Successful Paid Search Campaigns Through Experimentation

When a website looks into the possibly of using paid search to increase their overall web traffic and conversion rate, their first question would likely be “What PPC strategy works best?” But like any strategic business decision, the best course varies not only from company to company but campaign to campaign.

The internet moves too fast for there to be a static list of ‘best practices’. Often, the most effective method for finding the right route is try out all the options and see what works best. This can be a frustrating process but if it’s done effectively, the misdirected attempts won’t exhaust your budget.

Divesting Is Better Than Further Investing In a Bad Idea

If a company throws a lot of money into a project, be it an adversing campaign, new product or an operations change, and it begins to flounder, the initial reaction is to throw more funds in to try and fix it.

This is understandable, as resources have been deployed and accountabilities established, but it ignores the marketing principle that all changes in a company are simply to test the waters, and see if it’s a viable way to improve profits in the future. No serious implementation should be irreversible unless it has been through extensive testing. Pride shouldn’t factor in.

If you launch a sponsored links campaign and its effects on the traffic level or net profit aren’t breaking even with the campaign costs, instead of fine-tuning the content or perhaps the targeting, ask yourself what it was about the medium or message that didn’t appeal to web users and use that data to move forward.

Doing a post-mortem on your campaign by identifying and closely examining the factors that prevented its success, can give you a good idea of what strategies to use from in the future.

Success Is an Acceptable Degree of Failure

The idea of failure is built into the concept of success. If you become obsessed with positive results along every step of your campaign, you may lose sight of the fact that in the big picture, you’re gathering valuable business data. It’s also important to know what figures on your metrics indicate failure.

For example, the average click through rate for display ads in the United States last year was 0.11%. (Search advertising is a fiercely competitive market in the US.) That means only 1 in every 1000 impressions resulted in someone actually clicking on them. Despite this statistic, display ads are still considered an effective web advertising tool.

The practice is still relatively young so try to get a more realistic idea on what the standard of success is for the industry rather than your company’s concept.

How To Test an Internet Marketing Campaign

* Use a small portion of your budget for experimenting with various methods of paid search to see what works for your company. This can be invaluable to future projects.
* Set strict schedules and metrics for these tests, and make sure they’re based on realistic industry benchmarks.
* Analyse the results and establish the success of campaign relative to other attempts.
* Document and share your findings. This will help provide more comprehensive business data for campaigns in the future and will give a better idea of key performance indicators (KPIs).