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Scaling PPC in SaaS Markets - 5 Secrets Every Marketer Should Know
Scaling PPC in SaaS Markets - 5 Secrets Every Marketer Should Know
Scaling PPC in SaaS Markets - 5 Secrets Every Marketer Should Know
Scaling PPC in SaaS Markets - 5 Secrets Every Marketer Should Know
Scaling PPC in SaaS Markets - 5 Secrets Every Marketer Should Know
Scaling PPC in SaaS Markets - 5 Secrets Every Marketer Should Know
Scaling PPC in SaaS Markets - 5 Secrets Every Marketer Should Know
Scaling PPC in SaaS Markets - 5 Secrets Every Marketer Should Know
Scaling PPC in SaaS Markets - 5 Secrets Every Marketer Should Know
Scaling PPC in SaaS Markets - 5 Secrets Every Marketer Should Know
Scaling PPC in SaaS Markets - 5 Secrets Every Marketer Should Know
Scaling PPC in SaaS Markets - 5 Secrets Every Marketer Should Know
Scaling PPC in SaaS Markets - 5 Secrets Every Marketer Should Know
Scaling PPC in SaaS Markets - 5 Secrets Every Marketer Should Know
Scaling PPC in SaaS Markets - 5 Secrets Every Marketer Should Know
Scaling PPC in SaaS Markets - 5 Secrets Every Marketer Should Know
Scaling PPC in SaaS Markets - 5 Secrets Every Marketer Should Know
Scaling PPC in SaaS Markets - 5 Secrets Every Marketer Should Know
Scaling PPC in SaaS Markets - 5 Secrets Every Marketer Should Know
Scaling PPC in SaaS Markets - 5 Secrets Every Marketer Should Know
Scaling PPC in SaaS Markets - 5 Secrets Every Marketer Should Know
Scaling PPC in SaaS Markets - 5 Secrets Every Marketer Should Know
Scaling PPC in SaaS Markets - 5 Secrets Every Marketer Should Know
Scaling PPC in SaaS Markets - 5 Secrets Every Marketer Should Know
Scaling PPC in SaaS Markets - 5 Secrets Every Marketer Should Know
Scaling PPC in SaaS Markets - 5 Secrets Every Marketer Should Know
Scaling PPC in SaaS Markets - 5 Secrets Every Marketer Should Know
Scaling PPC in SaaS Markets - 5 Secrets Every Marketer Should Know
Scaling PPC in SaaS Markets - 5 Secrets Every Marketer Should Know
Scaling PPC in SaaS Markets - 5 Secrets Every Marketer Should Know
Scaling PPC in SaaS Markets - 5 Secrets Every Marketer Should Know
Scaling PPC in SaaS Markets - 5 Secrets Every Marketer Should Know
Scaling PPC in SaaS Markets - 5 Secrets Every Marketer Should Know
Scaling PPC in SaaS Markets - 5 Secrets Every Marketer Should Know
Scaling PPC in SaaS Markets - 5 Secrets Every Marketer Should Know
Scaling PPC in SaaS Markets - 5 Secrets Every Marketer Should Know
Scaling PPC in SaaS Markets - 5 Secrets Every Marketer Should Know
Scaling PPC in SaaS Markets - 5 Secrets Every Marketer Should Know
Scaling PPC in SaaS Markets - 5 Secrets Every Marketer Should Know
Scaling PPC in SaaS Markets - 5 Secrets Every Marketer Should Know
Scaling PPC in SaaS Markets - 5 Secrets Every Marketer Should Know
Scaling PPC in SaaS Markets - 5 Secrets Every Marketer Should Know
Scaling PPC in SaaS Markets - 5 Secrets Every Marketer Should Know
Scaling PPC in SaaS Markets - 5 Secrets Every Marketer Should Know
Scaling PPC in SaaS Markets - 5 Secrets Every Marketer Should Know
Scaling PPC in SaaS Markets - 5 Secrets Every Marketer Should Know
Scaling PPC in SaaS Markets - 5 Secrets Every Marketer Should Know
Scaling PPC in SaaS Markets - 5 Secrets Every Marketer Should Know
Scaling PPC in SaaS Markets - 5 Secrets Every Marketer Should Know
Scaling PPC in SaaS Markets - 5 Secrets Every Marketer Should Know
Scaling PPC in SaaS Markets - 5 Secrets Every Marketer Should Know
Scaling PPC in SaaS Markets - 5 Secrets Every Marketer Should Know
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Scaling PPC in SaaS Markets - 5 Secrets Every Marketer Should Know

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Most SaaS marketers have tried PPC on Google AdWords and other platforms, but while it's easy to get started, it is very hard to scale up PPC and turn it into a major, viable marketing channel: …

Most SaaS marketers have tried PPC on Google AdWords and other platforms, but while it's easy to get started, it is very hard to scale up PPC and turn it into a major, viable marketing channel:

-- Search volumes are small, fragmented, and focus on general informational queries -> low click volume
-- Complex niche offerings are hard to communicate to a PPC audience -> low conversion
-- Steep learning curve, long process of trial and error -> high risk and acquisition cost

In this session, Gilad David Maayan of Agile SEM shares 5 secrets that will help you overcome these challenges and pull in thousands of SaaS users at reasonable cost. Learn battle-tested best practices based on years of experience marketing SaaS and Cloud brands in the search engines.

I presented this at the BrightTalk SaaS & Cloud Marketing Summit, view the recording here:
https://www.brighttalk.com/webcast/667/69257

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  • 1. BrightTalk SaaS & Cloud Marketing Summit 2013Click to View Recorded SessionScaling PPC in SaaS Markets:5 Secrets Every Marketer Should Know Gilad David Maayan | Agile SEM
  • 2. Agenda• PPC for SaaS: The challenge• Secret #1: The Missing Keywords• Secret #2: Make Them an Offer They Can’t Refuse• Secret #3: Don’t Design Your Landing Page• Secret #4: Get on Google’s Good Side• Secret #5: Look at Your Leads• Q&A
  • 3. A Bit About Me: Gilad David Maayan• Worked with over 100 tech companies including ClickTale, Oracle, CheckPoint, GigaSpaces, JFrog, and plenty of startups• In a past life – wrote strategic marketing content and 1000s of pages of technical documentation• Previous job – SEO/SEM Manager of GigaSpaces • Won 3 international awards for my work on wiki documentation as a marketing tool• Since 2010 – helping tech companies get business from search For more info, see my LinkedIn Profile
  • 4. The ChallengeWhy PPC for SaaS is Hard, Damn Hard
  • 5. SaaS is DifferentConsumer Products/Mainstream SMB SaaS/Technology Products1-5 Ad Groups per Product 10-100 Ad Groups per ProductHigh Search Volume Low Search Volume•[travel insurance], 450,000 searches per month •[cloud security], 6,600 searches per month•[cheap airline tickets], 368,000 searches per month •[application lifecycle management], 4,400 searches•[cheap laptops], 110,000 searches per month •[cloud database], 2,100 searches per month•[running shoes], 135,000 searches per month •[cloud management], 1,600 searches per monthHigh CPC / High Value High CPC / Low ValueHigh Chance of Intent to Buy Low Chance of Intent to Buy These are the biggest search terms in each of • Unique challenges in SaaS/technology markets: these fields! • Many keywords, many niches, complex campaigns • You need to be smart to get traffic (not to mention conversion) • Audience is not inclined to buy • A big plus: many niches are not competitive
  • 6. Search Volume – Smaller than YouThink Total Addressable Market Total Search Volume• Search Volume is typically smaller than your Total Addressable Market. This might be because: • Most of the audience is not searching for your subject – using other online or offline channels instead • It’s a new field, terms have not solidified • Your niche offering is too specific for the larger, more general keywords
  • 7. Why It’s Hard to Scale• Small-scale PPC campaigns can easily succeed because: • You’re bidding on the most relevant keywords • For these keywords you are the only relevant vendor • Nobody else is bidding on these keywords • BUT – search volume is very low• When you try scaling up you’ll find: • You’ll need to target larger, more general keywords • High competition = high CPC • Clickthrough rates very low (because your solution is specific) • Quality score drops, ads “rarely shown” • Leads hard to come by – and quality is low • Cost per conversion/acquisition is often unacceptable
  • 8. Secret #1The Missing Keywords
  • 9. Types of Keywords• Informational: • [cloud server security] • [cloud security best practices] • [brute force attack]• Solution-seeking: • [cloud firewall] • [cloud security tools] • [free cloud security]• Commercial: • [cloud security pricing] • [buy cloud security] • [enterprise cloud security quote]
  • 10. Types of Keywords• Informational: • [cloud server security] About 80% of search volume • [cloud security best practices] • [brute force attack]• Solution-seeking: • [cloud firewall] About 20% of search volume • [cloud security tools] • [free cloud security]• Commercial: • [cloud security pricing] • [buy cloud security] • [enterprise cloud security quote]
  • 11. Types of Keywords• Informational: • [cloud server security] About 80% of search volume • [cloud security best practices] • [brute force attack]• Solution-seeking: • [cloud firewall] About 20% of search volume • [cloud security tools] • [free cloud security]• Commercial: You wish! • [cloud security pricing] • [buy cloud security] • [enterprise cloud security quote]
  • 12. The Search LandscapeExample: “Network Security for Cloud Servers” Firewall Cloud Security Best WordPress Practices Drupal
  • 13. The Search LandscapeExample: Network Security for Cloud Servers Obvious keywords:Could be relevant: Definitely about If server is in the cloud server security cloud Firewall Cloud Security Could be relevant: But “security” can also mean anti-virus Best WordPress Practices Drupal Could be relevant: Some best practices talk about security
  • 14. The Search Landscape Example: Network Security for Cloud Servers Obvious keywords: Missing keywords: Could be relevant: Search volume Ifsearch volume server is in the 1,500 8,000 cloud Firewall Cloud Security Missing keywords: search volume 5,000 Best WordPress Practices Drupal Missing keywords: search volume 2,000* Search volumes are made up for the sake of this example
  • 15. The Search LandscapeExample: Network Security for Cloud Servers•No searches for their specific niche, “cloud network security”•Only one highly targeted keyword theme, “cloud firewall” • Search volume is only 1,500 – no room for growth•By including four less targeted keyword themes, search volumegrows from 1,500 to 15,000 • People searching for these keywords may or may not be relevant • Conversion will be lower – but it could still be worth it
  • 16. The Missing KeywordsAdd Keyword Themes to Grow Your Campaign•The more marginally-relevant keyword themes you add, the biggeryour campaign can grow•Make sure that there is at least a fair chance that someone searchingfor these keywords could buy your product•It doesn’t matter if they searched for what you do –what matters is that they are potential buyers • In our example, “cloud best practices” is not something that is offered by the vendor • But behind this keyword is someone looking to improve how they work on the cloud – could be a potential buyer
  • 17. The Missing KeywordsWorking with Multiple Keyword Themes•You will need to craft relevant ads and landing pages for eachkeyword theme, in our example: • Cloud Security – “Secure your Cloud Server” • Drupal Security – “Secure Drupal on the Cloud” • Cloud Best Practices – “Learn How Industry Leaders Secure Their Servers” (could be a white paper or ebook)•How to weed out irrelevant audiences: • Using search modifiers and negative keywords • Your ad text should clarify who this is relevant for • For example, if you say “cloud”, on-premise users won’t click • This boosts lead quality and reduces CPA
  • 18. The Missing KeywordsLatching on to Brands in Your Ecosystem•In many cases relevant keyword themes are platforms yousupport, complementary products or competitors•Google allows you to bid for brand keywords, but might“punish” you with a high CPC•To get around this: • Try not to use the exact brand term in your ad • Make sure your landing page talks specifically about this platform/product/competitor and how you connect to it
  • 19. Secret #2Make Them an Offer They Can’t Refuse
  • 20. Your Offer Needs to beCompelling Source: IMDB, http://www.imdb.com/media/rm3947266304/tt0068646
  • 21. Your Offer Needs to beCompellingWhy is it impossible to refuse the Godfather’s offer? 1. It’s simple and crystal clear 2. It’s always aimed at a specific person in a specific context 3. Substantial value (your life back) 4. No alternatives (easy decision)
  • 22. Your Offer Needs to beCompellingA compelling offer in PPC: 1. Product is easy to understand and well positioned 2. Ad and landing page address the user’s specific needs 3. The product provides substantial value (in the user’s current state, not “after you migrate to the cloud”, etc.) 4. It’s free (easy decision)
  • 23. Your Offer Needs to beCompellingA compelling offer in PPC: 1. Product is easy to understand and well positioned 2. Ad and landing page address the user’s specific needs 3. The product provides substantial value (in the user’s current state, not “after you migrate to the cloud”, etc.) 4. It’s free (easy decision)Why free?•Because if the user needs to start thinking about money, you’ve lost them•A perpetual freemium model is best for PPC•“Free trial” is risky and results in reduced conversion•Never try selling something in the PPC funnel•Your objective is to get them using the product – you can up-sell paidplans/services/packages later
  • 24. The Litmus TestTesting if Your Product is Easy to Understand•The most sensitive point is your positioning•Meet with 3 or 4 friends/colleagues who: • Are similar to your potential buyer • Don’t know about your product•Show them your homepage/product pagefor 5 seconds only(much more time than you’ll get from your PPC visitors)•Ask them to explain what the product is. • If they got it, you’re good to go. • If they didn’t, seriously reconsider your PPC efforts.•Bottom line: If your message doesn’t come across in 5 seconds,invest in other marketing channels (with longer attention span)
  • 25. Targeting Your Landing Pages• Start with one generic landing page• Review your keyword themes, and imagine how people who search for these keywords will react to your page: • If they will understand more-or-less, it’s okay • If they will be totally out of whack, build them a separate LP • For example, if somebody searched for “cloud best practices” and you serve a landing page about cloud firewalls, that won’t work • As the campaign evolves, build specialized landing pages for keyword themes that have high value/traffic/conversion• Make sure that the value you provide to each of your audiences – as described in the landing page – is very high • If you have an audience for which value is lower, consider removing them from the campaign • Or build a separate landing page that emphasizes other values
  • 26. Example: Garantia Data’s Offer Substantial Easy to understand: value: Everybody knows These three Memcached - now capabilities hosted on the cloud. are a big deal for the user. It’s free:No-brainer decision. Free tier has limited storage.
  • 27. Example: Garantia Data’s Offer Some in-depth product info if you want to understand how it works Easy to understand: Signup and activation very clearly explained. Easy signup: Encourages quick decision.
  • 28. Secret #3Don’t Design Your Landing Page
  • 29. Landing Page Design BestPracticesPPC landing pages should: • Be standalone and separate from your main site • Keep important information above the fold • Talk about benefits, not features • Present logos of major companies using your product • Present major media mentions of your product • Use social widgets to show people are using your product • Visually focus on the call to action • Include a short signup/contact form on the same page • Include images or video explaining/showing the product
  • 30. Landing Page Design BestPracticesPPC landing pages should: • Be standalone and separate from your main site • Consistent with your site’s branding • Forget about all that. Keep important information above the fold • • Don’t design your Talk about benefits, not features Present logos of major companies using your product • • landing page! Present major media mentions of your product Use social widgets to show people are using your product • Visual focus on the call to action • Include a short signup/contact form on the same page • Include images or video explaining/showing the product
  • 31. Landing Page Design is a Complex ArtIt’s Much More than “Best Practices”:•Landing page design requires specialized training and years ofexperience – there are very few good practitioners • And I’m not one of them 
  • 32. Landing Page Design is a Complex ArtIt’s Much More than “Best Practices”:•Landing page design requires specialized training and years ofexperience – there are very few good practitioners • And I’m not one of them  • But I did hire one 
  • 33. Landing Page Design is a Complex ArtIt’s Much More than “Best Practices”:•Landing page design requires specialized training and years ofexperience – there are very few good practitioners • And I’m not one of them  • But I did hire one  • The field of specialty is called CRO (Conversion Rate Optimization)•A landing page can meet all the best practices and fail badly•Some of the most successful landing pages don’t comply withwell known best practices (e.g. very long pages with C2A below the fold)
  • 34. Landing Page Design is a Complex ArtIt’s Much More More than “A/B Testing”:•A/B testing can help you… • tweak a good landing page Ideal • choose between two good landing pages Page•It CAN’T help you come up with agood landing page Option•Because it can’t prove that a landing page is good B • In the image, option B is 100% better than A Option A • But the “ideal page” is 133% better than B (and 366% better than A) • So it turns out both A and B are actually “bad”
  • 35. What Can a CRO Expert HelpWith?Landing Page Implementation Stages:1.Messaging2.Structure3.Design (graphic designer)4.Build (web developer)5.Analytics
  • 36. What Can a CRO Expert HelpWith?Here’s What a CRO Expert Can Contribute:1.Messaging • Fine tuning slogan, bullets and offering1.Structure • Smart usage of screen real estate • Telling the story visually • Planning the next conversion steps • UX for interactive elements • Ideas for improving conversion • (based on experience from 100s of A/B tests)1.Design • Feedback on initial drafts – does the message come across?1.Build • Feedback on user interaction – are the forms/buttons/slideshow easy to use?1.Analytics • How to correctly track conversion and pass lead parameters to CRM
  • 37. Example: Cloudinary Heavyweight testimonials to communicate Title ease of usefocused on devplatform High levelfeatures Call-to- action explains integrationInteractive is required gallery showing dozens of image effects Key differentiators
  • 38. Example: Cloudinary Trusted by majorDevelopers like companiesa bit of “how it works” But also used by the little guys Very easy Value signup (but provided by communicatefremium plan d the need for integration)
  • 39. Secret #4Get on Google’s Good Side
  • 40. Getting on Google’s Bad SideHow Google Optimizes Profits:•In the high tech sector, the vast majority of ad spending goes toGoogle’s AdWords program•Google makes money when someone clicks on an ad•So Google wants to show ads that will get clicked • Google tries NOT to show ads less likely to get clicked•This is why Click Through Rate (CTR) is a major component ofyour Quality Score • Quality Score determines if your ad is shown at all • And if so, how high up it appears and on which page (>1 is bad) • Quality Score also determines your CPC: lower quality = higher cost
  • 41. Getting on Google’s Bad SideThis Leads to a Vicious Cycle: You typically start here If even some of your ads are irrelevant, the entire campaign suffers
  • 42. Relevance, Relevance,RelevanceRelevance is Key to Avoiding the Vicious Cycle:•Improve your relevance and CTR by ensuring: • All ads are highly relevant for the keywords in their ad group • To make this possible, you need to create lots of ad groups with a small number of keyword variations in each one • Write unique ads for each ad group • Write quality ads by following best practices – use keyword in title, benefit in first line, call to action in second line, etc. • Landing pages must be relevant to their respective ad groups • Google checks if the page actually talks about the subject of the ad group – not sufficient to stuff the keywords into it•Get it right first time, to avoid getting stuck in the vicious cyclefor months•Monitor and quickly remove low-CTR ads
  • 43. Relevance, Relevance,RelevanceRelevance Requires Hard Work:•Writing and reviewing dozens or hundreds of ads•Building separate landing pages for distinct subjects in your adgroups • Even if your users “get the picture” with one landing page, you might need to add more for Google’s sake•Monitoring and optimizing for CTR very frequently(daily/hourly) until quality score stabilizes
  • 44. Two landing page templates:Example: Ad Group Matrix One for upload/delivery, one for the rest Each square is a potential ad group, 105 in total, about 80 relevant Separate landing “v” means we will “NA” means we page for each have an ad for this won’t advertise platform for each of audience here two templates
  • 45. Secret #5Look at Your Leads
  • 46. Where is Your Money Going?• Several days into the campaign, you will want to know if it is worth the money• Keep in mind that you must run for at least a month to gather enough data to make decisions• Even after a month, conversion rates per ad group will not be statistically significant• Still, a month into the campaign you will want some indication whether things are in the right direction
  • 47. How Not to Measure A New CampaignPerformance Metric Why You Shouldn’t Rely on It*Traffic / visits to site Can take more than a month until quality score stabilitizesNumber of leads This is actually a good metric but it only measures the scale of the campaign, not the qualityConversion rate Still not statistically significant per ad group; the average is meaninglessCost per acquisition You haven’t optimized your funnel yet. High CPA could stem from problems in signup, product bugs, etc.Bounce Rate, Time on Site, etc. Most of these metrics will be biased because visitors view only one page (*) Of course you should use all these metrics – just not as your main KPI for a new campaign
  • 48. What’s Important toMeasure?• The biggest question about your campaign is: whether it brings in relevant traffic • If traffic is relevant, you can fix the landing page and conversion funnel later, but you know you’re on the right track • If traffic is not relevant, you must improve it first!• The landing page could appear terrible, but that’s only because you’re bringing in the wrong people
  • 49. How to Tell if Traffic isRelevantJust Look at Your Leads:•Export a list of the leads/signups that originated from PPC • In the first month there won’t be more than a few dozen•Take the time to look at them yourself (use Rapportive or a similar toolto discern data from email addresses): • Which country are they from? • Student/consultant or organization? • How big/which type of organization? • Developer/IT/other role? (executives are rare)•Based on your experience with customers,score each of the leads: • Highly relevant – likely to result in revenue • Moderately relevant – might result in revenue • Not relevant – don’t need more of these
  • 50. Is Your Campaign Any Good?• If you have 10 or more high quality leads, you can celebrate! • This is proof your PPC campaign can bring value • You can estimate how much it cost you to bring them • After optimization, this can and should drop by 50-90%. • Now your objective is to find out where these leads are coming from and bring more • Make sure these types of people understand the landing page, are converting and using the product• If you have no high quality leads: • There still might be medium-quality folks, see if they are worth your while in terms of CPA • See which important ad groups are NOT driving traffic – try to get traffic, and check again if good leads come in
  • 51. View the Recorded SessionI presented this session at the BrightTalk SaaS & CloudMarketing Summit 2013.Click here to view the recorded session!
  • 52. Thank You!Reach out to me if you have any questions or comments.Gilad David MaayanAgile SEMMobile +972-50-6570046E-mail gilad.maayan@gmail.comLinkedIn http://il.linkedin.com/in/giladdavidmaayan

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