Back to the sources: understand your paid search statistics

One of the advantages of paid search is the fact that you can control everything. If someone visits your store after seeing your billboard or TV spot, there is no real way to locate it.

However, if someone sees your paid search ad and visits your website, you know how it came to your site. You know what ad they saw, what copy they answered, and even what search term triggered your ad.

There is so much data that it can be hard to understand what it means or what to do with it. Number of impressions, clickthrough rate, cost per click … how to sort all that and use your paid search statistics to make smart decisions?

I mean, what is the point of having all this data?

To make matters worse, much of this data may be difficult to interpret correctly. Even experienced online marketers often draw the wrong conclusions from their data or focus on the wrong parameters of their accounts. So, if you have already looked at your paid search account and are wondering if this article is for you, "what do I miss?"

Are you focused on the right paid search settings?

Like most online marketers, you probably have several campaigns running, at least a dozen ads and over a hundred keywords to follow. And that's only if your account is small.

Each of these campaigns, ads, ad groups and keywords can provide you with a wealth of information about your audience and the effectiveness of your advertising … but only if you know how to use your data

Nowadays, paid search is so competitive that it's not enough to set up Google Analytics and monitor your cost-per-click. You need to know how to interpret every aspect of your paid search data and use it to optimize the performance of your account.

Now, while it may seem like a daunting task, most of the information in your paid search account can be broken down into three manageable parts: information about your traffic, conversion information, and sales information.

Let's look at each of these three types of data and how you can use them to interpret what's going on in your paid search account. .

What kind of traffic do you get?

For search engine paid advertising, most marketers tend to focus on traffic-related metrics such as impressions, cost-per-click (CPC), or click-through rate ( CTR). After all, the main reason you launch paid search campaigns is to drive more traffic to your website.

And, not surprisingly, paid search platforms such as Google Ads and Bing Ads are full of traffic information: device segmentation data keyword info information about the sharing impressions, etc. For Google and Bing, this information is incredibly easy to follow and provide. This is what interests most users.

What you can learn from traffic data

All of this traffic data is certainly useful, but only useful if you know what to do with it. That said, your traffic data tells you a lot about how your campaigns work for your target audience.

If no one clicks on your ads, chances are your ad copy needs work … or you're targeting the wrong keywords. If your cost per click is too high, you may need to rethink your bid strategy. If you do not get a sufficient share of impressions on your best campaigns you will probably need to consider changing your budget.

For example, suppose you are running paid search ads for a local lawyer. On average, this client earns $ 3,200 with a new client and spends about $ 1,200 to support them.

In your most recent review of your campaigns, you review your traffic data and assemble the following report:

From the above data, it's easy to see which campaign is generating the best results. Campaign 3 generates more clicks at a lower cost-per-click than your other campaigns. On the other hand, while you spent twice as much on Campaign # 4, you got one-third of the clicks generated by Campaign # 3.

Clearly, you must either stop campaign # 4 and put your budget in a better campaign such as # 3 or invest a little time to understand why Campaign # 4 works so badly.

However, before making a decision, we should probably talk about the other two types of data in your account. After all, your lawyer friend does not make money in one click. To make money, she needs leads … and none of these data tells you if all these clicks really turn into tracks.

Is your traffic converting?

So, keep that in mind, let's talk about conversion. The data. Because Google and Bing often do not know what a conversion is for your website, setting up conversion tracking for your site requires additional work. As a result, almost half of paid search advertisers do not track their campaigns beyond traffic data.

But, without conversion data, you can not answer the following two essential questions about your paid search campaigns.

1. Is my website (or landing page) suitable for my traffic?

Paid search marketing is a marketing based on intent. When someone searches for something on Google or Bing and clicks on your ad, he is actively seeking a solution to a problem … a problem that, in his opinion, can help your business.

Their click is a leap of faith in your business and the page they clicked on indicates whether their faith was justified or not. If your landing page or website meets their expectations, a decent percentage of people should convert. Otherwise, they will leave.

So, if your conversion rate is high, your landing page is perfect for your traffic. However, if your conversion rate is low, it means that something is wrong. Your landing page or site does not work for your traffic, so they go looking for something better.

If you find yourself in the same situation, you may want to take a serious look at the page you are sending. traffic to. You may need to rethink your experience of the page and your site to further align with the expectations of your traffic.

2. Does your traffic match your landing page perfectly?

Of course, the opposite can also be true. If your landing page seems to need to convert traffic, but it's not the case, your ads may send the wrong people to your page.

If people click on your ads because they want a divorce lawyer, but you're an injury company, will they convert? The erroneous traffic never converts regardless of the quality of your site.

In this situation, it is often wise to consult the search terms that people use to search for your ads and their actual copies. that you use. If you seem to be attracting bad people's clicks, you may need to rework your advertising strategy to target the right audience.

What you can learn from conversion data

Once you've set up conversion tracking, look. Beyond traffic data, see the results of your campaigns in terms of conversions.

Although it does not have the best conversion rate (CR), Campaign # 3 has enough cheap clicks to always have the best cost per lead. And, as before, Campaign # 4 is still a lost cause. Between a low conversion rate and a high cost per click, it generates prospects almost ten times more expensive than those of campaign 3.

With an 8% conversion rate, none of these campaigns seem to target the bad traffic, but they could probably both benefit from a small optimization of the conversion rate on their landing pages.

However, although these data give a clearer picture, your lawyer friend still does not take advantage of prospects. She has to close new customers. To obtain this information, we must review our sales data.

You Make Sales

As useful as traffic and conversion data is, they still do not tell you whether your campaigns are reporting or not. . And if your campaigns do not bring in money, why are you running them?

Unfortunately, it can be difficult to track your paid search campaigns to sales data. E-commerce is pretty straightforward, but once you've crossed this threshold, it can be difficult to link your actual sales data to your campaign's performance. You often need some kind of CRM like Salesforce and you have to find a way to connect all the points.

But is it worth it? Absolutely. Let's see what the campaign sales data of our hypothetical law firm shows.

Suddenly Campaign # 4 went from zero to hero. The CPC rate or conversion rate may not be very high, but its return on ad spend is twice that of any other campaign.

What does this really tell us? Well, on the one hand, it is clear that Campaign # 4 is for people who are much more likely to buy than those in all other campaigns. Campaign 3 could generate a lot more traffic, but this traffic is much less likely to subscribe to the services of our lawyer friends.

Does this mean that campaign 3 is bad? With a ROAS of 92%, it is certainly losing money at the moment, but it has a lot for traffic and data. Before you can make a judgment, you have to delve into this data and see if it's possible to turn all that potential into real sales.

You may have to edit your advertising message to filter out people who are not likely to actually become a customer. You might be able to change the landing page to attract more potential customers. Maybe your friend's lawyer would need advice on how to react to the tracks of this campaign .

In any case, without this sales data, it would have been easy to assume that Campaign # 4 was complete. The loss and campaign # 3 deserved more from your budget, while the opposite was actually true. That's why sales data is so important. Traffic and conversion data teaches you useful things about your campaigns. Only sales data can answer the question "Do my ads actually yield money?"


Your paid search account is overflowing with valuable information. this data into actionable information can sometimes seem overwhelming. The trick is to make sure that you have access to all the data you need to make informed decisions, then to know what each type of data tells you.

Now that you know how to interpret your data, you only have to do it. start digging into your paid search stats. The possibilities to improve your account should quickly become obvious. Good luck!

The opinions expressed in this article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Search Engine Land. Associated authors are listed here .

About the Author

Jacob is a passionate entrepreneur whose mission is to develop businesses using PPC & CRO. As Founder and CEO of Disruptive Advertising Jacob has developed an award-winning, world-class organization that has now helped more than 2,000 businesses increase their online revenues. Connect with him on Twitter .

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