How do you judge the success of your pay-per-click campaign? By the number of clicks? Maybe by the number of impressions.
If you do base success on these sets of data, then you really have no idea how successful your campaign is. In fact, you most likely have no idea whatsoever.
Online success is judged by measurable goals. Measurable goals, in return, allow you to calculate your return on investment. But what are your goals, and how do you measure them using PPC? It's really quite simple when you think about it.
What Is Your Website Goal?
We have long since passed the point of web sites acting as 'online pamphlets' for companies, organizations, individuals, and causes. A well-planned, effective web site should always serve a purpose. Some examples include selling products and services, building mailing lists, signing up for newsletters or product quotes, scheduling an appointment, or requesting additional information via email or snail mail. Goals will vary from site to site, but the basic premise is usually similar — the site has an end goal it wishes people to complete.
Web site owners must have goals in mind when they design a site, so users can move easily towards the goal without abandoning the process, and they should, in most cases, reach a page assigned as the 'finish line' in your goal conversion process. It might be the page that says, 'thank you for your purchase', 'thank you for contacting us', or 'download complete'.
Four Ways To Measure Goals Using Pay Per Click
- Conversion Tracking – The first goal measurement is the most common in PPC. With conversion tracking (available in Google AdWords, Yahoo Search Marketing, and Bing adCenter), a piece of code is placed on the page designated as your 'conversion' page, meaning a goal has been completed. More often than not, this is found on a 'thank you' page, and PPC Managers can track how many people contacted a web site or company as a result of a paid search and the resulting ad click.
- Phone Call Tracking – The second goal measurement actually measures online and offline activity. Here at TechWyse, we use a call-tracking service for many of our clients, not just for PPC, but for all marketing of a web site — including directly entering a web address in your browser, clicking on a link to your site from another web site, or other search engine optimization work. This call-tracking software also requires a small code snippet to be added to a web site, but this code goes on every page with a contact phone number. The code then changes the phone number (which must be in readable text, not in an image), and when a client contacts you on this new phone number, the goal has been completed and it is registered as a PPC conversion. In short, you can measure your conversions by ad source – online and offline.
- Measuring Actions Through Google Analytics – We can track actions on a page, in this case, clicking on a button that submits a form. This goal is not tracked in your AdWords account, but in the Google Analytics program. In this case, submitting the contact form does not lead to a new page, but generates a 'thank you' message on the same page you arrived on within the contact form area. Since we did not move along through the site, we use Analytics to record the action of clicking on the button as a completed 'goal', since we know the form has been sent as a result of the click.
- Setting Up Goal Funnels in Google Analytics – If there is no way to install tracking code on a site's 'thank you' page, or the site owner will not allow it, Google Analytics allows us to set up a 'goal funnel' (as long as Analytics code is on the pages we need to create this 'goal' funnel). Within your Analytics program, we map out a path that the client needs to follow in order to complete a 'goal'. For example, if you choose to take a survey on a site, the end goal would be completing the survey in full. This means that you must pass through the introduction or sign-up page, each page of the survey, and the 'thank you for completing our survey' page. This goal is visually mapped out in Analytics, and a goal is registered for each visitor who enters from a certain source, and then reaches the 'goal' page.
All four forms of measurement supply you and your clients with numbers that show how successful your pay-per-click campaign is based on the goal or goals you have set. With different options for tracking your PPC campaign's success, you and your clients have a better handle on the actual ROI of the campaign.
Goals and conversions are where it's at. These are the true measure of success in your PPC campaigns (and everything else for that matter!). Clicks tell you the number of people who arrived at your site, but tell you nothing about what they did in terms of interacting with your web site and completing tasks.
Think of it in these simple words:
"Goals are worth gold." They tell you whether your money is well spent.