Challenge: How do you evaluate the effectiveness of your pay per click spending?
So you have your PPC program running, optimized and well designed landing pages. Are you doing as well as you could? What metrics should you use to evaluate your program? You should evaluate your program at several levels.
First, there are a few metrics built into your PPC program that can be useful – these are cost per click (CPC) and cost per lead (CPL). CPC gives you a good idea of your traffic costs in order to compare to other opportunities. That only gets you so far, as lead generation campaigns have to produce leads to be effective. Thus, CPL is an important metric in any B2B search marketing campaign. You can measure CPL directly in AdWords by placing their conversion tracking codes on your post-registration form pages. You want to compare your CPL to other marketing programs you are running. How does this compare to your direct mail campaign or your lunch and learn program? In the end, PPC is only one area out of many marketing programs where you need to balance your overall marketing spend.
The next level of analysis is looking at revenue generated from your program. The great news is that most SFA programs like Salesforce.com and others provide great ways to track results using Campaigns and tracking fields. You can pass key variables to your SFA system like: search term, keyword, Ad Group, or campaign so you can then report on how well a given ad group, key word or campaign is performing in terms of lead qualification or revenue generated. With relatively simple SFA structures and usage, you can track the progress of these lead throughout the sales process. Here is a really useful guide to setting up AdWords conversion tracking.
Typically I have found that leads generated by PPC programs are frequently the first step in the sales process where other programs like webinars help to qualify and move these prospects along. The good news is that the leads coming from PPC into your SFA systems will frequently be net new leads and therefore you can then trace lifetime of this lead throughout the sales process.
What is required is the ability to integrate all future activity into this lead record. This may require a marketing automation system like Eloqua, Marketo, Aprimo or others. See more on this in other blog….
Lesson: If you don’t measure, any road will take you there. Decide on which metrics are important to your organization and measure them weekly. Over time you will optimize your metrics and reporting which will, in turn, optimize your PPC program.
Special thanks to Lindsey Walsh for her assistance with this post. You can contact Lindsey at: firstname.lastname@example.org.