PPC Testing and Data Analytics
Tracking the right data, data analysis practices, and testing strategy will make or break your search engine marketing campaigns.
One of the most important things that you have to do to maximize your Search Engine Marketing campaign profits is to give yourself access to the right data. The key word in that previous statement is “right” – gathering data is usually fairly simple, but having the right data makes all the difference. Here’s how to make sure you have the right data:
Step back and consider the primary goals of your business as a whole, and make sure these goals are what you’re tracking results for in your PPC and other search engine marketing campaigns.
Make sure you’re tracking conversions or other actions, or both, specifically enough. You need to know which keyword, match type, ad text, and landing page produced your result action.
Assign the proper value to each action. What was the order value of the conversion? What is the lifetime value of that customer? How much is a newsletter signup, a request for information, or an account creation on your site worth to you over the lifetime of that customer?
Test. Once you have a campaign in place, the work has just begun. You’re missing out on the data you need to constantly improve your campaigns if you’re not testing – new keywords, ad variations, landing page variations, bid strategies, geo-targeting – virtually every option available should be tested regularly so that your campaigns can move with the marketplace. If you don’t have all of this data available to you, or it seems a bit overwhelming, don’t worry. Keep it simple, and get creative. Understanding the importance of these pieces of information is the most important step – even if you have to use estimated values and assumptions, use them, and replace them with firmer numbers as you get more data collected.
Remember, too much data can be as harmful as not enough data. Analyze your key data points, and don’t get caught up in numbers that you can’t control or don’t really affect your bottom line. Gather data that’s as statistically significant as possible – if this means keeping your tests simple to ensure that your sample sizes are large enough, then do it. There’s a lot of buzz around multivariate testing right now, but sometimes a simple A/B test will give you much clearer, actionable results.
Only with the proper data (and proper analysis of that data) at your disposal can you have the tools you need to shape your search engine marketing campaigns into the profitable business generating channels they can be.