DrupalConnect: Digital Marketing Management
DrupalConnect: Digital Marketing Management
Driving Business Through Intelligent Paid Search Management
Drupal Connect was born in 2009, in the wake of one of the greatest economic downturns. CEO John Florez started the full-service Drupal firm out of his home, first providing staffing services to web development companies, then later pivoting into the full-service web development agency space as well.
Leads were coming in, but for the company to sustain itself and make it out of the recession in the black, it needed a steady stream of leads. Florez took a risk and began marketing through paid search advertising. Times were good—leads were coming in. However, over time, performance took a steady decline and qualified leads became harder to capture.
Here’s how we used our deep understanding of Drupal and paid search advertising to place Drupal Connect in a unique position to generate 85 percent of its leads through Google AdWords.
For years, Drupal Connect (DC) enjoyed a bountiful flow of leads by way of paid search advertising. On account of AdWords alone, DC was able to build brand awareness and gain the trust of Fortune 500 companies like Sony, GE, NBC, Stanford, Harvard, and the United Nations. It seemed lead generation was unstoppable—until it was.
While under the guidance of multiple other agencies, DC began to see a sharp and steady decline in ad performance. It caused a domino effect—fewer leads, fewer sales, and less revenue. John, who began his career on Wall Street, knew paid search was one of those “strike while the iron is hot” initiatives. If the leads were left to cool off for too long, it would take more time and energy to get them hot again.
DC felt if it were going to achieve its previous height, and even surpass it, they needed an agency who could build intelligent paid search campaigns—ones that could align advertising strategies to the nuanced needs of the informed Drupal buyer. In 2014, DC hired Facet to use their deep-seated knowledge of Drupal and paid search advertising to grow its leads.
“...it still helps us get a lot of business. Over three-quarters of our sales comes through [Adwords].”
As successful paid search AdWords campaigns demonstrate, quality score has a huge impact on ad ranking and cost-per-click. Higher quality scores lead to lower prices and better ad positioning. But making the grade and boosting impressions requires matching keywords, ads and landing pages to searcher intent. If we were going to leverage Drupal Connect’s AdWords campaign, we had to understand their buyers, optimize landing and web pages, and test, test, test.
Identifying Buyer Personas
Typically, Facet would spend 20-40 hours of discovery with a client to understand their business, their goals, and the marketplace before outlining our strategy in detail. However, already being Drupal consultants, solutions architects and requirements engineers, we were able to use our knowledge of Drupal to quickly direct course.
Despite there being no learning curve with Drupal, strategy called for a strong grasp of the company’s buyers. An internal marketing workshop on Facet’s end helped us identify Drupal Connect’s specific buyer personas, so we could later tailor ad and landing page messaging according to each phase of their buying journey.
Meet Customer Expectations
When Facet first took over the account, traffic was being funneled onto the homepage. Rather than sending leads to targeted landing pages with a singular offer and focus, they were inundated with choices. The result: they fled the site without converting. In time, ad campaign quality scores began to slip as content wasn’t targeted, conversion rates declined, and the cost-per-click increased.
Facet needed to redirect consumers to targeted landing pages, where they could have a singular focus and be met with information that spoke to their search intent.
Revenue Path Optimization
Working with Drupal Connect, Facet didn’t need to create a new channel for revenue, we just had to optimize the one that was there. Our first course of action was to improve landing pages and website flow. At the heart of our strategy was the user experience. To enhance it, Facet worked with DC designers to add value to pages where consumers would land.
With much of today’s consumers conducting online research before making a purchasing decision, it was imperative to have more than the landing pages speak directly to consumer needs. To safeguard the website for both organic and inorganic leads, Facet had to ensure no matter how a visitor came through DC’s funnel—be it through ads or an organic search—every landing page and web page fully displayed the company’s unique value proposition (UVP).
This required A/B split testing and testing different match types until we saw the quality scores of all the ads trend upward. As Facet saw higher click-through rates on specific types of ads with specific language, we modified landing pages and web pages to reflect that verbiage.
But we had to ensure our insights were accurate and not just a fluke. Facet worked with heat mapping tools to monitor how and where the users were clicking, as well as how much time they were spending on pages. We also looked to Google Analytics to determine engagement and conversion rates.
Narrowing the Target
Being a popular open-source CMS, Drupal is widely used internationally. Narrowing the ads geographical reach would saving ad spend and targeting the correct audience. After consultation with DC, Facet understood the specific regions the company wanted to target. By geotargeting campaigns, we could limit advertising to areas that DC could actually service.
Through extensive analysis, Facet was able to exclude certain areas that didn’t generate quality leads or were not appropriate for DC to take on. Shortening our target allowed us to hit regions most likely to use DC’s services and thus optimize return on ad spend.
Geotargeting not only helped curb ad spend, it also aided in finding the right leads at the right time and resulted in ads being results-oriented.
Repeating results requires existing expertise and experience, but there is no denying that testing tools and technologies are key to iteratively improving upon language, keyword choices, ad relevancy, and helping to better understanding user intent. To make iterative gains, we used a stack of tools including Google Analytics, Instapage, Marin, Raven Tools, SEO Moz, Kissmetrics, and CallRail.
The other key to consistent results was having a hand in the business. This meant constantly meeting with stakeholders to understand how the business was evolving, and at the same time have an eye to the marketplace to witness its own evolution.
Facet spent a vast majority of its time monitoring the website to understand user flows. Competitor and marketplace analyses also gave us forewarning about industry trends and changing consumer behavior. These insights allowed up to enhance landing pages and ads, and tweak website content according to SEO best practices.