Posted by James Lee on 11th March 2015

How to automate SEM optimization to drive more sales

SEM optimization software

Not all leads are created equal and not all result in the same sales conversion performance.  As a result, any steps taken to improve lead quality will in turn lead to improved conversion rates and ROI. However, the process of improving lead quality can be a very complex and time consuming one.

Lead-to-sales conversion performance depends on many variables such as search ad vendor type, campaign, ad type, ad copy and keywords.  For example, the conversion to sales ratio of a lead generated from a keyword search campaign can be vastly different from that of a lead generated from a display ad campaign or a remarketing campaign.  It is also likely that a lead resulting from a Google search will have a different probability of converting than a lead generated from a Google partner network or Bing network. What this illustrates is just how critical the tracking, analysis and segmentation of sales performance data by ad channel, campaign, ad type, ad copy and keyword is to search marketing campaign optimization.

This is the ongoing dilemma for many marketers and especially perplexing for many small businesses and the agencies that serve them. You need a constant flow of new leads but how do you improve the conversion rate and ROI without breaking the bank or tying up all of your resources?

We believe intelligent automation of the SEM optimization process is the key and that is exactly where SAAS and Cloud business marketers need to look out for vendors that offer SEM solution.  In order for the SEM optimization process to be automated, there are four key challenges or requirements.

First, a centralized backend system to receive and store all leads is required.  All leads need to be passed into one backend system whether they come in the form of phone calls, online forms, email, blog or social sites with lead source information.  While software and tools exist to make this centralization of leads possible, the cost of existing solutions can be high and out of reach for many businesses.

Second, an analysis of all leads to determine source must be accomplished. Each lead must be analyzed for source by ad channel, campaign, ad group and keywords. Once the source of each lead is identified, further analysis is needed to determine the source or sources that produce the greatest number of high quality leads.  While there are a few options in existence that can provide help with this type of analysis, they can be quite expensive depending on the tool and implementation cost.

Third, lead status must be updated routinely so that a current picture of lead status is available. Manual updates of lead status may not be as easy as one might think. It generally requires either a dedicated staff member to update status routinely or a sales staff that is diligent about updating lead status.  In our experience most businesses have had limited success with these manual approaches to lead status updates.

Fourth, lead quality data must be passed onto and utilized in the management of search marketing campaigns. Lead quality should serve as a KPI of search marketing campaigns.  While there can be customized solutions to share lead quality data with search engine marketing optimization tools, until now these have been custom solutions that are costly to implement.

Now that you know what to look for from the process, you can make an intelligent decision in a search for SEM automation tool.  Fortunately, there are more vendors to try to devise solutions.

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