PPC Takeaways to Pave 2021


2020 was a milestone year for the digital marketing world. We all found ourselves nearly stopping in our tracks to readjust marketing efforts, from content ideation to paid advertising, with so much uncertainty as to what was coming next with COVID. But, as every storm clears (well, we’re still working on that, COVID), there’s light that shines on new perspectives to influence future strategies.

The Sage Digi team has no problem turning unforeseen lemons into lemonade, and with that, we’ve gathered some of our top takeaways from 2020 to welcome 2021 with fresh eyes and new paid advertising strategies.

1. Get Your Analytics Right

Let’s be real: How do you really know if your analytics data is right? What are the supportive factors that influence the numbers we see? And more importantly, how do you know if you’ve set up all of those components correctly? Sounds like a ripple effect, right? That’s why it’s so important to make sure your analytics are set up correctly from the very beginning. If your set-up isn’t the best, you may be tracking clicks vs. conversions. And remember, conversions are the tell tale sign of where the money is at.

Take things back a step further and think how profitable your marketing program is. Of course, you can’t gauge profit without correct numbers, and correct numbers fall back on correct analytics data. Now it’s easy to understand the ripple and importance of proper set up, tracking, modifications, and data consulting.

2. Well-Structured Search Accounts

Trailing off our point on analytics setup, creating well-structured search accounts is essential to any marketing effort – not just paid. Think of a search account as building a house, and you have to lay the cornerstone and framing correctly. There’s really only one or two ways to properly do this, and the same idea can be applied to building campaigns.

If you create one or two campaigns with ALL of your target keywords in them, you’re not giving your campaign the chance to improve because your targets are so scattered. So, now what? You must stop the construction, tear down your work, scale appropriately, and start the construction process again – but with clearer direction.

Here’s an example of including multiple product features in one campaign instead of creating multiple campaigns to support the product. If you’re selling a multivitamin, don’t focus on selling Vitamin C’s immune protection, Vitamin D’s immune boosting, and Omega-3 health benefits, all in one campaign. Instead, create three separate ads for this particular vitamin and adjust your target keyword list to focus on each. Of course, each ad would lead users to the same landing page that houses that particular multivitamin. See how strategically spreading your keyword lists can cover more ground?

3. Get Your Tracking in Check

Tracking and analytics may sound the same, but they should each be respected separately. Most businesses have two-step conversions in their media planning, meaning they’re offering a preview of their product or service before customers fully commit. An example of this is Netflix’s 14-day free trial. After the 14 days, users hopefully love the service, then agree to sign up and pay for it long-term.

But how do you track where that final paid customer or subscriber came from? The answer may be more complicated than we think. What if that customer clicked on a Google or Facebook ad, but ultimately clicked on an organic result to reach their goal. Who gets the credit? We know which option the user last accessed based on referral traffic, but which option did they access first? It’s worth spending time with your agency partner to come up with a tracking model (hint: we love using multi-touch attributions). Without multi-touch attribution, you may be double or triple counting sales incorrectly – yikes!

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4. Create Flexible Landing Pages

Landing pages are the heart of campaigns. You can have 3 different ads that speak about the same product and lead users to the same landing page, but what will actually make your audience concert from that page? Well, it all has to do with landing page flexibility and optimization.

As you create a landing page, make sure you’re including multiple CTAs that encourage users to take action instead of providing boring, bare-minimum copy. Don’t leave it up to users on what to do next – direct them down your conversion funnel. And most important, you must test landing pages to understand how users are interacting with them to identify areas of opportunity that ultimately increase conversions. Here are some key elements to include:

  • List compelling benefits of your product or service
  • Include engaging, visually appealing imagery
  • Strong CTAs: Book a demo, Get your free trial, Download case study

5. Back Yourself Up with Multiple Ways to Sell Online

This one is for all of you retailers out there! If there’s one thing we’ve learned (and learned it fast) in 2020, it’s how quickly users turn to online shopping for literally anything. Of course, COVID threw a wrench in average shopping habits. This was heavily felt by brick and mortars, small local businesses, and other business structures that mostly relied on in-person shopping. However, when we get lemons we make lemonade, and the same idea supports the importance of having multiple ways to sell your products online.

We all know that Amazon is the big-win for ecommerce selling. Forbes and Bloomberg discuss tons of talking points about why Amazon is a seller’s gold mine. The key to owning this is identifying a need, fulfilling that by utilizing Amazon as a third-party selling platform, and selling! However, don’t rely on big ‘ol Amazon alone. If you’re going to sell on a third-party platform, you definitely need to make sure you’re selling on your own website.

Don’t have a website? We can help!

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It’s important to think and plan: What if Amazon doesn’t want to sell your product anymore, and what if you don’t want to sell on Amazon anymore? What’s your backup support plan? Having your own ecommerce website where you can sell your own products, even if it’s only a fraction compared to Amazon, is still SO worth the effort. By doing this, you have a diversified chain of distribution. Look at it this way: If another pandemic or unforeseen instance happens, you’re flexible between selling platforms and are not relying on just one source to sell.

From all of our years of experience, 2020 was one for the books that put us on our toes at times! But, as the rain clears, we’re ready for a glass of lemonade with a squeeze of 2021. Connect with us if you’re ready to tackle the new year the same way.

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