For nearly all of the 273.8 million North American Internet users looking for anything online, the first stop is a search engine. Because search engines are visited so frequently by online users, paid search now accounts for nearly 25 percent of the average online marketing budget. With such a large share of the budget, it is more crucial than ever to make sure your business isn't wasting hundreds or thousands of dollars each month on missed opportunities or inefficiencies. Focusing on the "seven pillars" of paid search marketing will help ensure the highest return on your investment. These seven pillars listed below offer direct marketers a transparent view of each paid search campaign's effectiveness.
It's critical to first understand exactly what's being tracked and what you're missing. Are all revenue events being tracked, including phone calls, chats and in-store sales? What's your attribution model: first click, last click or weighted? Are all expenses being assessed, including sales operations and cost of goods sold? Answering and defining critical questions like these are paramount to the success of your campaign.
2. Media Weight
The next step is to determine how well the budget is used across the different campaigns. Did the top-performing campaigns and keywords receive maximum exposure, or were they limited by low bids and capped budgets? Ensuring your top-performing campaigns are running at maximum visibility is a great way to ensure results are being maximized. A good place to begin this analysis is a "Lost Impression Share (IS) to Budget Report." This report uncovers campaigns that were turned off during the month due to budget. If any of your top campaigns are in this report, this is an easy place to start improving your results.
3. Quality Score
Direct marketers know there can be tremendous variance in what an advertiser is charged per click based on their quality score, which is essentially an algorithm that determines how relevant your ad/landing page is for a given keyword. The less relevant, the more you have to pay per click; the more relevant, the lower the cost per click. Advertisers create more relevant listings for their best keywords and are rewarded with a better cost per click. In order to isolate quality scores that are low or trending down, you can download a quality score report from the search engine. Improving quality scores is all about relevancy, creating hyper-targeted ads that resonate with the targeted user and providing users with rich and targeted landing pages.