Measures of Success: Paid Search | Adtaxi

Measures of Success: Paid Search


Jennifer Flanagan

Dec 17 2020

Paid search, or PPC, has long been thought of as a lower-funnel solution, and for good reason. Landing that top spot on Google is a prize worth paying for. Sometimes brands will place their paid search ads on their own branded keywords, sometimes on their competitors names, or sometimes their categories. They capture our attention by being the first result we see, and for many, that’s all they need to click. It’s been found that 75% of internet users never make it past the first page of search engine results. Landing on the first page is crucial. 

Marketers have spent years keeping paid search in a very tunneled perspective. While paid search is a great bottom-of-the-funnel (BoFu) converter, how we measure that success and pigeonholing paid search exclusively as a BoFu strategy and ignoring its opportunities higher in the funnel can hold back marketers’ goals. 

Expanding Paid Search Throughout Every Stage of the Funnel 

It’s important to keep in mind that paid search is very valuable at the bottom of your funnel, but that doesn’t mean that its only place is at the bottom of the funnel. Your keyword strategy for your PPC ads can be optimized throughout other parts of the funnel. 

Let’s start with the basics. Your keywords for the brunt of your PPC budget should be focused on the bottom of your funnel. When searching on Google or Bing, shoppers already have a sense of what they’re looking for. Whether that search term is generic to your category or specific to your brand, there’s already a level of interest behind the motivation of that search term. However, that depends on your category. 

Let’s say you’re an alcoholic beverage manufacturer. There’s not a lot of need for product discovery, especially if you are making standard drinks—wine, beers, seltzers, spirits, etc. Your shoppers already know about these beverages, so the top of the funnel isn’t necessarily about product discovery but instead, it’s about product intent. In this case, paid search can be an effective strategy at the top of the funnel. By choosing keywords that are optimized for your budget and discoverability, your shoppers can discover your products. Include keywords focused on differentiating your products, instead of only investing in more generic terms, like “wine” or “beer” that the budget will be so high and discoverability may still be quite low. 

However, if you exist in a category where product discoverability may be the first step, your top of funnel strategy with paid search may be a bit more convoluted. Product discoverability is often best allotted to other ad channels such as social or video. However, your PPC ads can be near the top of your funnel, although maybe not the first step. PPC can aid your funnel at the top, where consumers are showcasing interest in the product after they’ve discovered it elsewhere. Your ads can focus on informational landing pages instead of conversions. 

At the BoFu stage, when your consumers are showcasing intent to purchase, this is where PPC really provides an ROI. Here, focus on branded keywords. Many of your shoppers are showcasing intent to purchase and may already have your brand in mind. This is when a paid search ad will really drive conversions. 

Measuring Your Paid Search Success

Measuring your PPC success is not simply about the number of clicks you get on the ads themselves. Success in PPC has more to do with the landing page conversions than the number of clicks you get on your search ads. If your landing pages are not converting, the dollars spent on those clicks are for naught. 

There are many strategies marketers can take to improve the conversions on your landing pages. For example, creating a singular, large, and clear call-to-action will create a landing page with an obvious next-best-action for your customers and a clear customer journey path. Improving load times on these pages can increase your conversion rate upwards of 7 percent. This landing page conversion will make or break your paid search strategy. 

Additionally, an important metric to measure is the impression rate—the rate at which your ad is being seen compared to the total eligible impressions your ad could get. Ensuring that your ad is the one appearing for your keywords is critical. If your ads are not appearing, it could be a lack of budget. This KPI enables teams to optimize the effectiveness of their campaigns. If you find that your impression share is low but your overall impressions are high, it could mean that your budget is being exhausted early in the day. To optimize your impression rate, figure out what your best performing keywords are and allocate a higher budget to those campaigns to allow them as many opportunities to convert as possible.

Paid search can be a great way to convert your consumers. However, don’t hold your paid search strategy back—optimize your search campaigns across as many stages of the funnel as it makes sense for your brand. There is no one-size-fits-all strategy for advertising, what works for your brand may not work with others. This is why thinking outside the box and rethinking how paid search fits in your campaign strategy can ultimately lead to higher conversions on your ads. 

Get in touch with Adtaxi today to see how we can assist your paid search strategy. 

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