Enough has been written in Pay Per Click (PPC) and SEM, as more and more companies struggle to find their footing in an ever shifting paid search environment as Google’s Adwords platform continues to change the rules of the game.
As the leaders of the paid search arena, Google strives to increase revenues and user experience by introducing new services and features of their Adwords program such as the inclusion of dynamic ads and/or ad extensions.
Paid search campaigns are constantly moving and need regular attention to manage effectively. Pay Per Click advertising managers strive to optimize their clients' PPC campaigns by managing their KPI’s (Key Performance Indicators), namely Click Through Rates (CTRs), quality score, Conversion rates, and ad spend ROI ultimately determine the success of an Adwords PPC campaign.
Strategies and approaches differ from PPC expert to expert, as some assert the importance of a manual bidding strategy while others back a click value approach and thus shuttering the hopes of a clear and forward consensus on the matter.
Keyword match types, ad scheduling and even targeting play huge roles in PPC marketing campaigns, but another major common mistake are the general benchmarks set up by individual firms and companies. Sure a 6% CTR will be more appealing than 3%, but depending on the industry and competition level, how can you accurately determine the overall health of a campaign?
KPI Benchmarks differ widely between industries and this is a fact that often tends to be overlooked. You shouldn't compare KPI’s across different industries as this will only hinder the understanding of the market, the public and ultimately the campaign.
To further illustrate this point, lets take the commercial beverages industry versus the hospitality industry as two completely different industries with two entirely different target audiences who have different buying expectations. CTRs, traffic, and conversions may be substantially higher for the hospitality industry because of the nature of how users search and purchase hotel rooms, vacation trips, airline tickets, etc., online.
Meanwhile, for the wholesale/commercial beverages industry for restaurants, hotels, convenience stores, etc., the terrain is slightly diverse as people would rather deal with actual sellers and are reluctant to purchase these products online.
You can further refine your campaign performance with metrics found in Google Analytics. Metrics such as bounce rates, average time on site, the number of pages visited, and those who convert in the goal conversion funnel can paint you a clearer picture of how well the PPC campaign is performing.
Analyzing these metrics also allows you to make informed decisions on modifications that need to be made to your PPC campaigns to maximize performance by negating keywords that aren't proving to be profitable, updating ad copy, modifying your geographic targets, or decreasing your bid amounts on certain devices.
All in all, the current framework provides marketers with a wide array of resources; the results vary in their interpretation of those KPI’s and their PPC strategies.
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