March 30, 2016

Written by Mark Smith

Solving Paid Search Mysteries with Analytics

ANALYTICS in PALMWhen analyzing the effectiveness of paid search marketing campaigns, many marketers turn first to key performance indicators (KPIs) like clicks, impressions and conversion rates. After all, if your campaigns are not reaching people and enticing them to visit your website, they are not working.

However, if you approach search engine marketing (SEM) like a skilled detective, you can discover many more pieces of evidence to prove what truly works – and doesn’t – in your paid campaigns.

In “Five Ways Google Analytics Turns You Into the Sherlock of Paid Search,” which originally appeared in MarketingProfs (June 19, 2015), I explain how to complement basic KPIs with analytics to gain richer insights. Using a tool like Google Analytics, you can go beyond seeing how many people you’re attracting with your digital marketing to understanding whether they are prospective buyers—people who have a need for what you’re selling, either now or in the future.

Google Analytics lets you examine kernels of evidence, such as bounce rate, average session duration and how well individual pages are performing, to convert site visitors to leads. You can even point a magnifying glass on cross-platform performance to see how campaigns compare across devices – a critical component in today’s omni-channel marketing.

Once you understand what is working at this deeper level, you can make more-informed decisions about your paid search campaigns. Using analytics will help ensure you’re relying on data rather than instinct—just as any skilled detective would do.