the low hanging fruit: why more clicks mean lower conversion rates

Your PPC account is reaching it’s Cost Per Action target – great! Shame it’s only driving a couple of sales a month. Isn’t there a way to increase sales while maintaining a comfortable CPA? Sure there is, but just throwing money at a PPC campaign is like throwing it into the wind. As soon as you start to expand, your conversion rate, along with that glorious CPA, begins to fly out the window.


the low hanging fruit

The value of different audience groups and search queries can be drawn on a sliding scale from the ‘absolutely, guaranteed, desperate to make a purchase user’ to the ‘zombified passive browser’ who coincidentally stumbles across your site. Naturally, most new PPC campaigns will focus on targeting the former, and if not will soon be stripped back to these core terms. Most of us are playing it safe, picking the low hanging fruit and spending the budget in the areas we’re confident will drive the most sales.


correlation between growth and inefficiencies

Take the hypothetical niche advertiser of  popular 90’s WWF wrestler British Bulldog action figures. Excusing the fact that expanding beyond this one sole product may be a suggestible business idea, how would he otherwise go about expanding in his current market? While there’s only a very limited number of people who would specifically search for such a niche product, there must be a way to drive more business through PPC? The problem is that the other eligible users out there who are happy to convert are also sharing their search queries with more and more users who just aren’t interested. The couple of users who search for ‘buy british bulldog wrestling toy’ are money in the bank before they even click on the ad, but there’s equally only a couple of convertible users from the hundred or so users who search for ‘buy 90’s wrestling toys’ because the vast majority of them are just looking for something else – most likely the Ultimate Warrior cause he was way cooler.

The Low Hanging Fruit
A well structured PPC account will target a group of highly relevant terms at it's centre, and expand out into less and less relevant areas as far as conversion rates and cost per clicks will efficiently allow.


so, how does one go about expanding then?

Each new audience, no matter how vague or generic they may be, still has a value. There’s still a conversion rate there that just needs a balancing Cost Per Click to create your target Cost Per Action. If one of your fringe campaigns receives a 0.5% conversion rate it can still meet your target CPA of £10, you just have to find a way of receiving a 5p CPC. You effectively need to draw a line through the audiences, like finding the way through a maze, jotting down the conversion rates and calculating the CPCs as you go. Once you’ve got this mapped you can start the fun bit – reaching the CPC while not completely falling off the first page. Bar a few bid changes, the way to do this is by improving your Quality Score (which is Google’s way of measuring the relevancy to the user/financial benefit to Google, of your account).

Technically, through improving your Quality Score virtually any CPC is achievable! However, no matter how streamlined your ad groups are and witty your ad copy, you’ll eventually end up conceding that your PPC campaign just can’t reach the necessary CPC. However you don’t have to give up on these fringe audiences just because you don’t have the CPC to balance your Conversion Rate – instead, why not consider how you could optimise your Conversion Rate to balance your CPC.

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