Why Paid Search Pays Off

in Article

And (almost) all the ways it affects your search pipeline

You want your digital marketing plan to be integrated, right? Then you have to make paid search a priority. Not only is it fundamental to driving new leads and engaging future customers, it allows you to accurately measure your results and guide your success. What’s working? What isn’t? Paid search gives you actionable answers through a measurable initiative. 

Bu it’s not as basic as “We spent this amount of money … Had this many people come to our site … Generated this many leads …” It’s a bit more complicated than that. The full value of your paid search program extends way beyond its direct impact. There are several metrics that get overlooked when assessing the health and success of a paid search program, and sometimes only managing hard KPIs can cause you to miss the pipeline for the leads.

View-Through Conversions

WHAT IS IT? View-Through Conversions (VTC) occur when someone is exposed to, but does not interact with, your Display ad (text or video) then later converts. The default conversion window for these is 30 days, though it can be adjusted in the conversion settings.

WHY IT’S VALUABLE: VTC automatically excludes people who interact with your other display or search ads. It measures how many conversions occurred from other channel sources that may have been influenced by your Display ads. We can’t say it definitely caused users to return and convert, but we can assume it plays a part. In some cases when managing to a strict KPI, a Display Campaign garnering many VTC but no last-click conversions may get paused, or its budget reduced, which results in overall conversions from other sources softening, as well.

% New Sessions

WHAT IS IT? % New Sessions is the percentage of first-time sessions from people who have never visited your site before. This metric is only viewable in AdWords after linking your Google Analytics account.

WHY IT’S VALUABLE: % New Sessions is valuable for refilling the sales pipeline. New visitors means new leads, which means more potential deals closed. For eCommerce, % New Sessions is helpful, but it’s the inverse of the percentage (returning visitors) that is more tantalizing, since returning visitors are more likely to repurchase.

Assisted Conversions

Last click-conversion attribution does not give credit to any channel that assists along the conversion path, so it’s necessary to analyze what initiatives not only introduce users to your site, but also move them down the funnel.

The closer a value is to “0” means it functions primarily as the final conversion. A value closer to “1” means it functions equally in an assist and final conversion role. Anything over “1” means it functions more in an assist role.

First Interaction

WHAT IS IT? The number of conversions for which a channel was the first interaction on the conversion path.

WHY IT’S VALUABLE: First Interaction Rates allow you to pinpoint the channels bringing customers in.

Assist Interactions

WHAT IS IT? The number of conversions for which a channel appeared on the conversion path, but was not the final conversion interaction.

WHY IT’S VALUABLE: Assist Interactions show how channels are moving customers down the sales funnel.

The Big Picture

While this discussion has been at a channel level, these metrics can and should be examined at a campaign, ad group, and even keyword level. In some cases when managing a KPI, a Display Campaign garnering considerable VTC, but no last-click conversions, may get paused, which results in overall conversions from other sources softening. But don’t forget, just because a keyword has high clicks and no conversions doesn’t necessarily mean it should be paused. It might be responsible for many assisted conversions, or be a key term that makes new customers aware of you.

Like all marketing channels, paid search has a halo effect, and these metrics play an incredibly vital role in evaluating its quantifiable impact.

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