Pre-qualifying your clicks

An important concept you don’t hear much about in pay per click or social media advertising is prequalifying your clicks. That is, discouraging unwanted clicks by giving the potential customer more information about your offer, before they click.  This can help you save a lot of money from non converting curiosity clicks, which drive up advertising costs.

Some large companies are interested in brand building and just want to get the maximum traffic to their sites.  They might not care about pre-qualifying clicks because they just want the visitors.  But most of us are only concerned with the bottom line, which is conversions.

The Challenge

The downside of pre-qualifying clicks with your ad copy, is that it usually decreases CTR.  You are purposely weeding out potential customers who won’t convert before clicking, so by design your CTR will be lower.  Its a very fine line to walk between catchy headlines and ads that grab attention and boost CTR, and pre-qualifying information that lowers CTRs but boosts conversion.   Finding that line is a major part of running a successful campaign.

What are some signs you need to pre-qualify?

If you are testing an campaign that is receiving hundreds of clicks but no conversions, it might be a sign you need to pre-qualify in your ad copy.   Your ad may be attracting a lot of interest, but doesn’t related exactly to the offer.   This is true with PPC or with social media.  You may have a flashy picture in your Facebook ad that is  grabbing clicks and a high CTR, but no one is buying after that.

What are some examples?

There are many ways to weed out non-converting clicks.

1.  You can add a geographic area to narrow down unwanted clicks.  Showing an exact city or state can discourage clicks from outside of your targeting zone.

2.  Describe the offer as much as you can in the 3 or 4 lines you have.  The more real info you give, then less likely they are to be wasted clicks.

3.  Use a relevant picture in social media ads.   Of course certain pictures will get a lot of attention and clicks, but most likely they wont convert and kill you profits.  Keep it relevant.

4.  Include the price right in the ad copy.  This one is probably the most powerful pre-qualifying technique.  It will drop you CTR for sure, but it will also send very serious customers to your landing page.  They already know the price and still clicked, so they are ready to convert.

Pre-qualifying with your ad copy is just one of a ton of things you need to test in order to optimize your campaign.  As always, split testing is the key.

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Posted in General, Pay Per Click by cdfnetworks on 09|24|09
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11 Comments »

Comment by MLDina
2009-09-24 20:53:27

This is a great concept, especially if you’re getting paid on a CPA basis. You can get all the clicks in the world, but if they don’t convert, you don’t make a dime. While it may seem nice to have a high CTR, it doesn’t mean anything if you can’t convert!

 
2009-09-25 12:31:58

[...] and I thought you might benefit from it as well. Chad (CDF Networks) discusses the importance of pre-qualifying your clicks. In his post, Chad lists four excellent ideas to help us pre-qualify our [...]

 
Comment by ATV Auction
2009-09-25 17:58:50

In addition to prequalifying in your ad copy, you can also prequalify by targeting very relevant keywords. If you sell widgets, you would convert much more of your traffic if you target keywords like buy widgets, widget prices, cheap widgets, instead of just ‘widgets’. Action keyword phrases can really improve your conversion rates. The same goes with long tail keywords that are very percise. Who do you think is more likely to buy: someone searching for ’shoes’ or someone searching for the exact name of a specific shoe? In this case, the user is already prequalified because they have already decided that is the shoe they want and they are now likely ready to purchase.

Comment by Chad
2009-09-25 18:24:52

Good point. I did a blog post about pre-qualifying with keywords somewhere way back in the archives, if I could find it ;)

 
 
2009-09-25 18:19:12

[...] Pre-qualifying Your Clicks On the CDF Blog today, the writer says, “An important concept you don’t hear much about in pay per click or social media advertising is prequalifying your clicks. That is, discouraging unwanted clicks by giving the potential customer more information about your offer, before they click. This can help you save a lot of money from non converting curiosity clicks, which drive up advertising costs.” Share and Enjoy: [...]

 
Comment by Jonathan Volk
2009-09-25 18:23:13

Yet another amazing article on CDF. Thanks for the tips / reminders.

 
2009-09-26 09:22:37

[...] Pre-qualifying Your Clicks On the CDF Blog today, the writer says, “An important concept you don’t hear much about in pay per click or social media advertising is prequalifying your clicks. That is, discouraging unwanted clicks by giving the potential customer more information about your offer, before they click. This can help you save a lot of money from non converting curiosity clicks, which drive up advertising costs.” Bookmark It Hide Sites $$(‘div.d4031′).each( function(e) { e.visualEffect(’slide_up’,{duration:0.5}) }); [...]

 
Comment by Love Graphics
2009-09-30 22:11:10

I agree that providing more information you are targeting the people that are willing to buy. For instance, adding a price will make only serious buyers click your add, rather than the people just wanting something for free. Thanks for the post.

 
Comment by Idiot Proof Diet
2009-10-03 18:10:41

I strongly believe in pre-qualifying the clicks as, it will prevent you from the nonconvertible clicks. And improves your probability to gain more convertible clicks at the same time.

You have stated the right reasons that will make the PPC marketers to pre-qualify their clicking keywords.

Thanks for nice piece of information.

 
2009-11-04 18:20:35

[...] Pre-qualifying your clicks [...]

 
Comment by PandaMarketer
2010-02-27 17:26:14

Including price in your ad is essential when keywords imply something-for-nothing such as Tips, Review, Help… etc.

It helpmed me in 2008 when selling RC Helicopters. I put the sale price in the ad ($89) and had fewer clicks, but higher conversions.

-dave

 
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