How to Optimize Holiday PPC: Use Call Data to Keep a Finger on the Pulse of Your Campaigns




  • by Andrew Sheridan December 1, 2015
    December 1, 2015

    Holiday shopping is in overdrive right now with Black Friday and Cyber Monday only days away. It’s crunch time for paid search marketers. Keywords are more competitive than ever which translates into you spending more money to get your ads seen. Holiday paid search campaigns can yield excellent results, but as you increase your minimum bids you need to know with absolute certainty that your campaigns are healthy and efficient. With such a short amount of time left before the holidays, you can’t afford to take your finger off the pulse of your paid search campaigns – you need to know how they are performing now. Fortunately, call data sheds a light on the part of your paid search campaigns that online data leaves in the dark. Here are three ways you can utilize call data to optimize your holiday paid search campaigns before it’s too late.


    1. Include Call Conversions in Your Paid Search Data


    While many paid search conversions occur online, a huge number still occur offline. This especially true during the holiday shopping season when a huge number of people are using their smartphones to track down specific products or search for local stores. These searches often result in calls to those stores to ask questions about inventory, holiday sales, or when they are opening on Black Friday. Traditional conversion tracking tools can’t capture these conversions and you can’t optimize your search ads around them. In fact, our research arm, DialogTech Insights, has found marketers may be missing or misattributing 49% of conversions if they aren’t able to capture call conversions. You could be missing nearly half your conversions! If you are trying to make day-by-day decisions on your paid search efforts, that means you cannot guarantee you are making the right ones. And with phone leads converting to revenue 10 to 15 times more than web leads (BIA/Kelsey), these are conversions you don’t want to miss out on. By integrating call attribution data with your other conversion data, right inside of your search marketing platform, you are able to make your decisions based on a much more accurate dataset.


    2. Understand Caller Intent and Optimize Accordingly


    If you’re spending precious holiday budget on paid search advertising, you want to make sure this investment pays off at an efficient rate. This means you need an in-depth understanding of how and why people are converting on your ads, keywords, and landing pages. When somebody calls from your paid search campaigns, this offers a whole wealth of insight into the customer’s mindset that marketers should capture. What if somebody is calling from an ad designed to drive ecommerce sales but only wants directions to your store? Or, what if somebody is only clicking on your ad and then calling because they thought you were offering a completely different product or service? This type of understanding allows you to clarify your ad copy and refine your keywords so that you stop wasting money on these types of clicks.


    The problem is that marketers don’t have time to listen to every phone call that comes in from their paid search campaigns. Fortunately, you don’t have to. This type of solution allows you to search through transcriptions of every phone call as well as filter these calls down to levels such as the campaign, keyword, or location. Now, you can efficiently mine through these valuable conversations for the words, phrases, and customer intent metrics that you can use to optimize your holiday campaigns.


    3. Integrate Caller Data into Your Other Mar-Tech Solutions


    Call data on its own provides a wealth of valuable, real-time information that is not available from online paid search data. The real value for holiday marketers comes when you integrate your call data with your other mar-tech solutions. Bid management solutions, such as Kenshoo and Marin Software, are extremely useful tools for optimizing your search campaigns with minimal effort. Integrating call conversion data into their optimization algorithms allows these tools to optimize your paid search campaigns for keywords that are truly driving the highest number of holiday conversions, both online and offline. Viewing call attribution data alongside your website data in tools, such as Google Universal Analytics and Adobe Analytics, allows you to understand your web visitors in ways that aren’t otherwise possible. This insight allows you to optimize the experience visitors have on your website based on the conversion paths of your holiday shoppers. You can also integrate your call attribution data with tools such as Act-On, Optimizely, and Salesforce for an even deeper understanding of your holiday search campaigns.


    There is no time to waste when it comes to optimizing your holiday paid search campaigns. If you’re waiting for results to come in before you can make your optimizations, it will likely be too late to have any real effect. With call data you can keep a finger on the pulse of paid search campaign health and gain a clear picture of how well they are converting, the intent of those who convert from your ads, and see call data within your favorite mar-tech solutions. To learn more about how to optimize your paid search campaigns using call data as well as optimize your campaigns to drive more calls, download our new Click-to-Call Playbook for Paid Search.

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