Figuring out if PPC is worth the investment is usually fairly simple for some sectors. For example, for FMCG eCommerce sites, it’s straightforward to see where each customer has come from and how much revenue each ad is generating. It’s typically one smooth journey from your PPC ad straight to purchase. But this isn’t the case for every business.
Across many sectors, the online customer journey usually consists of multiple touchpoints that people hit along their path to purchase.
Google coined the point where visibility on the customer journey becomes complex as ‘the messy middle’, acknowledging that consumer decision-making is more non-linear than it’s ever been, where the path to purchase is unclear, making it all too easy to lose potential customers.
For example, if you’re selling a product or service that calls for a little more thought and consideration before making a purchase, the number of touchpoints a customer moves through may increase. You might be in the business of selling something like holidays or cars; it's common practice for your customers to want to do some research before they decide to commit to buying. They might see your PPC ad, check you out against your competitors’ websites and then spend a few days (or even weeks) weighing up their options before they potentially return to your site to make a purchase decision.
Fact is, while much of the customer journey happens online, many purchases are still made offline. Not every PPC marketer has visibility of the complete picture, and if you're not mapping and tracking the customers online and offline journey, there’s no way of really knowing that your customers’ purchase journey started with your PPC ad. Meaning your campaigns can appear to be much more costly than they actually are.
Why’s it hard to pinpoint PPC’s true value?
PPC can have a reputation for being pricey, and that’s partly due to the fact that repeat visits and even purchases that stem from PPC campaigns are often missing from reports.
Many customers become aware of brands as a direct result of their PPC activity, but the challenge of measuring their whole journey – from awareness to purchase – leads to credit being attributed to other tactics.
Keywords can also cloud the issue; it’s not always easy to know their actual value. Some keywords are attributed a higher cost per conversion than they might really have. In industries such as utilities, where lead times are typically long, generic keywords might appear to have a cost per conversion so high, it can be enough to put you off bidding altogether. But those keywords could be driving a hefty amount of revenue which is converting over the phone. If you’re not tracking and measuring this type of conversion your campaign ROI could be wildly inaccurate, and you could end up pulling the plug on a strand of activity that’s integral to your revenue pipeline.
You need a solution that lets you see the complete picture and understand which activities are really driving your conversions.
This is where call tracking comes in.
Getting clarity by tracking calls
Call tracking helps remove the blind spot in your PPC reporting by connecting online interactions with offline conversions.
With end-to-end visibility of each customer’s journey, you can see the origins of every sale and understand how much your campaigns and keywords are worth.
Thanks to Smart Match, you can even include your company’s sales figures into your PPC reports. Not only will this help you avoid hitting pause on keywords that drive offline conversions, but it will also allow you to base optimisation decisions on revenue and profit, rather than calls and clicks alone.
Semetrical use Call tracking to create a PPC strategy that's 34.9% more likely to lead to conversions
By adding Call tracking to their tech stack, Semetrical’s client-base now have a clear view on what activity is helping to influence PPC conversions and sales.
Armed with a much deeper understanding of how their digital campaigns are performing, Semetrical has been able to optimise their client’s PPC activity so now visitors from their PPC campaigns are now 34.9% more likely to pick up the phone and convert.
A 26% uplift in call goals
Calls from SEO work boosted by 59%
An average CPA below £14
The data Semetrical gathered through Call tracking has allowed them to make smarter, more informed decisions, and dramatically improve their PPC performance.
Connecting even more call conversions to your PPC campaigns
With 70% of people browsing on mobiles calling business by tapping the phone numbers in call ads, call extensions and location extensions, this additional data can make an enormous difference to your view on PPC campaign performance.
Adding this data into their reports helped one of our clients attribute an extra 15% of their calls as conversions in Google Ads, helping them make more informed optimisation decisions.
PPC: value for money?
To truly understand if PPC is worth the investment, you need a holistic view of your campaign performance. And, using tools such as Call tracking and Smart Match to understand how your PPC campaigns are performing through the purchase journey, (specifically to offline conversions), you’ll be getting the best value for money possible.
Every conversation matters. Start one with us to discover how Call tracking and Smart Match can help you see how valuable your PPC activity really is and take optimisation to the next level.
Want to hear more about why calls not clicks should be the new focus of PPC Marketers in 2022?
This webinar will feature an exclusive panel of PPC industry leaders, including our partners, Google, who will explain why more of your customers are not just clicking but calling (and how to turn those calls into conversions).