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Paid Search: Top 10 Ways To Lower Cost per Conversion & Improve ROI

By | July 5, 2012

In the world of paid search, when you improve both return-on-investment (ROI) and cost-per-lead (CPL) or cost-per-acquisition (CPA), you’re able to reinvest cost-savings into your top ad performers or test new keywords, ads, and landing pages.

Below are 10 ways to lower your account’s cost-per-conversion and improve ROI:

1. Filtering/Sorting: Pause off active ad groups and keywords with high cost-per- conversion rates or high costs and no conversions:

High-CPL ad groups/keywords in past (use your best judgment on timeframe: 30 days, 60 days, etc.):

Find high-cost ad groups/keywords that have not converted in past (use your best judgment on timeframe: 30 days, 60 days, etc.):

2. Use “See Search Terms” to find negative keywords.

Sort keywords by costs and clicks to quickly find negative keywords hurting CPL:

Select the keyword with High Cost & High CPL keywords and click “See Search Terms”:

Add high-cost keywords that are not converting or have a high CPL as Negative Phrase Match at either the ad group or campaign level.

3. Ad Copy Optimization: Go into each ad group with more than 1 ad (which should be all of them!) and make sure the top converting ones (higher conversion rate/lower CPL) are showing. Pause off the poorer performing ad(s) if statistically significant. Write a new ad to test against the top-performer ad.

4. Geographic Reports: Find campaigns that have a high cost-per-conversion that you would like to lower and click the campaign (look at least 30 days back). Go to the dimensions tab and select View -> Geographic. Start with just Country/Territory to look at the highest level if there are countries/states that are not converting or have a high cost-per-conversion. Then exclude certain locations at the campaign level in the geo-targeting section of campaign settings:

5. Hour-of-Day Reports: Find campaigns that have a high cost-per-conversion that you would like to lower and click the campaign (look at least 30 days back). Go to the Dimensions tab and select View -> Time -> Hour of Day. Look for hours that have high costs and no conversions or very high cost-per-conversion and consider excluding these times or lowering bids under the ad scheduling section in campaign settings:

6. Segment by Device: Segment your campaigns by device to see if the campaigns are performing worse in mobile or tablets and consider excluding to improve CPL and ROI:

7. Segment by Network (Search Partners): segment your campaigns by network to see if the campaigns are performing worse in Search Partners or Display,  and consider excluding to improve CPL and ROI:

8. Display Network – Automatic Placements: Sort your automatic placements by CPL and exclude any placements above goal. Then sort by cost and exclude any placements without conversions:

9. Display Network – Managed Placements: Sort your managed placements by CPL and pause or delete any placements above goal. Then sort by cost and pause or delete any placements without conversions:

10. Landing Page Testing: Even if you’re content with your cost-per-conversion and ROI, try some A/B landing page testing or multivariate testing to continue to improve results long-term.

We hope you found these top 10 paid search tips helpful for cutting costs and improving ROI. What are the top ways you lower your own cost-per-conversion? Please chime in!

 

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About Joe Castro

Joe Castro is the Director of Online Advertising at Fathom. He has over 6 years of experience in digital marketing with a concentration in PPC/paid search and display advertising. He primarily works with healthcare clients, but his experience spans across all verticals. Joe is a frequent blogger for Search Engine Journal. In his free time, he enjoys working out and spending time with family and friends.

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  1. [...] 2.  Find ways to constantly lower cost per conversion (here’s an article Fathom did expanding on 10 ways to lower cost per conversion) [...]

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