“How do your strategies work in our industry?”
“What experiences do you have working with a company like ours?”
“Our sales cycle is a lot longer than other businesses; how do you adjust for that?”
We hear these questions so, so often every time we begin a new engagement with a client. While obviously clients want to know about our experience working on similar accounts, every engagement is one-of-a-kind.
That’s why true PPC success relies on tailoring our goals, strategies, and key metrics around what’s important to your business and how your industry functions. This becomes especially important when we’re working with a complex enterprise business.
Measuring PPC success goes beyond conversions
First things first. Before your enterprise business can truly succeed in online advertising, you have to be able to decide what success is.
It’s tempting to say that the only thing that is important to your business is leads/sales coming in and how much was spent to acquire them. In some situations, that may be correct. However, most enterprise business should look at much more than a simple conversion or cost-per-acquisition (CPA) number.
For most enterprise businesses, there are many moving parts that go along with many conversion paths available to your audiences. Examining more metrics means examining all of these moving parts and appropriately optimizing them so that your search and/or social advertising efforts are as effective as possible.
Make sure your CPA is sophisticated
If your website has several different actions that people can engage with, each of those should be tracked and factored into the final conversion.
Let’s say your website has 3 main conversion paths: downloading a white paper, requesting a sales demo, and calling a salesperson. It’s easy to add up how many of each of these actions occurred and divide it by the final ad spend. One could call this the CPA, but it’s pretty broad.
Why not get sophisticated? For all of our clients—and especially our enterprise clients—we want to make sure that we calculate the most specific CPA.
That’s why we calculate what percentage of each of these actions actually lead to a sale, then we weight each action to find the truest CPA that focuses on the most valuable conversion path. Not only does this help you nail down your CPA, but it helps enterprise businesses better understand how prospects move through the sales funnel.
Track your sales funnel
The sales funnel and sales cycle are key areas that enterprise businesses should be closely monitoring. It’s common for a larger or more intensive product offering to have more touch points in the sales funnel and for the sales cycle to take longer.
This only increases the importance of tracking each of those touch points and having tailored strategies to drive quality traffic to each part of the funnel.
For example, for many enterprise campaigns, a first look probably highlights the fact that display campaigns and broad search keywords drive a lot of traffic but don’t seem to lead to sales. However, when you are properly tracking each of these steps, you will be able to see that portions of this traffic interact with your website. They just need to be re-engaged through remarketing or more specific search terms to pull them through the funnel to the final goal.
Examine impression share
Outside of conversion tracking, there are several other goals or metrics you should be looking at as an enterprise business. It’s easy to only pay attention to conversion and revenue metrics, but this means overlooking key numbers in your account.
The simplest metric you should be looking at is impression share. Impression share informs you if your campaigns are profitable but your brand is only showing for a small amount of impressions. A low impression share means that your business isn’t only losing out on potential volume growth from more traffic, but losing out on significant opportunities to associate the brand with your potential clients’ search.
Get insights from your auction insights report
Another set of underused metrics for enterprise businesses is the auction insights report. This allows you to see what other brands are showing up in SERPs (search engine results page) with you regularly, how much you overlap with them, and in what order they are normally displayed.
This report allows you to effectively position your brand against your top competition literally (in terms of where your ads are showing) and figuratively (by adjusting your ad copy to highlight key differences between your brand and the competitors).
Keep tabs of site experience
Once you have a grasp on how your brand is perceived while a user is searching, you need to look at how users perceive your website. Conversions are one way to track this—but there are many other smaller metrics to look at as well.
Stats like bounce rate and time on site can give you a strong understanding of your site quality and user experience. We like to even get more in-depth by looking at how users move through the site with reports like exit pages and behavior flow.
Don’t get caught up in dollars in and dollars out
After all that, we’ve only just scratched the surface of what metrics you can dig into to evaluate your enterprise’s digital advertising efforts.
It all starts with setting clear and measurable goals for each step of the funnel, from a first-time visitor to becoming a devoted client or customer. When you’re setting these goals, don’t just get caught up in dollars in and dollars out. Look at the bigger picture (by looking at more PPC metrics!).
Finally, it’s oh-so-important to ensure that your digital marketing agency understands all of the ins and outs of your business and industry. Plus, the agency should obviously be in touch with monitoring all of the important (and lesser-known) KPI’s. If you’re looking for a new agency that fits the bill, well, your search is over.