Using paid search ads is always an option for websites to improve or expand their coverage in the search results and to target core search terms to drive more visits to a website. However, whether it’s Google AdWords, Bing Ads, or another form of paid advertising, every business should have an objective for the ad spend, and a way of measuring that.
Paid search advertising can be a very cost effective way of getting interested prospects onto a website, and it can become one of the primary sources of traffic for a website. However, it can also be an expensive exercise, especially in markets that are seeing more advertisers bid on terms, so having clear objectives and a way to measure them is essential, such as:
- Online sales – an easy one to track and a clear objective for an online store, with sales and transaction value providing an excellent and measurable way of proving if the ad spend is working, or where spend can be cut or increased to get the best results.
- Online enquiries – any online forms are also a measurable way of identifying good responses from a search advertising campaign, whether it’s an online form or a clickable email link, these can be measured and a cost per lead identified.
- Phone enquiries – this becomes harder to track where the action happens ‘offline’, but any business where calls are a key response mechanism should use a call tracking service, even with Google’s basic call extensions in AdWords. There can also be ways of tracking related signals from a website, such as clicks on the number from a mobile device, or views of a contact page.
- File downloads – maybe a key metric involves downloads of a PDF document or order form, or even clicks off to an external site like your business’s Facebook page. Using event tracking provides more flexibility in tracking actions on a website that you want visitors to take, and combining these with conversion goals is a great way to track the effectiveness of your marketing activity.
- User engagement – for some websites where content is key (such as blogs or news websites) it can help to track user engagement metrics such as bounce rate, pages viewed, time on site, or repeat visits to gauge the success of a marketing campaign at getting the ‘right sort of people’ onto your site, and use these as measurable objectives and goals.