There are different challenges to explaining the value of the traffic that you are driving to a client’s website. First, understanding the type of traffic you are selecting regarding the quality or quantity of keywords in your paid search campaign is important. On occasion, I am presented with traffic from other agencies of properties in the same market with a much higher amount of clicks and impressions than our campaigns. You cannot compare apples to apples in all situations but there are a few things to look out for. Here are the metrics I was presented:
My property in April 2017:
- Impressions => 7,240
- Clicks => 893
- Cost => $1,710.23
- CTR => 12.3%
- CPC => $1.92
- Sessions => 2,649
- Users => 1,756
An agency competitor’s property in April 2017:
- Impressions => 16,491
- Clicks => 1,413
- Cost => $1,463.38
- CTR => 8.57%
- CPC => $1.04
- Sessions => 3,310
- Users => 2,452
The marketing manager that presented these numbers suggested that our performance was not as good as the other vendor. He wanted to understand why our cost was so much higher than the other property. He is specifically noting that the total number of clicks was better and the avg CPC’s were lower. One specific indicator that is important to note is that my property’s CTR is better and since this is the actual metric used to explain the effectiveness of your paid search campaign it is important to address.
After you consider the types of campaigns set up within the paid search account to make sure that you are targeting the right kind of local market traffic, you inevitably should look at several different typical factors as to why the traffic is much different.
Connected to Search Network Only or Search Partners and Display Select Traffic
First, is the client’s account connected to search partners and display select traffic? My campaigns are not selected for to run with these. When you select this your campaigns are focused on the quantity of clicks over the quality of clicks. This means that the ad could show up across hundreds of non-Google websites and gives less control over your ad experience.
Targeting People In, Searching For, Or Viewing Pages about the Location
Second, is there national targeting as opposed to locally focused targeted traffic that will provide a lower CTR and CPC? I select traffic that is geo-targeted to a specific radius around the property. I also select the targeting method ‘people in, searching for, or viewing pages about my targeted location’ so as to receive those that may not be in my radius but are searching for the specific geo-targeted term regardless of their specific location.
Tracking The Value of Paid Search Campaigns with KPI’s over Campaign Clicks
Third, if you are tracking your website with some specific KPI’s and valued metrics then you would prefer to base the true value of your campaigns on these selected website actions and if you can get the cost per lead, even better. Basing the quality of your traffic just off of the amount of clicks from your paid ads is not the standard for paid search success. I work to optimize paid search accounts with good CTR’s and low CPC’s after the first priority of confirming quality traffic. When you have this mentality, it changes the way you manage paid accounts.
In conclusion, when you are running your accounts across less quality sites you get a lot lower CPC’s across your accounts resulting in much more traffic. Most vendors focus on amount of clicks which will inevitably result in a lower avg CPC for the account. It is important to understand and be an advocate for the quality of traffic over the quantity. Have a well structured paid search account means a world of difference to your campaign results and that’s why it’s important to consider the value of the type of traffic you are bringing in.