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Launching a pay-per-click (PPC) campaign is not an end in itself. You need to devote enough time and resources to track its performance over a certain period. Just like in any other marketing initiative, you also need to measure and analyze its effectiveness to ensure that you’re maximizing your return on investment (ROI).
Here are some best practices to kick off your PPC campaign analysis.
Viewing the Campaign from a Macro Level
When setting up a PPC campaign, it’s important to think of the long term. By looking further down the road, you’ll learn the importance of giving your PPC project ample time to grow before evaluating it.
For instance, a week is not enough to measure your campaign’s success, so even if you see noticeable changes within that short time frame, you’re unlikely to find them significant. You can’t compare a week-long campaign to one that’s been going on for months.When it comes to PPC campaigns, keep in mind that growth is gradual and results take time. Click To Tweet
Because of the nature of PPC campaigns, you can’t just go around abandoning a project because it didn’t meet your target ROI threshold. Don’t go second-guessing your campaign before you have time to evaluate it. Remember that there is more to it than ROI.
You can reap great benefits even if a campaign’s financial returns seem stagnant. So, instead of focusing on a specific metric, review all the data available to you and assess your campaign’s efficiency using different key performance indicators (KPI).
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Benchmarking Results Against Goals
Before carrying out your PPC campaign, you should set specific goals first.
You need these to understand how you’re going to measure your progress—that is, how near or far you are from reaching your goals. Your objectives may differ from those of other brands, but that’s okay. After all, priorities vary from business to business.
However, you have to identify what matters to you most:
- Is branding your first concern?
- Do you want to convert sales or leads?
- Are you adamant about bringing new traffic to your website or blog?
- Is your PPC campaign primarily for maintaining a competitive edge through search engine optimization (SEO)?
Although all metrics are important, your goals will determine which of them you should focus on first. They are the primary determiners in measuring the success of your PPC campaign, and they can help you take action when results don’t measure up.
Evaluating KPIs and Other Campaign Data
After giving your PPC campaign enough time to grow, it’s time to review your KPIs and analyze the wealth of information you have in your hands. There’s a wide array of tools and metrics you can use to measure the effectiveness of your campaign. Familiarize yourself with them to determine which is the most pertinent for your campaign.
1) Click-Through Rate
The Click-Through Rate (CTR) is one of the most closely monitored metrics by PPC experts. You can compute it by dividing the number of individuals who click on your ad by the number of people who see it (clicks divided by impressions).
A good CTR means that your target audience has found your ads helpful. As a result, your Quality Score will skyrocket while your Cost Per Conversion (CPC) will plummet. This will give you more opportunities to increase your overall conversions if you’re losing ground to competitors.
2) Quality Score
Your Quality Score is a good indicator of whether the combined performance of your keywords, ads and landing page is good or not. It provides insights into how well Google views your ads, and the more relevant your keywords are to the users’ search queries, the higher your Quality Score will be.
A strong Quality Score means that your rankings have improved, your CPC has dropped and your overall ROI has increased. Consequently, although more people will see your ads, you’ll pay less when someone clicks on them.
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3) Cost Per Conversion
The Cost Per Conversion (CPC) is important in determining how much you have to spend to gain a new client.
If your campaign costs more than what you earn from a new lead, then you’re not using your budget wisely. Keep track of your CPC to learn how to improve your campaign. Use the data from this metric to adjust your strategies and reinvest on what works.
4) Search Impression Share
The Search Impression Share reflects the percentage of the total number of times your ad could have been shown versus the actual number of times it was shown.
A part of it will illustrate which percentage of searches was lost due to budget. Needless to say, a low score in this metric can have a negative impact on the overall performance of your PPC campaign.
5) Bounce Rate
The Bounce Rate can show certain aspects of your campaign that need optimization.
This metric is measured by the number of visitors who visited your site and left without responding to your call to action. If your campaign has a high Bounce Rate, it means that you’re targeting a broad audience, a good number of which are simply not interested in what you’re offering.
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6) Conversion Rate
The Conversion Rate refers to the number of times a user clicked on your ad and completed a desired action within a certain window of time. It’s important to track this metric because it can show results based on seasonal trends.You have to keep in mind that the ultimate goal of every PPC campaign is conversion. Click To Tweet
By tracking this metric, you’ll be able to gauge if people are buying your product at an ideal rate.
7) Impressions and Clicks
Impressions refer to the frequency of your ads being displayed in a search results page. Clicks, on the other hand, refer to the number of times a user clicked on your ads.
You’ll be ill-advised to focus simply on the Cost Per Acquisition (CPA) of your campaign. You might miss out on volume, which will consequently lead you to miss out on profit. You need to strike a balance between the volume and cost of conversions.
8) Account Activity
Running a PPC campaign warrants constant monitoring. You can’t ensure the success of a campaign unless you actively manage and optimize it. An active involvement in your account activity also entails frequent analyses of your data. The more habitually you oversee your account, the bigger the returns you are poised to acquire.
The opposite is also true. The reason many PPC campaigns fail is that marketers don’t spend enough time to manage them. Keep an eye on this metric, and gain valuable insights as to the amount of time your competitors are spending on their own paid search campaigns. With that knowledge, you’ll be able to gain an edge over the other players in the field.
9) Ad Text Optimization
Copy shapes your ads. It can differentiate you from competitors and catch your target audience’s interest.
It’s only fair to optimize the text in your ads because that is, after all, what potential customers will read first. Ad Text Optimization primarily entails watching the keywords you use. By optimizing this metric, you can improve others like the CTR, quality score and, ultimately, your ROI.
Learn More: 3 Advanced Ways to Write Content that Converts
10) Mobile Advertising
The rise of mobile platforms is evident across many fields and industries. Because of the popularity of recent mobile trends, it’s imperative that you leverage any opportunity you can get to boost both your mobile and PPC campaigns.
Ask yourself, is my PPC campaign compatible with mobile? Am I utilizing the best practices in mobile paid search? Unless you answered a solid “Yes!” to each of these questions, you should work harder to integrate your paid ads into different mobile platforms.
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11) Wasted Spend
As the opposite of the Conversion Rate, the Wasted Spend will show you when your PPC campaign is foundering. It essentially measures how much money you’re throwing away when people are clicking on your ad but are not converting.
By reflecting how much money you could save, this metric can help you optimize certain areas of your account. One way to minimize Wasted Spend is to refine your keywords by creating negative ones that can stop your ad from showing up in search engine results pages (SERPs) when unrelated keywords are used in a search query.
12) Keyword and Landing Page Optimization
If you target long-tail keywords effectively, you’ll be able to yield strong conversions at lower costs. Many marketers overlook this metric and instead focus on more costly ones, so you’ll be gaining an edge if you leverage it.
The same holds true for landing pages. Marketers tend to neglect paying sufficient attention to them and instead keep their eyes stubbornly fixed on stronger ads. What they don’t realize is that these ads are not enough to maximize ROI. You should have enough landing pages that can accommodate your conversions if you’re hoping to boost your bottom line.
It's important to assess your PPC campaign to find out which part works and which needs to be reconfigured. Make sure that you understand the different metrics so that you’ll be able to gauge whether your campaign is effective or not. Don’t be dispirited if you find room for improvement – treat each loophole as an opportunity to take your campaign to the next level and expand your brand.