A Holistic Approach to PPC

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Paid search is hot. Well, it’s been hot for a while — at least the past 5 years. And it continues to grow: according to eMarketer, search spending will reach $11,422 million this year. But with all this growth and attention on the click, most conversations on PPC start and end there — from bids, to ads, to keywords and more — without any mention of how to convert the click.

But if you think about it, the click is really just the first part of search marketing — the first phase. The goal of most search campaigns is actually the conversion — the second phase. The click is the yin; the conversion the yang.

Search marketing really deserves a holistic approach — one that combines the two goals of search marketing — getting the click and converting it.  Instead of just launching your ads and optimizing your clicks, take a holistic approach to PPC and follow through on your paid clicks by optimizing landing pages. Here are 5 ways to develop a holistic approach to search marketing in your online marketing:

1. Develop collaboration between search & conversion experts.

Assuming you are optimizing your landing pages, it’s essential that the person in charge of your landing pages (whether an outside vendor, or someone on your team) openly collaborates and works with the person in charge of your search campaigns.

2. Match agility of search with agility of conversion.

The most exciting part of search marketing is it’s agility — you can launch & update your keywords and ads in real-time! Have an idea? Simply log-in, add some keywords, create an ad, and you’re done — well, not really. When you take a holistic approach to PPC, you must match the agility of search with the agility of your landing pages. When you create and edit your keywords & ads, you must follow through and optimize your landing pages with that same velocity.

3. Prioritize conversion within your organization.

To take a holistic approach to PPC, you must prioritize conversion optimization within your organization — that way you can be sure nothing (IT, design, schedules etc.) gets in the way of you creating and updating your landing page.

4. Follow through to the landing page when developing search strategies.

When developing your search strategies, make sure you include the landing page test (a nice A/B test) that should be included with each ad, inclusive of its messaging and call-to-action.

5. Illuminate landing pages when reporting search metrics.

When reporting on search metrics, include important key metrics of your landing pages, such as bounce rates, conversion rates, cost-per-acquisition, and overall engagement. That way, you can gauge the overall health of your landing pages in tandem with your PPC, and assess ares of concern and opportunity. Because it’s not all about the click — it’s how you convert it.

Megan Leap
Megan Leap is Marketing Manager at ion interactive, a leading provider of advanced landing page software. As Marketing Manager, Megan manages search, email, webinar, and... Read Full Bio
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  • Conversion is such an important part of paid search. Having specific landing pages for each keyword is a big step in getting the prospect to take the action you want them to take.

  • Setting the customer expectation before the click by qualifying them through the ad goes a long way toward getting them to convert.

  • This is great advice…it's important to have executive sponsorship.

  • Totally agreed, it's not just the click that matters, but also the conversion. And for that collaboration is vital.

  • I definitely agree with communication point. Time and time again it has been seen that the most productive teams are those that communicate efficiently and often.

  • Andrew

    Very elementary. My impression of this blog is that they recycle high level best practices over and over again. Here is a good example. Not impressed.

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