Question #1: How do I measure performance?
We’ve addressed setting goals and funding our program. Now the question must turn to “How do I measure performance?”
3 popular ways to measure PPC performance are:
- Platform Interfaces: All ad platforms provide a wealth of information. Traffic metrics such as cost, clicks, impressions, ad position, and cost per click can be seen on the macro level such as campaigns, and on the micro level, such as keywords. If code is installed on your landing pages, conversion data can also be measured. In addition, a plethora of reports are available that provides a deeper level of analysis.
- Analytics Packages: Analytics packages provide a deeper insight into performance post click. Analytics programs such as Google Analytics can tell you if users are interacting with landing pages or if they are bouncing out at an unusually high rate. Understanding and acting on these deeper level insights allows you to take advantage of opportunities that the platform level data can’t fully provide.
- Proprietary Data: Your organization’s backend data is critical to understanding how well the paid search program is performing. While the interfaces and analytics platforms provide a ton of great information, your backend can tell how positively PPC is affecting the bottom line. Determining things such as average order value, average revenue per order, and total sales volume will further help determine if paid search goals are being met.
Measuring performance is an absolute necessity. Top line metrics will inform as to whether or not your PPC program is meeting goals. Ferreting out the deep insights that’s driving performance is where you’ll beat out the competition. Be sure to have a carefully planned out measurement strategy. PPC is an ever-changing environment and staying on top of performance and adjusting quickly is key to both short and long-term success.
Question #2: How will I manage the various networks?
Now that the overarching questions have been answered, its time to dive in and address the machinery of managing the day-to-day aspects of the paid search program. “How will I manage the various networks” is a key question to consider. For example, Google and Bing both have vast display and search partner networks, requiring separate for each.
Display networks contain a vast array of publishers that agreed to show a specific platform’s ads. Google Display Network has an AdSense program that pays advertisers a small bounty every time a person on their page clicks an ad. These users tend be less targeted, but what a large pool of traffic to expose your business to!
Search networks contain partners that use their website or portals to show ads along their search results. Users search these sites just as they do bing.com, google.com, or any other search engine. These users tend to be more targeted than display users as they are not actively searching, yet not quite as qualified as those who access the main engines for their search needs.
Adapting ad messaging, keyword sets, and bids based on network are keys to a successful paid search program. For instance, display advertising, although attracting less targeted users, creates huge amounts of exposure for your brand, which can lead to a very positive impact on search behavior.
Remarketing is a successful way to bridge the gap between display and search. Remarketing works by placing tags on webpages and creating rules for placing users on your list. For example, a user performs a search on google.com, lands on a page, but doesn’t convert. Rules can be implemented that allow these users to go on a list where they can be remarketed to on the display network. This is but one example of how to tie your marketing together between networks.
Understanding each network’s user behavior will help bring prospects from top of funnel research to conversion. Thinking through how to do this will reduce wasted ad dollars and increase overall efficiency. Search partner and display networks are very important parts of the paid search landscape and should be managed in harmony with each other to get the most out of them.
Question #3: How do I advertise successfully on mobile vs. tablet vs. desktop?
Let’s face it, we live in a multi-device world. How many times has research begun on a smartphone, continued on a tablet, and concluded with a conversion on a desktop? Conversations and conversion paths begin on one device and end on a completely different one all the time. This begs the question, “How do I advertise successfully on mobile vs. tablet vs. desktop?”
Each device has its own audience with its unique set of questions and concerns. Setting the right strategy and employing the correct tactics on each device is key. A failed device strategy can derail performance and cause you to miss out on enormous opportunities.
Lets break down the types of devices and their associated user base.
- Mobile: Largest growing segment of users now that society is more mobile and on the move. Mobile users tend to be more research focused and willing to make phone calls to complete purchases or make an inquiry.
- Tablet: User base is more recreational. Most likely to be checking social media, watching videos, and doing non-research activities.
- Desktop: Research and work focused users. More often than not, desktop users will be on their laptops to make purchases or fill out lead forms.
So how can we tie the knot between mobile (including tablet) and desktop? For example, let’s take an e-commerce site with physical locations. The mobile user experience could feature a store locator. Mobile specific ad copy can be employed that drives users to find a store near them so they can go there and make a purchase. Another example is enabling ads for ‘click to call’. Instead of driving users through a full-blown form fill process, why not have them directly call your business? Mobile users are very willing to speak with customer service representatives.
Understanding the relational affect between devices will help guide strategy and tactics. Google provides in ways to measure cross device performance. Even if conversion rates are low and acquisition costs high, if one device is fueling the success of another, this will factor into how best manage each device type.