With access to over 6 Billion users, AdWords is certainly one of the most target rich environments available to advertisers and marketers. And since Google makes it so easy to get that first ad up and running, it seems like a can’t miss way to start acquiring leads. There are so many tools to segment your audience, measure performance, and maximize effectiveness, it seems almost impossible NOT to have some success. This is what I call the Myth of AdWords.
The Myth of AdWords
The world is littered with stories of companies that have wasted thousands (if not tens of thousands) of dollars on AdWords campaigns without really knowing if the effort generated any revenue. This is because the tracking mechanisms within Google are geared towards e-commerce companies where the sale is completed on-line. In those cases, you can place tracking code on your “Thank You for Your Purchase” page so that you can very accurately track visitors from their initial click until they complete their purchase.
However, if the sale is not completed on-line the information generated within the Google is often difficult to map to a sale. This is where a good marketing automation package comes into play. Since tracking ROI of your marketing activities is one of the main reasons for implementation marketing automation it should be no issue to track from acquisition (a form submission or a phone call) to sale. The real challenge is mapping an AdWords click into a lead acquisition. This done through good landing page and form design. The click takes the visitor to a highly relevant landing page with a call-to-action that requires a form submission. If the interface between the marketing automation platform and AdWords is well designed, the information form AdWords (including the keyword, cost, and ad content that resulted in the click) is carried forward into the lead record. When that lead becomes a sale, you can then tie the cost to the sale and generate your ROI.
It is also a best practice to see which clicks did NOT result in a form submission and which form submissions did NOT result in sales. You can then retire the keywords, ads, or entire campaigns that are using up your AdWords budget but don’t result in sales.
The Myth Ends, The Magic Begins
The Myth of AdWords is that the clicks matter. At the end of the day, clicks are just a vanity metric that matters to marketers. In a world that constantly demands that marketers prove their value to the company, you must tie that AdWords spend to actual sales. Using a good marketing automation package that captures AdWords data and ties it into sales through proper implementation and design is where the myth ends and the real magic happens.