Final destination. The end. You can’t cheat death… or at least you can’t cheat the performance of your PPC campaigns. Knowing that a final destination is inevitable, we are forced to plan ahead. What are your goals? What is the end game? Prepare for it or the results will be violent and unexpected.
Understand Your KPIs
Before you can set goals, you need to determine what KPIs (key performance indicators) are most important to your business, or your clients’ business. Many PPC advertisers default to cost-per-acquisition/conversion. This is an important metric and a solid starting point. But most businesses require deeper layers of understanding to ensure the PPC performance is truly working for them. Consider ROI, ROAS, secondary lead status (CRM data), closed customers, revenue, margin, revenue per impression, margin per impression… the list goes on and on.
Talk with decision makers about that is most important to growing the business. Marketing, including PPC, is pointless unless it is supporting the growth of the targeted business. (obvious statement of the day)
KPI’s Are Great, But What Else?
Beyond the conversion-oriented performance metrics, most businesses have additional goals. Once again, communication with your clients or decision makers is of utmost importance. Consider the following:
- Competitive concerns. Ranking above below in the SERPs? Getting more or less traffic than the competition? Pull out the stops with tools like SpyFu or auction insights in AdWords or Bing Ads.
- Branding concerns. When dealing with bigger brands PPC can often be used to reach performance goals as well as brand goals. The messaging can be augmented to be on point or to shape brand perception in the market place. You can also reach demand generation goals to insert your NEW brand into the world. All of this really gets exciting when you look beyond search and consider display and social advertising.
- Customer retention and lifetime value concerns. While these pieces are directly tied to performance KPIs, this is a much deeper analysis consideration. Customer retention is directly and indirectly tied to your search, display or social advertising efforts. Over time you should be working with your clients and decision makers to understand which campaigns, targets, keywords, etc. are driving customers with the best lifetime value.
As we are all speeding towards our Final Destination in digital advertising (and life), we should take a step back and consider if we are truly prepared. Review your goals, KPIs and determine if you are doing all you can to reach those goals. And perhaps most importantly, keep your eyes out for speeding buses or semi’s loaded with massive tree trunks.