They mentioned that they were attracted to our emphasis on measurement. Right away, this told me that we were talking to someone who understood the power their data plays as a part of their online marketing efforts. The number of clicks or the number of visitors is not the be-all and end-all of their marketing.
Your AdWords data alone holds so much more information than just the number of clicks. Measuring the effectiveness of your campaigns tells you how well your ads work, how well your web site or landing page works, and what keywords work best for you, amongst other things.
Here are 4 areas you can start looking at now to dramatically improve the results of your pay per click campaigns.
Stop looking at clicks alone. When you look at your keyword data, read right across the line in order to interpret that word's effectiveness. 250 clicks over 5 days is nice, but how many impressions did it take for you to acquire those clicks? If those 250 clicks were acquired from 400 ad impressions, it that the resulting click thru rate of 6.25% means your keyword or keyword phrase is an effective one. But if you acquired those clicks on 50,000 impressions, then the resulting click thru rate of 0.5% tells us that the keyword(s) might not be a strong one for your product or service.
(We are assuming in this case that your ad copy is "effective and optimized" and appearing in the same average position between the two examples)
In this case, the first measure we are watching is clicks, followed by the click thru rate. The more clicks you acquire for with fewer impressions, the more effective or appropriate your keyword is to the search conducted.
Additionally, review the performance of all of your words, and the numbers they produce. Are there clicks on those words at all? If it has a low number of clicks, does a fantastic CTR (and therefore, a low number of impressions) mean you keep the word active?
There are even more numbers to review when making decisions about your AdWords keywords and measuring their effectiveness, but we'll touch on those when we get to them.
Web Page/Landing Page Effectiveness
While Google Analytics allows us to dig further into the numbers associated with your landing pages, we can still make informed decisions, albeit limited, based on the information gathered by AdWords.
The prime piece of data in this instance is conversions.
Are you tracking conversions? If not – forget everything Ive said so far until you have got that done!
Is your web site or landing page converting? Are people completing the assigned goal you have designated in your conversion tracking code? This goal might be contacting the company via a form on your page, completing a purchase, downloading documents or software, or a page view.
Yes, page views are important to some people and businesses.
The most important thing to realize about tracking conversions on your site is, "What is a good number of conversions for my web site or business?" Are you happy with 5 per month? What about 500? If you have no idea what an acceptable number is, then you won't be able to make prudent business decisions about your marketing results.
Once you have established this number, then measuring the effectiveness of your web or landing page is much easier. You can now compare the number of conversions and the associated conversion rate with your clicks and click thru rate. Don't forget that the more relevant the landing page, the more likely you are to have a better conversion rate. Visitors want to find exactly what they are looking for.
Ad Group Effectiveness
On the whole, how are your ad groups doing? Interpreting their performance based solely on clicks is pretty much the wrong way to go.
Of course, we're assuming that your ad groups or well optimized, relevant keywords are grouped together, and your ad copy addresses that particular ad groups keyword set.
Across your Ad Groups, you are examining all of the above information, as well as comparing them to each other. Are they attracting clicks? Which ones are attracting the most? Which ones are converting and which ones are not? Does one ad group attract tens of thousands of impressions and very few clicks, while another attracts a lower number of clicks but ten times as many clicks? Are any of your ad groups just not working on the whole?
You want to ensure that your money is best spent on keywords that both attract qualified visitors that convert. Visitors need to be interested in your offer and should be taking you up on it. Comparing data across your ad groups allows you to concentrate your budgetary spend on ad groups that work.
Will you pause the ineffective Ad Groups? Are you pausing them for en extended period, because of seasonal issues like holidays (who does Christmas shopping in February?), because of out of stock products, or because an associated group is doing a much better job for you?
Will you delete an ad group completely? Is another group doing a much better job? Are you no longer selling a product or service? Has the fad you're trying to capitalize on passed? Or is it just not working the way you had hoped?
All of these questions can be answered in some way by reviewing all of your AdWords data. But not by one column of data alone.
Yes, you can even measure the effectiveness of your AdWords efforts at the campaign level. Did you think of this before you opened up a new campaign?
Now there are external factors that can affect your data and how you measure your results.
Your campaign settings can affect performance in any number of ways. It makes sense to advertise to the people of Portugal in Portuguese instead of English. It would also make more sense to schedule ads for your restaurant to run during business hours, when employees are present to answer the phone to take reservations.
You can also choose if you want to run your ads on Google search, Google search partners, the content network, or any combination of the three. Is your web site mobile device-friendly? If not, you can choose not to advertise to mobile device users.
How, where, and on what device you run your ads can make a huge difference in the success or failure of your AdWords campaign. Thoroughly research your target market (demographics) before starting a campaign!
Finally, how has your campaign, at all levels, performed over time? Do seasonal changes affect your campaigns, or is your traffic steady, increasing, or decreasing? Comparing data form one time frame to another is important to check and take in to account when making changes or minor tweaks to your keywords, ad copy, or settings. Know how all levels of your campaign have performed, are currently performing, and expected to perform
Wrapping It Up
It takes an in-depth investigation to make informed decisions about your Google AdWords and any pay per click campaign. Never base a decision on one set of data like clicks or impressions. Never be afraid to trust your instincts when it comes to how you interpret and measure data and success – it's all part of testing. And you never stop testing and trying new things in Pay Per Click. If you care about how your money is spent that is!