on-page content as possible.
Audience Targeting to Remarketing Lists
Using segmented remarketing lists is an outstanding way to continue engaging a prospect who has already visited your site. Our remarketing campaigns are typically producing the highest ROI for our B2B service clients.
And what’s the best way to build up those remarketing lists? Content. Writing blog content has always been a core element of our SEO strategies, but we started noticing a while back how those efforts were really effective in building high performing custom audiences to target with remarketing ads.
Having just a single remarketing list for anyone who’s visited your site can be very effective, but the real magic happens when you begin segmenting remarketing lists and retargeting in smart ways, such as using custom combination lists.
Once you have a big list of prospects, here’s how to reach them:
Remarketing with display ads is one of the most common ways we target our custom remarketing lists because it allows us to include branding and reinforce key messaging visually. Since the prospect has already visited the site, there’s going to be a familiarity there, which is much more likely to grab the attention and get the click.
RLSA allows you to tailor search campaigns down to the pages and content for audiences who already visited your website. Using remarketing lists for search ads (RLSA), you can set up a search ad group to only show content that relates to the keywords on the pages they have visited.
Email List Remarketing
Do you have access to in-depth email analytics? If so, you can use the information to show specific content to searchers who are logged into Google, Gmail, or YouTube. Customer Match information is available through Google AdWords support.
Adwords gives you an option of creating a custom affinity audience to target audiences that are relevant to your brand. By using the remarketing audience in the AdWords library, you can use this same information for YouTube. Even better? Google Analytics gives you the ability to define audiences by demographics, language, device, and more.
Another content strategy for improved Adwords ROI is simple:
More ads. More ads will give you more data, and the data will guide your AdWords content strategy. If you’re going to create more ads, don’t fall for the “set it and forget it” mentality. Gathering useful data from your campaigns will only work if you are regularly optimizing your campaigns for maximum ROI.
Ad optimization to identify top-performing content can be done in a variety of ways:
- Running multiple ads in each group
- Using Ad Extensions to improve click-through rates
- Organized account structure
- Set up AdWords conversion tracking (including phone calls)
- Analyze conversion data with search funnels
- A/B testing
- Geo Targeting
Repurpose Informational Queries
AdWords offers tremendous opportunity to achieve short-term results and generate a significant return on your ad spend investment. But since AdWords is a paid traffic source, performance must be tied to meaningful conversions or business KPIs, like marketing qualified leads (MQLs) or even sales. As such, any good AdWords account manager is going to monitor your query stream and weed out informational queries that aren’t likely to produce short-term results by adding them to your negative keyword list.
But let’s not throw out the baby with the bathwater!
Informational queries may not be well-aligned with your conversion-focused AdWords strategy, but they’re critically important for your organic, top-of-funnel efforts. Informational and educational content is great for SEO and social media campaigns, and those negative keyword lists from AdWords are a treasure trove of keyword-targeted topic ideas. Use them to generate new blog posts, articles, and website resource content, or to optimize existing content for conversion.
Once this content begins ranking and attracting new prospects, you can nurture those prospects further into your sales funnel in several ways:
- Insert soft calls to action for newsletter sign-ups, follows on social media, webinar/event sign-ups, etc.
- Retarget these searchers with a remarketing campaign once they are further down in the sales process.
- Capture their contact data and add them to your CRM. This creates a valuable feedback loop for your sales enablement or account-based marketing efforts.
How is Your Content Contributing to AdWords success?
Have you found ways to maximize your AdWords ROI through content marketing? Please share your experiences, ideas, or feedback in the comments, and if you haven’t already, be sure to grab our Adwords ROI Cheatsheet to hold onto for easy reference.