Everything in this chapter has related to getting the click: how you can get your ads to appear on the SERPs or the content network so searchers and readers can see them and come to your website. It may seem like you have to jump through a lot of hoops to appease the search engines with relevant keywords and ads as well as inspire searchers to actually click on your ads, and all the while you’re risking hard dollars to keep an edge over your competitors. But all of that is only the beginning, because a click is nothing more than that: a click (even if it’s a click you’ve paid for!).
Ultimately, it is what you do with visitors after the click that makes you money. Think of your PPC campaign as answering a user’s question, providing a solution, or completing their thought. The most effective PPC campaigns drive visitors to pages that are very closely aligned with the ads they just clicked. The path from the search query, to the PPC advertisement, to the landing page, to the landing-page conversion action should be a cohesive, fluid movement. Figure 2.7 illustrates how your PPC ad and landing page should provide a logical path to answering a user’s question or solving a need.
If your PPC campaign functions in this way, you’ll provide a great user experience by displaying relevant information to queries. And just in case we haven’t driven the point home yet: Helping the search engine provide a great user experience will make you more appealing to the search engine and the user. Everyone wins!
This idea of completing a user’s thought also applies to the content network. The user may not have been searching for your ad directly but rather may have been viewing content related to your product or service, and you still need to provide the user relevant information. Your landing page should complete the thought process carried over from the content the user was viewing. For example, if someone was reading an article about publishing, and your PPC ad says that they can get published easily with your company, then your landing page should back up this claim and provide a contact form.
Most PPC campaigns we have worked on measure the return on the clicks that we pay for and correlate the cost of the site traffic to some other asset. The simplest such asset is a completed sale. Do we know how much we made from the sale? Almost certainly. Do we know our allowable CPA? Do we know how much we paid for the clicks that brought us this site visitor? Is the value of our now-customer any amount less than the cost of those clicks plus the costs associated with assembling and then delivering a product or service to them? If the answer is yes, we made money! And that’s the goal.
Your website doesn’t need to be e-commerce–based, where you sell products directly on your website. Other sites focus on their contact form in order to collect leads that can be followed up on by a sales team. Regardless of what your business objectives may be, the point is that you need the user to take a measurable action on your website. And more than that, you want to measure how good you are at it—just like everything else.