Is Your Pay Per Click Campaign Performing?
Be the Owner You Need to Be
I recently interviewed Rodney Edenfield, CSO of LocalizeIt Online, an internet marketing expert with more than 13 years of experience helping service companies improve their web presence, and I asked him to share his thoughts on Pay Per Click advertising. He said:
“The ultimate goal is to gain front page dominance. Being visible on the first Google search engine results page in all three aspects (PPC, Organic and Local) can increase the likelihood of a searcher clicking on a website by more than 65 percent. I put a strong focus on PPC advertising as it is the quickest and most effective way to guarantee visibility for any and all keywords related to your business. Also analyzing a PPC campaign quickly provides a lot of information that can then be used in your Search Engine Optimization strategy to improve your website’s organic performance too.”
Question: How can I gauge if my Pay Per Click campaign is performing well?
Answer: Here are five top KPIs you should analyze monthly.
1) Click Through Rate is the number of clicks on an ad divided by the number of times the ad is shown (impressions). A “low” CTR is usually caused by low page position, lack of proper negative keywords, poor match type for targeted keywords, or sometimes all three. A good CTR goal for the service industry ranges from 1.75 - 2.75 percent.
2) Average Page Positiondescribes how your ad typically ranks against competitors’ ads. This rank determines in which order ads appear on the page.
When your PPC ad appears in the top three spots in Google AdWords, it is eligible for ad extensions and special features Google AdWords offers, such as Sitelink Extensions, Call Extensions, Offer Extensions, and Location Extensions, all of which can greatly benefit the CTR and effectiveness of any PPC campaign.
A “good” Average Page Position for any PPC campaign ranges from 2.3 - 2.7, while an “above average” page position ranges from 1.0 - 2.2.
Note: Although the No. 1 position drives the most clicks, watch to see if those clicks convert. People often click the first thing they see, even if it isn’t relevant to their actual search.
3) Click to Call Ratio is the most important KPI for any PPC campaign. CTC is the number of calls generated from a PPC campaign divided by the number of clicks over a specified time period.
This KPI is generally not available in the Google AdWords dashboard since it requires call tracking to also be set up. A CTC of more than 25 percent should be producing a high ROI for the business.
4) Quality Score is a dynamic metric assigned to each keyword, and is calculated using a variety of factors. One key factor is how relevant a keyword is to an ad group and to a user’s search query.
The higher a keyword’s Quality Score, the lower its cost-per-click and the better its ad position. Quality Score ranges from 0-10 with 10 being the highest. An average Quality Score for an important keyword used in campaign can range from 5 - 7.
5) Cost per Call is the total amount of PPC advertising funds spent to receive a phone call to your business. Aligned with Click to Call ratio, this will indicate how successfully your PPC campaign is performing. Cost will vary by market and should be reviewed to make sure it is consistent with your business goals.
Question: How can I tell if my Pay Per Click management vendor is doing a good job?
Answer: Review the KPIs above and ask these 7 questions:
1) Is my campaign being properly targeted?
Review the Google AdWords screenshot of the target areas. Make sure you are not targeting areas outside of your service area. Conversely, if you are not covering your whole service area, find out why. There may be good reasons such as budget limitations, but your input should be included on what areas to target.
2) Is my campaign set up with focused ad groups?
Grouping smaller numbers of related keywords to make them more relevant to your ads and landing pages increases Quality Score.
3) Are my keywords being regularly managed and optimized?
Are click reports downloaded and negative keyword mining being performed? Are keywords being tested in different match types (broad, broad +, phrase, exact)? It is not a best practice to have all broad match types.
4) Are bid adjustments being done at the keyword level – not just at the group level?
5) Is my campaign leveraging extension opportunities (call, location, offer, etc.)?
Using these can make your ad stand out and deliver higher click through rates.
6) Can I see a transparent view of all keywords, not just the top 50?
You want to see the results for your most highly relevant keywords, not just the best performing.
7) How is performance being tracked?
You should see Click Through Rate, Ad Position, and Quality Score in the AdWords dashboard. Ask what is in place to track Click to Conversion (Call or Form Fill), Cost Per Call, and Cost Per Acquisition?
A good PPC partner should strive to deliver the right clicks and customers to help grow your business, not just clicks. As a local HVAC company, you don’t want to pay for clicks from outside your service area looking to have the air conditioner in their car repaired.
Meet with your PPC vendor regularly to see whether your calls are from prospects in your service area looking for services you provide, and whether you are meeting your revenue goals. If not, ask your PPC vendor what their strategy is to improve. Keep in mind they can only impact the factors they can control. If your PPC campaign drives calls from quality prospects, but your CSRs can’t book them, or your technicians can’t generate revenue on the call – you may have a training issue rather than a marketing issue.