For the past decade, I’ve run paid search campaigns, specifically Google ads, for employers and also some of my clients. Sometimes I’ve been hands-on with a campaign and managed these myself from keyword research, ad creation to optimisation. On other occasions, I’ve had budget available to outsource the execution to an agency.
The biggest challenge has always been knowing that my budget (whether that be $1k, $5k, $20k per month) was being spent wisely and not wasted. I had to trust in Google and the skills of the staff or agency I was working with.
One particular example comes to mind. The corporate marketing department was changing paid search agencies. We’d had difficulties with the previous agency for months before finally deciding to make the move away. Mostly we felt that there were communication issues and for a long time we put it down to appearing bipolar. After all, the North American region wanted something different to the European region and then Asia Pacific had a third set of asks. The left hand wasn’t talking to the right hand… or so we thought they thought.
When we dived into the data, we discovered URLs and assets that had expired 2-3 years prior were still running, that CTAs were broken and many links presented 404 errors. Too many funnels to count were broken. It was a mess… a huge, manual and time-consuming mess that had to be fixed urgently and it was difficult to know where to start.
Companies are wasting as much as 29% on Google ad spend during incidents. In extreme cases, all of it.
FunnelGuard has estimated that companies are wasting 3-5% of their yearly Google ad spend on broken ad funnels. To put that into perspective, of my $60,000 annual budget, approximately $3,000 was going down the drain. And like my personal example above, most companies have no idea which pages are leaking budget.
Eliminating wasted ad spend
I recently came across a start up with a very cool and useful piece of marketing tech. FunnelGuard tracks all Google ad campaigns from ad to conversion. It estimates the cost to the business of continuing to run a broken funnel which helps marketers to prioritise which ad campaigns and errors are fixed first.
For example, a broken CTA may appear across multiple landing pages costing the company $500 a day in ad spend. In comparison, one landing page may present a 404 error which costs $34 per day. It’s a no brainer to focus on correcting the CTA first. But until now, no platform has brought transparency to Google ad leakage. That’s left marketers randomly testing pages and fixing on an ad-hoc, first-come, first-served basis.
Stefano Mazzalai, Director of Marketing Operations at Instapage once faced this exact problem. “Our team used to be able to check 10-15% of our landing pages for major issues about once a quarter. Now with FunnelGuard, I know that they are checking 100% of the pages every single day, and they’ll let me know when there’s a problem. The alerts and communication with their team have been phenomenal,” said Mazzalai.
Save those opportunities
The secondary benefit of FunnelGuard is that it is also ensures business opportunities aren’t slipping through the cracks. After all, a broken funnel means lost leads.
Back to that $3,000 lost spend example from earlier. Considering that a single lead could cost anywhere from $10-$60, that’s 50-300 leads that didn’t make it into the CRM. Let’s average that out to 175 leads for easier calculations.
Coming from a tech background and aiming for the SiriusDecision averages, we’d expect 7% of leads to convert to a meeting, 35% to an opportunity from a meeting and 50% from opportunity to a win. That means there is the potential for 2 missed sales. And at an average deal size of $120,000, that’s a potential loss of $240,000 per year. That’s hardly a sum to be sneezed at.
Of course, the reality is never that simple, but you get where I’m coming from.