Before you spend a dime on paid search advertising in 2013 make sure you read this article so you fully understand what you should be receiving from your paid search management company.
There is no magic bullet or secret sauce when it comes to setting up your business on Google Adwords. It takes a combination of the right tools, patience, hard work and discipline in managing your account to best practices to yield a favorable return. All too often we see the same situation when speaking to a prospective customer. They are often disappointed with their current situation and tied into a very low monthly management rate and see little or no result for their spend with their current search manager. This is very common. The paid search management industry has become tainted with firms who go out and get a huge volume of clients for a low monthly rate. Sure this is good for them and their Bernie Madoff ways – but what does it mean to you and your company? Are you happy on your “set and forget” Google Adwords manager?
Signs you are in a Set and Forget Google Adwords Relationship
- You do not have access to your own Google Adwords account.
- You receive stagnant numbers or have not seen any growth for your spend.
- Your paid search manager sends you a boiler plate report at the end of each month with reasons why your phone does not ring.
- You are not discussing with your paid search manager business goals and objectives.
- You are not receiving Google Adwords, Google Analytics or Call Tracking reports.
Hold Your Paid Search Manager Accountable to These Metrics
Clicks – this is a measurement of how many times your ad was clicked on.
Impressions – this is a measurement of how many times your ad was served in a search phrase. Think of impressions as a billboard. People noticed your ad but did not take action.
Click-Thru-Rate – known as CTR this measurement tracks the effectiveness of impressions to clicks. So if your ad received 100 impressions and you got 10 clicks you would have a 10% CTR. The higher the click-thru-rate the better the overall setup and management of your account. A good paid search manager will constantly pull keywords and create new adgroups in addition to split testing ad copy to increase CTR. It is a best practice to have a minimum of two ads for every adgroup running at all times.
Average Cost Per Click – This is a measurement of what you are paying on average for someone to click on your ad.
Cost – This is a measurement of your overall spend for a specific campaign. If you are a home services contractor and run multiple profit centers you can easily set budget and manage cost to a specific category and segment the result.
Average Position – This is a measurement of how you stack up in the market place. It tells you where your current placement is. There is a common misconception that you need to be the biggest bidder to achieve first position in paid search. This is true to a certain extent but it is also true that if you have a high quality score and your adgroup is setup where the keywords you are using are relevant to the search term, ad copy and landing page you can trump a big bidder and gain a higher placement based on the quality of your setup.
Calls – This is a measurement of how many calls or leads you received from your efforts. When we work with a client we track calls with our call tracking platform which is tied directly into Google Analytics – so at the end of the month you can actually see calls, what terms were used and they are stamped on your traffic report. Maintaining this type of historical data will help you with your planning year over year.
Click to Call Conversion – This is a measurement of overall campaign effectiveness and if you were to only track a handful of metrics this is a good one. This measures the amount of clicks it takes to make the phone ring. This is a good indicator of how well your landing page is performing. A low click to call conversion will prompt a good paid search manager to split test your landing page copy and/or design.
Average Cost Per Call – This is a measure of your spend divided by your call volume and gives you your overall cost to make the phone ring.
Hold Your Call Center Accountable to these Metrics
Booked Calls – This is a measurement of how well your CSR team was able to convert a call to a service opportunity. When engaging with paid search I always advise my clients to answer the phone on the first ring and be ready with a script. Our call tracking platform gives our clients the ability to give each call a disposition in addition to tracking the ticket value.
CSR Efficiency – A good CSR efficiency is 80% or above. This is a good sign of not only an effective paid search campaign but also a strong call center. Take your booked calls and divide by total call volume. If you have more than one CSR and receive a good volume of calls each day you can boost morale and retention by implementing a system that rewards your top CSR performers. A small incentive is a lot less expensive than a lost call opportunity. One of our clients receives 350+ calls per month and puts a dollar in a jar for every call. At the end of the month the CSR with the best numbers gets the jar full of cash.
Campaign Effectiveness Metrics
Total Revenue – This is an obvious one but can be a tough one to track without the proper tools. Our call tracking platform makes it easy for our clients to record total revenue by marketing campaign source.
Revenue Per Call – This measurement is total revenue divided by the number of booked calls.
Return on Investment – This measurement is your total spend divided by your overall revenue which will give you your percentage of marketing spend to revenue production.
Each of these metrics above tell a story and gives a paid search manager and business owner the visibility into what needs to be worked on. We constantly work with our clients to improve these numbers and have created a paid search benchmark report to manage monthly campaign performance.
Schedule a Google Adwords Account Review
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