Paid Search Marketing: 3 optimization ideas to test in your next PPC campaign


On a recent Web clinic, Brian Smith, Marketing Analyst, FCH, submitted a PPC ad and landing page for live optimization.

Unfortunately, we do not have time to optimize every submission live on Web clinics, and did not get to this submission.

So, in today’s MarketingExperiments blog post, we’ll offer Brian some optimization suggestions from a peer review session with the MECLABS research team. Our goal is to provide some optimization suggestions from a real-world example you can use to aid your PPC ad and landing page optimization efforts.

But first, let’s get a little backstory on the testing Brian and his team have done prior to the Web clinic.

When I asked Brian about his previous testing efforts, he explained the team has focused their testing mostly on value proposition development and landing page optimization.

I also asked Brian about some of the goals for their PPC ads and landing pages, and Brian explained they share one common goal – lead generation.

“The goal of the PPC ad is to get people to the site,” Brian said, “and the goal of the landing page is to get people to call us or fill out the form.”

Here is the PPC ad copy Brian sent us:

Loan Modification Help

Looking to Get a Loan Modification

Call for a Free Consultation Today


Identify the elements in your marketing that influence conversion

When I asked Matthew Hertzman, Research Manager, MECLABS, for some optimization opportunities, he explained it’s important to first break the PPC ad copy and the landing page down into basic marketing elements using the MECLABS Conversion Sequence Heuristic.


The heuristic is a patented, repeatable methodology marketers can use to look at their offers to understand how they can be optimized to improve the chances of a conversion.

(Editor’s Note: Optimization ideas, by their very nature, point out areas that need improvement. We respect all the hard work Brian and his team have put into their marketing efforts so far. OK, now let’s take the gloves off and dive into some ideas … )


Optimization Idea #1: Test more PPC ad copy variations

Matthew noted the PPC ad could use a little work on reducing the elements of friction and anxiety. Here were a few of his suggestions:

  • Try using a display URL in the PPC ad

“We’ve seen from testing that the added continuity from using display URLs generally increases clickthrough rates across multiple industries.”

  • Try including a phone number in the PPC ad

“Including a phone number in the PPC ad copy might also relieve some anxiety,” Matthew explained. “But, if the goal is to get them to call or to fill out the form, why not test giving them a direct phone number to call in the PPC ad and use the form as a separate lead gen channel.”

Below is the landing page Brian submitted with the PPC ad:

So, when I asked Matthew for additional opportunities on the landing page with Brian’s goals in mind, here were some of his suggestions …


Optimization Idea #2: Optimize message continuity

  • Where’s the loan modification information?

“The PPC ad sells ‘loan modification help,’ but where is the help on the landing page?” Matthew asked.


Optimization Idea #3: Look for opportunities to add additional value

  • The landing page  offers minimal value to user traffic coming from a PPC ad

“If users are coming from a PPC ad that offers help, then give them the help they need on the landing page. Asking users to fill out a form in three easy steps to determine if someone can help them is not what they are likely anticipating from the language and tone of the ad,” Matthew said.

Matthew also mentioned, “Add a headline and some copy with bullets that explain who you are, what you do and how you plan to help the visitor with their loan modification needs. Then, maybe they will consider calling or filling out the form.”


Bonus Idea: Test the value proposition of your offer

My suggestion for Brian is to continue testing additional value propositions in PPC ads and on the landing page.

At MarketingExperiments, we define Value Proposition as the answer to one simple question that is the capstone of all marketing efforts “ Why should your ideal prospect buy from you rather than any of your competitors? Or in this case, “Why should your ideal prospect use your foreclosure consultancy service rather than any of your competitors?”

Just to be clear, value propositions are not catchy slogans or detailed business plans, but rather a concise, clear and credible answer to that question.

And, until you can give your customers an answer to that question that is convincing, there’s a likelihood your campaigns are underperforming, but you’ll never know unless you keep testing to discover what really works.


Related Resources:

Converting PPC Traffic: How strategic keyword placement increased conversion by 144%

How to Test Your Value Proposition Using a PPC Ad

Five steps to help create your universal lead definition

This Just Tested: How PPC specificity drove 21% more clicks and cut costs 66%

PPC Ad Optimization: Testing, unique landing pages, and honesty

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1 Comment
  1. Mike Jones says

    I think it’s all about budget these days.
    Ya, PPC test idea can help but still you need a great budget to win.

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