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In the B2B market, an efficient PPC campaign needs to capture and motivate prospects throughout the decision-making and sales cycles; while always understanding that intent and CTR are not always uniquely matched with either the research or buying phase.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Google's Tool

Last week a good friend of mine wrote a blog about Google's new multivariate testing tool (Website Optimizer) and its possible implications on usability testing. Google's latest tool isn't the be all end all or any type of revolutionary innovation - it is a nice little testing platform that produces some pretty nice reports though. Basically, it takes what we should all be doing at all times, constantly testing and refining our sponsored strategies and campaigns for changes in our target markets, and packages it in a very user friendly platform.

Too many marketers get caught up in the ideology that the prize is in the messaging, or even worse, in the keyword - and spend so much time focused on demographics or behavioral tools to generate the perfect phraseology for driving traffic. Unfortunately, they tap so many resources that they hyper extend themselves before the real work is done.

Clicks are only clicks - they mean nothing really. Ask any traditional brick and mortar storefront how much value he places on the foot traffic out of his front door. Any one of them would trade one hundred look-i-loos for one buyer. But the rub is that you need to attract look-i-loos to land a buyer. However, if you spend too much time worrying about clicks, you wont have enough time to worry about conversions.

Landing pages are where the real money is made. A landing page motivates a sale, through content, messaging, usability, visuals, and other anchor points to resonate with a relationship and emotional connection between a buyer and a seller. (You can call yourself a service, information site, or whatever you want... if you have a website, you are a seller; if you look at a website, you are a buyer.) Usability and Relationship Management determine conversion paths and the perfect landing page - listen to your customer - and this is where Google's tool can be best used.

Website Optimizer will help you reduce some of the reporting time you are already investing in your PPC A/B testing strategies, or translate very well to you actually starting a testing strategy if the lack of available resources has been your reasoning thus far. Either way, it is obvious that in the near future, Landing Pages and identifiable conversion paths will be much more important to the search engines as well - why else create these free tools and focus on relevance with every algorithm upgrade - at least as important as they already are to your clients or to all those potential clients that are increasing your poor bounce rates.

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