Using Web Analytics to Optimize PPC Campaigns (Part 2)

By Jeff Campbell, VP Product Development & Innovation

And we’re back! To follow up my posting yesterday, which introduced the first 5 of 10 ways to use Web Analytics data to optimize your Paid Search campaigns, I am happy to bring you the remainder of the tips:

6. Identifying “Influencer Keywords” – A 2005 DoubleClick study showed consumers search anywhere from 2.5 to 6 times before making a purchase and refine those searches from generic keywords to brand or product names prior to conversion. When judging the success of your generic keywords like “mortgage”, “computer”, “car rental”, etc., it’s important to use WA data to find out if they do indeed bring converting users, even if it’s for that initial introduction to the site.

7. Identifying Conversion Latency – As previously mentioned, not everyone converts immediately. What is your same-session conversion rate? How many days pass before a visitor returns to convert? How many sessions does it take before conversion? Page views? Time on site? Don’t judge PPC success until the latency period has passed. Know your audience’s sales cycle and build that into campaign expectations and testing windows.

8. Finding Day-Part Opportunities – Sundays and Mondays will vary in conversion volume and rates, as will 9am and 9pm or MSN to Google. Turn your PPC spend dials up and down to maximize ad exposure; keep in mind “AdScores” penalize excessive bid/budget changes. We’ll save predictive modeling for a future post.

9. Hot Products, Top Converters – With a limited budget and possibly thousands of Product URLs, which product pages get the attention (detailed keyword lists, customized copy, page-level optimizations, budget share)? WA tools typically have a product analysis/comparison report to view quantity of orders, product page visits, revenue/order size, profit margin, conversion rates and more, by product. For most e-commerce companies, the 80/20 rule holds true; see what moves the needle (or doesn’t) with WA data and focus your limited resources where appropriate.

10. Landing Page Analysis/Bounce Rates – There are typically multiple landing page choices for your PPC destination URLs – home pages, category, sub-category, product pages, geo, seasonal promo pages, and more. Bounce rates are immediate indicators of what is or isn’t working and A/B or multivariate tests can further improve both page ‘stickyness’ and conversion rates.

Having WA access is major advantage for Paid Search optimizers – use it if you got it and keep in mind that these 10 tips are only the tip of the iceberg. The real challenge to using WA data to optimize our campaigns is gaining access. I’ll save that diatribe for another post, but a quick quote from Andy Beal sums it up well: “Too many clients guard their web data as if it’s the secret recipe to KFC. For us search marketers, it’s like navigating a plane through a thunderstorm without instruments.”

Posted by: Jeff Campbell, VP Product Development & Innovation


Dean Collins said...

Great post Jeff.

It's good to see people are finally starting to pay attention to Mobile Analytics (lol with 3 vendors announcing offerings just this week).

I've said for a long time, if someone visits your mobile site and you dont have any analtics and dont know anything about them or their visit.....does it count (as a homage to the saying "if a tree falls in the forest and no one is around to hear").

If you run a mobile web site check out Amethon's Mobile Analytics from

One of the worlds first analytics applications specifically built for mobile browsers.

With no page tagging, artifacts or javascript we offer a real time analytics solution with no overhead or lag.

Or if you are in the USA give me a call in the New York offices.

Dean Collins

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