The Leapfrogg Paid Search Onboarding Process

You’ve won the pitch for a great brand that need a PPC agency and have hardly finished congratulating yourself when it dawns on you – you now have to start delivering!

The initial elation of winning a great new account is quickly replaced with the often daunting reality that is the onboarding process. But where do you start, the PPC account, the website, the analytics?

Before getting bogged down in the micro details of conversion code, xml feeds and the like, it’s good to take a step back and look at your new client from a wider perspective.

At Leapfrogg we seek to understand every part of our clients’ business to ensure that our strategies are always aligned to their overarching objectives, so we start the onboarding process by asking ourselves the following questions:

  • Where are they in their marketplace? Are they a leading player or a young start-up?
  • Who are their main competitors?
  • What do they sell?
  • What is their customer retention rate?
  • What is their customer lifetime value?
  • What differentiates them in the market?
  • How strong is their brand?
  • What is their target demographic?
  • What are their financial targets? How have they performed against previous targets?
  • What channels do they use apart from PPC e.g social media and how do they work together?

The list goes on and on, but this type of detail is best discussed in a face-to-face meeting between the agency and the client including all those involved such as the marketing manager, website developer etc. This helps establish the agency/client relationship which is important for the success of any PPC campaign.

Once you have a good idea of the brand and their positioning, you can take a closer look at elements such as the clients website, product range and user behaviour. We note any potential issues such as the page load time, barriers to conversion, unclear conversion paths, poor site search etc. These should all be flagged to the client.

We then scour the analytics to get a better feel for their website visitors and potential customers.

We seek to find out if their visitors come back, how long they stay, how long they take to convert and anything else which helps us define certain campaign settings such as cookie lengths or any targeting options such as location or language targeting.

Also, it’s essential to ensure all types of tracking code and analytics goals are configured correctly. Google Tag Manager can be a good option for clients who can’t necessarily add code their website themselves.. As Google Analytics and Adwords tags are fairly easily to implement, it can mean bypassing the development team altogether which can be very handy.

Keyword research is essential within Leapfrogg’s onboarding process. This subject is worth two or three articles in itself, but clearly you need to know how your target audience searches and the type of language they use, in addition to where they visit online in order to laser target your prospects effectively.

After this extensive research phase, we then move on to concentrate on the PPC account itself.

A full PPC account audit is performed to ascertain where the quick wins are, what the biggest opportunities are, what could be improved and what should be scrapped altogether.

The client will help you decide which product lines to promote and this could depend on profit or volume, but preferably not vanity.

The big question is whether to keep the current account or create a new one? The answer depends on how well the current account is performing of course.

There is value in retaining the history of an old account for sure, but a good restructure will soon deliver more benefits in terms of higher click-through-rate, higher quality score, lower cost-per-clicks and a generally better performance.

Shopping Campaigns are now essential for retailers, so this is currently another area of focus for us.

We ensure that their feed is optimised, their product targeting is correct and that negative keyword lists are applied.

At this stage the client is pretty much onboard, but the work has only just begun and this article is far from exhaustive.

You still have to optimise, expand and maybe add in campaigns for Bing and Facebook etc. Watch this space for my next blog post expanding on these areas.

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