Saxo Bank Headquarters, Copenhagen, DenmarkPaid Search andConversion Rate OptimizationOlga SafonovaDigital Marketing Manag...
Paid Search in Online Trading industryPaid Search in an Online Trading industry is a specific discipline, having certainfe...
3Highly competitive marketThere are players big and small, who are bidding for thesame set of keywords in the trading sear...
4Peculiar keyword space
5Complex product
6Traders and Investors areSpecific audience
The most important is to make our paid search efforts as much relevant aspossible – so that it makes sense for our budgets...
8Tight ad groupsThe foundation of optimizing for relevance ishaving tight ad groups, with keywords carefullygrouped by top...
9Elaborate negative keyword listsUse account-level negative keywords lists.This way you can easily opt campaigns in orout ...
10Tailored landing pagesYour landing pages have to be aligned withthe ad copy messaging. They have to beengaging. They hav...
11Google penalizes youfor ignoringrelevanceLanding pages quality isanother - extremelyimportant – factor thatGoogle looks ...
12Google rewards youfor doing it rightYour reward is higher quality scoreand lower CPCs.
13Optimizing the processWork smarter, not harder.We used to be a bigger team and also havingsome ”free hands” of agencies ...
14Smart bidding rulesMake sure that your bidding strategyis based on data.Schedule the bid changes based onthe performance...
15Flexible budget distributionAnother useful tactics when optimizing work process in PPC is working withshared budgets.Dep...
16Streamlined ad copy productionDevelop a set of 3 to 5 Call-To-Action variants and usethem across the account.Develop 3 t...
17Consistent ad copy testingPause what does not work. Keep whatdoes. Introduce new ad copies and testthem against existing.
18Accounts based on logic,not a whimAccounts have to be based on business logic.One market, one budget, one sales team = o...
19AGENCYAGENCY oror IN-HOUSE ?IN-HOUSE ?
20Agencies are experts with tools.
21Do they know your businessto the bone?
22Limited timeOften agencies have only a limited time todedicate to your account.Because you’re just one of the client oft...
23Lacking in-depthSuperficial approach
24Lack of understanding of traders
25Fluffy reportingUnfortunately some agencies like to give youfluffy reporting and shiny slides on somethingthat hardly ma...
26Conflict of interestsAgencies are often paid based on your media spend.But you want to spend less - not more!
27Market isMarket is notnot infinite.infinite.Unfortunately.Unfortunately.
28Get as much as possibleout of the generated traffic
29Optimise conversion rate
30Testing (yes, again!)Testing (yes, again!)
Continuous testing process31
What to test32
Ideas to test (by goodui.org)33One columnOne column vsvs many columns layoutmany columns layout
Ideas to test (by goodui.org)34Social proofSocial proof vsvs talking about yourselftalking about yourself
Ideas to test (by goodui.org)35RecommendingRecommending vsvs showing equal choicesshowing equal choices
Tools we recommend36
Case-study37
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Paid Search and Conversion Optimization in Online Trading industry

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Paid Search and Conversion Optimization in Online Trading industry - presentation given on a yearly Partner Marketing seminar at Saxo Bank, for Saxo Bank partners - Introducing Brokers, White Label partners, Financial institutions.

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  • Today we’ll be talking about Paid Search in an Online Trading industry. Paid Search in an Online Trading industry is a specific discipline, having certain features that are not characteristic for other industries and markets. So what exactly are those features and how to work with this channel to ensure the best possible outcome?
  • First, this market is highly competitive. There are players big and small, who are present in the trading search space, bidding for the same set of keywords.
  • Those keywords are also very peculiar.
  • The product we advertise is rather complex and technical – you’re not selling shoes!
  • Finally, the audience – Traders and Investors – is also very specific. Taking all these features into account leaves no doubt that Paid Search channel and the way we work with it requires constant optimization.
  • First of all, we have to optimize the medium itself. The most important is to make our paid search efforts as much relevant as possible – so that it makes sense for our budgets, for our business, for our brand reputation, and of course for our clients and clients to be. And how do we optimize for relevance?
  • The foundation of optimizing for relevance is having very tight ad groups, that contain keywords carefully grouped by topic. This way you’d ensure that your ad copy is likely to receive high CTR. High CTR means more traffic. High CTR is one of the factors Google looks at when deciding on your quality score. High quality Score means lower costs.
  • Secondly, you’d need to have detailed and elaborate negative keywords lists. We recommend using account-level negative keywords lists. This way you can easily opt campaigns in or out into these, should your strategy change. Say, you’d been generally trying to target more experienced traders and avoid the beginners - you could have the ”educational” negative keyword list (”how to trade forex”, ”forex tutorials”, ”forex education” and similar keywords). If you decide to capture those who are interested to learn how to trade, you can then opt your campaigns out of such a negative keyword list. Negative keyword list on the account level are also much easier to manage. While highly tight ad groups and elaborate negative keyword lists are the things you can work on to optimize the channel _before_ the click, you’d also need to carefully think what happens _after_ the click, when people arrive at your site.
  • Your _Landing Pages_ have to be – tailored! Meaning that they have to be aligned with the ad copy messaging. They have to be engaging. They have to clearly state what exactly you would like the visitors to do on your page. In other words, people had an intention in their mind when they searched Google. They clicked on your ad - in which you’ve promised something. You have to deliver on that promise – on your Landing page. Users need to be receiving exactly what they searched for. Why is that so important? For two reasons: Firstly, the better experince the users get through your ad channels and on your site, the more likely are they to become your clients. Secondly,….
  • Landing pages quality is another - extremely important – factor that Google looks at when deciding on your quality score and your cost per click. Google punishes you for not following relevance principles. You’re paying high prices, much higher than those of your competitors (fellow advertisers) who does the things right. And that also means,
  • That Google can reward you – by assigning higher quality score and charging lower CPCs. That was about optimizing the medium itself. And what about the work process?
  • That needs to be optimized as well – and we’ve learned A LOT about this in Saxo Bank. We used to be a bigger team and also having some ”free hands” of agencies to help us with handling all of our 25 (at times more) regional PPC accounts. Currently we are 1,5 person. But the amount of work did not decrease. Quite the opposite. So how do we manage it? I’d like to share with you some best practices that we developed over time.
  • First, you need to make sure that your bidding strategy is solid and based on data. You can use Google smart bidding rules, and schedule the bid changes based on the performance of your accounts. Being at the position 4 works best for some of your campaigns? Then maintain position 4 by bidding higher or lower based on rules every day. Some campaigns seem to perform best on Wednesdays – again, reflect that in your bidding. If you have resources – you can acquire third party bid management tools. However, those would make much more sense if you’re a big retailer e-commerce shop with millions of keywords. If you’re under strict budget – use the free tools available at hand - using the tools for the right purpose in a smart way – that what makes us being efficient with the reduced resources.
  • Another useful tactics when optimizing work process in PPC is working with shared budgets. Depending on your strategy and resources, you can develop specific budgets within your accounts. For instance, FX is the top priority for you and you’d like to make sure to be present on that category as much as possible when searches on FX related keyword happen on Google. You’d need to have a specific budget for this campaign only. And the rest of the budget you might distribute amongs all the other campaigns. So, now, back to us having 25 or more accounts in different languages and 1,5 people to manage them…
  • Ad copies. You need lots of them, in all those languages, for all those campaigns in all those accounts. You need to analyze for CTR and you need to test and constantly fine-tune, introducing new ad copies… How is that’s possible? You need to streamline – ”automate” – your ad copy production. Develop a set of 3 to 5 Call-To-Action variants and use them across the account (eg Start Trading Today, Download our award-winning platform, Try Now, etc.). And then you’d need to develop 3 to 5 USP variants – and again, you might use them across the whole account – if they’re more generic – or across the whole category/campaign – if they’re more specific. This way you can get more data for the analysis at a faster way – and have a consistent messaging across the accounts. Which CTAs work? Which don’t? Which USPs perform? If you have already taken care of having a very tight ad groups, then your ad copy would have a very consistent structure across account. Ad Title = Ad group topic. Description Line 1 = USP. Description line 2 = CTA. Now, having this structure would make it easier….
  • To consistently test ad copy. Pausing what does not work. Keeping what does. Introducing new ad copies and testing them against existing. It’s important to remember, that..
  • Accounts have to be based on business logic. One market, one budget, one sales team = one account. (I favour to see how much I spend in suburbs of Moscow vs the district around Red Square vs the small city I grew up in, therefore I will make 3 accounts – this approach is highly inefficient). Now, you might ask – especially if you have also limited resources to manage your PPC – why not to give it to the agency?
  • There can be a few considerations you need to make before making that decision. Why do we turn to agencies?
  • Because they’re experts in what they do. They have access to all the latest tools and features. They’re specializing in Paid Advertising. But there are also a few caveats with outsourcing to the agency. First,
  • Do they know all ins and outs of your business? Do they understand what trading is? Do they understand the industry lingo? Do they know your product? Do they understand all the specifics of Paid Search in Online Trading Industry?
  • Also, quite often agency have only a limited time to dedicate to your accounst. Because you’re just one of the client of theirs. And definitely NOT the _only_ one. And primarily due to this lack of time, agencies quite often adopt ….
  • Superficial approach to your accounts and lack in-depth analysis and in-depth managing. Generic Agencies, who work with different industries, very often lack…
  • Understanding of traders. Who are this audience? On which media are they? How do they search? And most important – how do they make decisions on what trading platforms to use? How do the traders _convert_ on the site? So if go for an agency, you really need to make sure that you work with Online Trading expereinced ones. Not just ”we worked with Finance industry” ones! Unfortunately, many agencies like to provide you with….
  • Fluffy reporting and shiny slides of something that hardly makes sense. It’s not uncommon to hear something like ”we’ve improved your average position and CTR on brand keywords” – which is by _default_ quite decent for any brand ;) Also, again, because agencies often don’t know trading industry well enough, they tend to speak of ”soft” conversions and metrics, which not necesserily make sense for your business. And yet another thing to take into consideration about agency relationships is…
  • A conflict of interest. Agencies are often paid based on your media spend. But you want to spend _less_ - not _more! So again, to answer an agency vs in-house question – you need to work with people who understands BOTH PPC and Online Trading Business very well. Now, even if you have the unlimited budget, perfectly structured paid search accounts, fantastic quality score, highest possible ranking in Organic Search and highly efficient team – at some point you reach the state where you simply can’t generate more traffic to your website …
  • – market is not endless. Unfortunately. And how do we deal with this fact? We need to ….
  • Get as much as possible out of the traffic we’ve generated. We’ve already _paid_ for that traffic (in PPC or Display) – and even if we got it ”for free” – we still need to do a best possible job to MAKE THE MOST OUT OF IT. And here comes another abbreviation, that’s going to be tremendously important for all your digital marketing activities, not only paid search – it’s called CRO and it stands for …..
  • Conversion Rate Optimization. So the task is to get as many ”leads” or ”conversions” as possible out of those who came into your website. There are different opinions, research and case studies on how to do exactly that. However, there are simply NO such solutions that would suit all industries/businesses/geographies. We have to go away from our ”gut feelings” and HIPPO methods when we try to come up with inititatives to improve our conversion rate. What we need to do instead is …..
  • Testing! And as with any other optimization initiatives, you need to have well-thought, STRUCTURED, approach to testing – to make it a successful project. And by STRUCTURED approach we mean…
  • Implementing and following several strategies. First, to test for success you need to decide on KPIs – or success metrics (# of leads, for instance). You need to form a hypothesis (having CTA repeated on page consistently several times would perform better than having it once), then you need to actually create and implement the test, run it, measure the results and implement a winner (if any!). This process has to be iterative, you have to do it continiuosly to tweak and improve Conversion Rate. Also, why testing is important – it aimed at improving CR, first of all. But also, if you improve an experience that users have on your site – you’ll make it more likely for the users to recommend your brand to others. And more recommendations equals more business. Also, to create a testing ”culture” in the company requires effort. You need to generate cases and best practices. You need to establish a team / depository of ”central shared learning”, you need to make sure you get understanding – and buy-in – from different business units in your organization. Now, I want to share a few ideas of what we’ve been testing at Saxo Bank,….
  • Lead capture forms conversion flow landing pages and its elements. Home page to promote the content that contributes to conversion most. Navigation. Layout. Call To Actions. There are LOTS of things where you can improve! Now, also there are a few testing ideas, at a very ”broad” sense by goodui.org (a project by the guy named Jakub Linowski, a UI Designer from Canada):
  • Layout – one column, easier to read, vs many columns – what would work best for you?
  • Social proof / testimonials vs talking about yourself.
  • Recommending a specific product vs showing equal choices. To actually set up and run a test there are different methods. We recommend you using a tool, that’s called..
  • Visual Website Optimizer - http://visualwebsiteoptimizer.com/?partner=saxo We’ve been using since last year and it’s proved to be very easy to work with, it gives great flexibility with test set up. It’s not free – but it’s very reasonably priced. If you are interested to hear more about this tool, you can contact me and we’ll take it from there  Now I want to share just one of the cases we’ve been working on in our Conversion Rate Optimization efforts:
  • Basically, we’ve tested the form for demo-signups at SaxoBank.com site. The hypothesis was that No-verification flow would have more leads. No verification-flow means simply that you don’t have to leave Saxo site and go to your inbox to click on the link, veryfying your e-mail. Instead, with no-verification the user would have to enter his e-mail and then confirm it by entering it again right in the form. So by removing an extra step in conversion process we hoped to make it easier for the users to convert. The results shown 12% improvement with no-verification flow. This is just one of the cases we’ve worked on, and this is just one of the ideas to test for you. There are much more things you can test to improve the Conversion Rate for all of your Online Marketing Channels – paid, ”free” or ”earned”! Thank you for listening to me that long  throw your questions at me – or contact me later if you want to hear more on conversion rate optimization  Olga Safonova, Senior Digital Marketing Manager at Saxo Bank http://www.linkedin.com/in/olgasafonova [email_address]
  • Paid Search and Conversion Optimization in Online Trading industry

    1. 1. Saxo Bank Headquarters, Copenhagen, DenmarkPaid Search andConversion Rate OptimizationOlga SafonovaDigital Marketing Managerhttp://www.linkedin.com/in/olgasafonovaPartner Marketing SeminarCopenhagen, June 2013
    2. 2. Paid Search in Online Trading industryPaid Search in an Online Trading industry is a specific discipline, having certainfeatures that are not characteristic for other industries and markets.2
    3. 3. 3Highly competitive marketThere are players big and small, who are bidding for thesame set of keywords in the trading search space
    4. 4. 4Peculiar keyword space
    5. 5. 5Complex product
    6. 6. 6Traders and Investors areSpecific audience
    7. 7. The most important is to make our paid search efforts as much relevant aspossible – so that it makes sense for our budgets, for our business, for ourbrand reputation, and of course for our clients and clients to be.7Optimizing theOptimizing the mediummediumRelevance is stillRelevance is still relevantrelevant..The most important is to make your paid search efforts as relevant as possible– so that it makes sense for your budgets, business, brand reputation, and ofcourse for your clients and clients to be.
    8. 8. 8Tight ad groupsThe foundation of optimizing for relevance ishaving tight ad groups, with keywords carefullygrouped by topic.This way you’d ensure your ads are is likely toreceive high CTR. High CTR means moretraffic. High CTR means better quality score.High quality Score means lower costs.
    9. 9. 9Elaborate negative keyword listsUse account-level negative keywords lists.This way you can easily opt campaigns in orout into these, should your strategy change.Account-level negative keywords lists are alsomuch easier to manage.
    10. 10. 10Tailored landing pagesYour landing pages have to be aligned withthe ad copy messaging. They have to beengaging. They have to clearly state whatexactly you would like the visitors to do onyour page.
    11. 11. 11Google penalizes youfor ignoringrelevanceLanding pages quality isanother - extremelyimportant – factor thatGoogle looks at whendeciding on your qualityscore and your cost perclick.
    12. 12. 12Google rewards youfor doing it rightYour reward is higher quality scoreand lower CPCs.
    13. 13. 13Optimizing the processWork smarter, not harder.We used to be a bigger team and also havingsome ”free hands” of agencies to help us withhandling all of our 25 (at times more) regionalPPC accounts.Currently we are 1,5 person. But the amount ofwork did not decrease. Quite the opposite.So how do we manage it?
    14. 14. 14Smart bidding rulesMake sure that your bidding strategyis based on data.Schedule the bid changes based onthe performance of your accounts.Third-party (pricy) bid managementtools would make much more senseif you were a big online shop withmillions of keywords.Using the tools for the right purposein a smart way makes you efficientwith the reduced resources.
    15. 15. 15Flexible budget distributionAnother useful tactics when optimizing work process in PPC is working withshared budgets.Depending on your strategy and resources, you can develop specific budgetswithin your accounts.
    16. 16. 16Streamlined ad copy productionDevelop a set of 3 to 5 Call-To-Action variants and usethem across the account.Develop 3 to 5 USP variants – again, you might usethem across the whole account – or across the wholecategory/campaign.This way you can get more data for the analysis at afaster way – and have a consistent messaging acrossthe accounts.
    17. 17. 17Consistent ad copy testingPause what does not work. Keep whatdoes. Introduce new ad copies and testthem against existing.
    18. 18. 18Accounts based on logic,not a whimAccounts have to be based on business logic.One market, one budget, one sales team = oneaccount.
    19. 19. 19AGENCYAGENCY oror IN-HOUSE ?IN-HOUSE ?
    20. 20. 20Agencies are experts with tools.
    21. 21. 21Do they know your businessto the bone?
    22. 22. 22Limited timeOften agencies have only a limited time todedicate to your account.Because you’re just one of the client oftheirs. And definitely not the only one.
    23. 23. 23Lacking in-depthSuperficial approach
    24. 24. 24Lack of understanding of traders
    25. 25. 25Fluffy reportingUnfortunately some agencies like to give youfluffy reporting and shiny slides on somethingthat hardly makes sense for your business
    26. 26. 26Conflict of interestsAgencies are often paid based on your media spend.But you want to spend less - not more!
    27. 27. 27Market isMarket is notnot infinite.infinite.Unfortunately.Unfortunately.
    28. 28. 28Get as much as possibleout of the generated traffic
    29. 29. 29Optimise conversion rate
    30. 30. 30Testing (yes, again!)Testing (yes, again!)
    31. 31. Continuous testing process31
    32. 32. What to test32
    33. 33. Ideas to test (by goodui.org)33One columnOne column vsvs many columns layoutmany columns layout
    34. 34. Ideas to test (by goodui.org)34Social proofSocial proof vsvs talking about yourselftalking about yourself
    35. 35. Ideas to test (by goodui.org)35RecommendingRecommending vsvs showing equal choicesshowing equal choices
    36. 36. Tools we recommend36
    37. 37. Case-study37

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