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Choosing your KPI’s 

by mattobrien on May 21, 2011

Paid search and measurement go hand it hand, as a channel we are able to track and measure a huge number of different factors, ranging from the number of times our ad has been displayed and clicked on, through to the sales generated and ROI achieved, along with everything in-between and a few things afterwards.

We measure so that we can understand how well our paid search campaign is performing and also how we improve and develop it. However, being able to track and measure so many different elements of paid search comes with its own challenges. Which parts should you look at to judge performance? The most traditional KPI’s for any paid search campaign are the volume and cost of sales delivered. From this we are able to compare to our targets and make a judgement as to how well our campaign is performing. Actually all this does it allow us to compare the performance of our campaign vs. results specific targets, rather than giving a holistic view on the actual performance of the paid search campaign and what it has the potential to achieve.

Imagine you were targeting 1,000 sales a month at a cost per sale of £20. If you delivered 1,000 sales in a month at this CPA, you would deem your campaign to be performing well. Would you feel the same way about the campaign’s performance if you found out that you could be delivering 2,000 sales a month at your target cost per sale, possibly not!

There are a number of paid search campaign measures that can be included within KPI’s to allow for evaluation of the performance of the campaign and also the performance of the results that it delivers. To do this we can split out our KPI’s into campaign KPI’s and results KPI’s. What needs to be included within each will vary from business to business, so it’s important to have a good grasp of what can be reported and exactly what it means. Do avoid reporting fro the sake of reporting, make sure that you are able to make judgements and actions based on the information that you have.

Taking a look at what could be included within a set of results KPI’s, there are many elements to choose from, including;
• Impressions
• Clicks
• Site visits
• Bounce rate
• Product views
• On site quotes
• Sales
• Sales value
• ROI

It is likely that you will already be looking at these measures, combined with the various conversion rates from clicks to onsite actions and from different parts of the site to others.

A huge amount of valuable and actionable insight can be gained from these measures, including key operational paid search management and optimisation decisions.

These KPI’s don’t necessarily give you the full picture you need to be able to evaluate the overall performance of your paid search campaign. To do this they need to be looked at in conjunction with campaign KPI’s. Again the set of campaign KPI’s that you select for your campaign will vary based upon you objectives and goals, although some common campaign KPI’s include;

• Click rate
• Ad position
• Keyword density
• Ad copy utilisation
• Impression share
• Quality score profile
• Lost Impression share (Budget & Ad rank)
• Keyword / search query ratio’s
• Match type performance
• Cost of quality (score)

Campaign KPI’s can give a very different perspective to a paid search campaign, they can give a clearer idea of how well each element is working (v.s it’s potential) and where the biggest gains can be made.

For the best view both campaign based and results based KPI’s need to be looked at in conjunction with each other, giving a holistic view of exactly how a paid search campaign is performing and how you can make it work even harder.

At Unscrambled we take this to the next level with our paid search Performance Audit. It’s a full health check of each and every element of your paid search campaign, looking at over 300 different measures across the different paid search pillars. Our algorithm scores each pillar of your search campaign so you can see how well each element performs. It also gives an overall campaign score, so that you are able to benchmark your performance for future audits.

The Unscrambled Performance Audit identifies which campaign elements are working, where you can save budget, without harming results performance, how you can increase campaign efficiency and where opportunity exists to drive increased sales and revenue.

The Unscrambled Performance Audit is discrete and confidential, offering you an expert second opinion on your paid search campaign. Isn’t it time you gave you paid search campaign its MOT?

Unscrambled produced great results in a relatively short space of time
and at great
value

The Open University

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