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November 29, 2007

4 Web Analytics Tips for SEM

By Alex Cohen

Clicks, CPC, CTR, CPO--the world of paid search marketing is full of acronyms and numbers.  Cutting through the data clutter is key to using analysis to your advantage. 

I've already talked about ppc analytics when moving data from one agency to another.  In this post, I'm sharing 4 quick tips to use web analytics to generate more money from your paid search campaigns.

#4 - Rank Your Results
Benchmarks are a great way to understand whether your campaigns are performing to their full potential.  The easiest benchmarks to get come from your own campaigns. 

Pick the key performance indicator that matters most to you, say cost-per-order, and rank from best to worst.  Now, apply conditional formatting to values.  One option is to setup the formula to color according to a particular cut off point.  I like to have Excel highlight the top and bottom 10% (this is easiest in Excel 2007)

Now, dig into the data and start asking questions.  Why do these campaigns perform best?  Why do these campaigns perform worst? 
 

#3 - Check Your Bounce Rate
It's obvious that your landing pages matter.  I heartily recommend you invest in multivariate testing (here are some multivariate testing tools). 

For a quick and dirty measure of just how much your landing pages could be holding you back, check your bounce rate.  Bounce rate measures how many visits just went to that landing page and did not go anywhere else.  It's just the start of analysis, but a great metric that you can't find inside the engine reporting. 

#2 - Ensure Statistical Validity for your Creative Tests
You should be running at least some creative tests, particularly for your most valuable words with a large number of impressions.  As you measure your tests, make sure the differences in your clickthrough rates are statistically valid.  Vertster has a free tool to help you. 

Of course, you'll want to also carry the measurement through to conversion.

#1 - Drill Down to the Keyword Level
Occasionally, you'll want to dig down to the keyword level in your reports.  If you ranked your results like I recommended in tip #4, then see if you can find any interesting differences between the top and bottom 10% at the keyword level. 

Look for groups of similar keywords within the ad group.  For example, if you're selling books and your ad group is built around horror books, take a look to see if you notice any trends among groups of similar keywords. 

Are Stephen King words much more expensive Clive Barker?  How do they compare for conversion rates and cost-per-sale?  Try to find interesting differences, develop some hypotheses and take action to test them.

What are your tips to improve paid search results with web analytics?

For Search Marketing Gurus, Alex Cohen of Digital Alex

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» SearchCap: The Day In Search, November 30, 2007 from Search Engine Land: News About Search Engines & Search Marketing
Below is what happened in search today, as reported on Search Engine Land and from other places across the web.... [Read More]

Comments

Thank you very much for Web Analytics Tips.I got good information from in this tips.

if you wanna beat the competitors in SEM for targeted keywords we need to make quality titles and descriptions... as well as main related targeted keywords.. at the same way we need to improve the impressions and decrease the bounce rate.. this would help us to increase the leads..

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