Think your Google Ads clicks are expensive?
How expensive are your Google ad clicks? Are they prohibitively expensive? Have you seen your average cost per click cost rise over the last year in your PPC campaigns? I bet they are still not as expensive as ‘Mesothelioma’ clicks…
‘Mesothelioma’ keyword clicks are the single most expensive keywords for all Google ads, often costing in excess of $100 per click. Do a simple Google search for ‘Mesothelioma attorney’ or something similar, and you’ll see a search results page fully covered with ads:
Because of the cost, I often hear Saas marketers say something along the lines of:
“My SaaS product is too niche for search” or, “There is no way to reach my target SaaS buyer on search without wasting money on clicks from non-targets.”
But for years, law firms have been making this work in a highly competitive world and with clicks costing triple digits. How are law firms doing this successfully, when their clicks cost 10x those in your category?
At IntakeNow, we have years of experience helping top national firms navigate these competitive Mesothelioma actions in a cost effective way.
No matter how niche and competitive your audience is, I guarantee there is a way that these campaigns can be effective. Here are three simple learnings from our Mesothelioma campaigns that can apply to any highly competitive auction:
1. ‘Long-tail’ queries are your friend
Long-tail keywords are longer and more specific than single phrase keywords. They generally get less traffic, but allow you to use surgeon-like precision in determining when and for what criteria your ad will show. In Meso, simply targeting ‘Mesothelioma’ allows the system to serve broadly and has far too great a risk of wasted clicks. IntakeNow adds 2 to 3 additional qualifying words to ensure our client’s ads reach only their intended target. For example, our team would use a search term such as ‘Mesothelioma Brooklyn naval shipyard lawsuit’ instead of ‘Mesothelioma.’ This strategy generates sufficient leads without wasting clicks.
Because long-tail keywords are more specific, they can give you more insights as to the users true intent and what they are looking for. These insights can help you shape the messaging and storytelling of your landing pages to align with user intent. You cannot give the user what they want, unless you know exactly what it is that they want. If you target broadly, you will drive a lot of traffic to your landing page, but that traffic will all have varied interests from one-another. With disjointed interests, it is very hard to craft a landing page experience that caters to all. By targeting more long-tail, you can understand better exactly the user intent of your paid traffic and make sure your landing page speaks exactly to that specific intent.
‘Long-tail’ targeting also helps you better reach a certain business buyer decision makers on google search without targeting the full general public. Often SaaS marketers are reluctant to leverage Google search, because it can be very difficult to ensure their ads only serve for a specific qualified buyer searches and not all those of the general public. As an example, a project management software company, may only want to target specific Chief Operating Officers, or business decision makers when searching for project management solutions. If they targeted the keyword ‘project management software’ generally, they would likely serve ads to users who are outside their target persona. The ad could show for employees looking to login to project software portals, or to students or others looking for individual project management solutions.
Unlike, LinkedIn ad targeting, Google does not enable layering on audience profiles with specific occupational jobs or titles. Google does allow for some audience layering which can be helpful, but generally, this type of qualification can be best accomplished via long-tail keywords. For the same project management software example above, an advertiser could reach there target buyer more closely by using long-tail keywords such as “Project management software for teams over 100 employees” or “project management software for AWS development teams.”
2. ‘Click-to-call’ ads create less friction
Google search charges clients whenever a “billable event” occurs. With Google Ads, Facebook ads, and other digital platforms, a billable event is when a user engages with your ad. Engagement can be 1) a click on your ad’s headline sending traffic to your website, 2) the viewing of a video on Facebook or YouTube, or 3) engagement with a call-only ad resulting in a direct phone call. Although each event cost the same amount of money, they are drastically different in their rate of return.
Website traffic and video viewership have a natural bounce rate; users who visit your site, but navigate away before taking a desired action. A user clicking through to your site is 80% more likely to leave before engaging in a meaningful discussion with your firm.
Phone engagement has a bounce rate of 0%. Every billable event with phone engagement yields the opportunity to connect with a prospective client.
With phone calls, that user is there on the line ready to engage with your business every time. Less steps are needed from the user with click-to-call and thus there is less friction in the users path. Despite this, I see click-to-calls drastically under-utilized in the SaaS marketing space. I think this is because SaaS teams set up complex on-site user funnels which integrate with their CRM and thus prefer web conversions, as they are cleaner and easier to manage and automate from a data intake standpoint. While this is true, it does not account for the most important aspect of performance marketing which is to make initial contact with the lead and start the sales cycle. Being open to phone intake helps accomplish this tremendously.
And phone acquisition can be CRM friendly. Google Call Reporting tracks all inbound communications, across any channel, back to your marketing office campaigns. By assigning a unique tracking number to each individual advertising sources, Google Forwarding Number provides tremendous insight into how each of your marketing campaigns are performing,the quality of the intakes as they pass through your funnel, and ultimately retain your services or product.
At IntakeNow, we specialize at integrating sophisticated phone intake platforms into existing ROI tracking and reporting systems.
3. Give a carrot, get a lot in return
The goal of digital search ads is to bring traffic to your site, which leads to contact with your business. In this sense, you are asking users to your website to give you all their personal information, and subject themselves to your drip email campaigns and outreach. This is a lot to ask of pure strangers and you should consider strongly, what are you giving to them in return?
Numerous sites in the Mesothelioma space, such as Mesobook.com, have developed free books and informational guides for users who are willing to submit their contact information. This is a way of providing instant value to the user and making the exchange of information feel less one-sided.
Do you have an offer/giveaway at the start of your sales funnel? What value can you provide to target users even before they have their first interaction with your sales team? I see this typically accomplished in the SaaS space, through sample PDF downloads or ‘Free-trial’ periods with the tool. When done effectively, this can have a tremendous positive impact on your holistic acquisition funnel.
Digital ad platforms today, have powerful tools for creating look-a-like audiences based on your own first party data around your best or ideal customers. You can build these look-alikes, or similar audience around any success signal you pass back into the ad platforms. It is important that the conversion signal being used address these two countervailing principals:
- The conversion signal should both have numerous events per month, and
- be an important indicator of value to your business.
Numerous events per month are necessary so the ad platforms have enough data to expand on and build look-alikes around. Generally 100+ events in a month is a good number. If the only conversion tracked is the final, i.e. paid user acquisition, you run the risk of data scarcity with your look-a-like audience approach. You may be selling a high price tag product with only a few new paid users a month, or your product may have a very long sales cycle meaning you do not have final sale conversion data for months after launch. The final conversion here will not be a successful signal as the platforms will not be able to extrapolate new meaningful audiences based on the few events recorded.
Indicator of value to your business is important for so the new look-alike traffic is of the same high caliber. As discussed earlier, not all traffic to the site is created equal. If we were to use ‘site visit’ as our success indication, as opposed to a final conversion, we would surely avoid any data scarcity issues, but the look-alike audience would not be of high value. Since lots of traffic to the site bounces from the page and does not convert, we would not want to retarget via look-alikes all traffic, but rather only traffic that has shown an interest in our product or service, once on the site.
I find these sort of ‘carrot’ giveaways, or mid funnel conversions to be a good intermediary to solve for this. A free download, or access to a trial membership, is something that paid website traffic can convert into right away. This removes time lag, and with solid paid investment should occur with enough regularly to suffice any data scarcity issues. Although not as meaningful as actually a paid user conversion, this is also likely still a strong indicator that the user was of the right target since they have taken an affirmative action to investigate your service or offering further.