9/10/2016 0 Comments
Search Marketing Optimization or Hubris?
Have you heard this pitch? Pay Per Click (PPC) company X has an API that plugs directly into Google’s search engine and they are able to instantaneously adjust bids for the highest quality traffic at the lowest price. Sounds good right? The question I have is; how do they know it’s the highest quality traffic if they don’t have access to your analytics?
The highest quality traffic would exhibit metrics such as high conversion rates, time-on-site, page views, and low bounce rates to name a few. Are you getting this data in your monthly reports? Typically, most advertisers are not getting this data. They are only seeing click-through rate (CTR), average ad position, impressions, and clicks. So how do you really know you are getting the most out of your search campaign?
Google Analytics! Advertisers need to ensure the following happens to even be able to track their campaigns in analytics with some vendors. Either your vendor needs to implement UTM codes (URL Builder) or turn on auto-tagging. Believe it or not, some vendors do not do this automatically, it takes a special request. Thus, we have established your PPC company may know the CTR and other basic metrics of your keywords, but they don’t really understand what the traffic is doing on your site (i.e., bounce rate, etc.). Thus, how can they optimize your campaign before they tell you they need more money?
Keyword performance reports! What else is your report missing? How about quality score reporting? When is the last time you saw your quality score? How do you know your campaign is being optimized appropriately? What about segments? Does your reporting breakdown desktop, mobile, and tablet traffic so you can understand how people are looking you up? This information is important especially quality score. If your quality score is low, then maybe it’s time to write some new text ads or improve the landing page. Since you probably don’t have the entire picture here, optimization is going to be difficult and since bid price x quality score = ad rank, you may be paying too much.
Search term reports! Google AdWords has this cool report call search term report. If your campaign is being ran too broadly, the search term report can show you which searches aren’t exactly matching your keywords. You can increase your impression share on those terms by adding them as keywords or increasing the bids. Likewise, you can see what keywords you should add as negative keywords. If your PPC company isn’t using this report, then you could be paying for bad traffic. Furthermore, it would be difficult to optimize your PPC campaign without adding negative keywords and adding other high performing keywords without necessarily asking for more money.
As you can see, who you choose to work with regarding your PPC is important. There are very few shorts cuts to good campaign management. Google AdWords and Analytics provide crucial insights and reports to help companies drive the right high quality traffic to their sites. This information needs to be used to achieve the ultimate search marketing goals, which is increasing conversions and lowering advertising costs.
Actuate Media is a digital advertising agency in Seattle, WA. Our team has run hundreds of digital advertising campaigns nationwide including: PPC Search Marketing, SEO, Display Advertising, Video Advertising, and more. We are proud to have completed Google Partner’s Specialist Challenge and we are Google Adwords & Analytics certified specialists. Our agency implements a data-driven approach connecting advertising results and analytics, aggregating the data for future analysis allowing our partners to make smart advertising decisions in the future to gain a competitive advantage.
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us or ask below.
Brad Holly, MBA
Principal at Actuate Media, Google AdWords & Analytics Certified
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