Special Report - Search Engine Marketing
Rohrs agrees, adding that the spoiler can be a competitor that's optimized its search program to the hilt or that simply doesn't know any better about how to bid effectively. Either way, your results go out the window.
To effectively manage PPC programs, online retailers need to look at keyword performance, cost-per-click and cost-per-conversion numbers daily. Wehr stresses, "You have the potential to burn through a lot of cash quick [with PPC], so you need to be looking at [metrics] regularly."
On the search engine optimization side, program measurement is important to keeping up with adjustments that can push your search rankings higher. But since you can control your costs for this type of work more easily, it doesn't need the daily monitoring that paid search campaigns demand.
Making Sense of the Numbers
The point of measuring online activity from the search engine to your site is to determine where you could tweak your marketing efforts to drive more profitable online interactions.
The aspects of a search program that see the most refinement and testing are keyword terms and landing pages. The goal is to connect the search user with the landing page that best fulfills her information needs. If 20 percent of search traffic is bypassing your home-page and going to a particular product landing page, then it would suggest that this group used a very targeted keyword query. But, perhaps, not much of this 20 percent is converting to a sale, says Wehr. The analytics will help you determine on which pages visitors dropped off, so you can create hypotheses as to why and then set up tests to address these holes.
"You should be testing offer, product, design, position of the buttons … all those things that can impact whether or not the conversion rate goes up. As you learn from that testing and figure out which landing pages perform better, you can further refine your [keyword] ad groups and start slicing and dicing those into smaller groups. Then you can design a more targeted landing page around those groups. So, eventually you're going to have more landing pages and more keyword categories, but they're going to be a lot more targeted," Wehr explains.