Hey. It’s time to talk about using analytics to get the most out of your Search Engine Marketing , or SEM , campaigns.
We’re going to look at how you can use analytics to figure out which keywords are the best ones for you to bid on, how to tailor your ads to make them more effective, and how to decide how much to bid for the spots that are the most cost-effective for you.
Let’s get started. With search engine marketing, you’re spending money. The good news is, with analytics you can track what you spent where, and understand where it was spent most effectively.
Remember that guesthouse we’ve been talking about? Well let’s take this a bit further and pretend that it offers three themed rooms: King Arthur, Modern Romance and Football Fanatic. To promote each of these, let’s say you decide to run separate search campaigns with the goal of getting people to visit your website and take a video tour of one of these rooms.
Business is pretty good, but you’d like to take it to the next level.
With an analytics tool, you can check the keywords you’re using for each of your campaigns, and immediately see which are the most effective.
Let’s say you’re looking at your “Modern Romance” campaign. You notice that when your keywords, ‘romantic guesthouse’ and ‘guesthouse for a romantic weekend’ were used, the visitor took a video tour of that room about 5% of the time. This is known as a 5% “conversion rate” for the goal of taking the video tour.
But, when people search for keywords like ‘luxury romantic guest house’ or ‘luxurious romantic guest house’ the conversion rate drops to only 1%.
You’ve just found something you can improve, and there are lots of ways you might choose to do it.
First, you might look at the relevant pages on your website and see if there are changes you could make.
Take a look at all your luxury adverts and test some different messages that might really highlight either the video tour itself, or the luxury aspects of the guest house.
Whatever you decide to do, the key is that you’ll still be tracking what happens after you make your changes, and that means you’ll be able to see if your fixes raise that conversion rate from 1% to something better!
That covers a few different ways you can measure the keywords you’re bidding on, but that’s just one part of it. Analytics can also help you understand the impact of the actual ads you’re running.
You know that you want to write ads that are clear and compelling to the user, but ultimately, those users will decide what clear and compelling means to them. And that’s where analytics can help.
Sticking with this Modern Romance campaign, let’s say you have two different ads with two different headlines. One reads “Lockhart House” and the other reads “Romantic Weekend Accommodation”.
Analytics tools can show you how these compare, side by side. You can see which one is more likely to get a click and send someone to your site, and which one is more likely to get the visitor to take that video tour. This will tell you which one you should be using. And you can even use the insights you learn here across other campaigns and other areas of your website!
Last, analytics tools can help you understand just how much you should be bidding for ads, to make sure you’re getting a good return on your SEM investments.
By using Google Analytics , which integrates deeply with Google AdWords, you can see the keywords and ads driving people to your website and what they do when they get there, but you can also see quite a bit more. For example, how much you had to pay for each of those clicks, and how high up on the results page your bids put your ads. This gives you a lot of clarity into both what you’re getting for your investment as well as if it makes sense for you to bid higher or lower, to reach different positions that work for your business.
Let’s say you’re not the only guesthouse in town, and you’ve got some competition from “Stuart’s Guest House”. You might see that when you bid enough to out-do Stuart and your ad is in the top spot, it results in a conversion rate of 2%.
But, if you keep digging, your analytics tool might also tell you that when you bid lower and end up underneath Stuart, you get a little less traffic, but your conversion rate jumps up to 4%!
Of course, the ideal position and bid for you will depend on lots of things, and you might find that it’s better to be higher or better to be lower, but the key is that by using analytics, you’ll know exactly where you perform the best, and that means you’ll be getting more out of your investment than your competition.
Whether you’re analyzing your keywords, your ads, or how you’re bidding in your campaigns, analytics tools are essential to get the most out of your SEM investments. So before you make another update to your campaigns, make sure you drive those decisions with data!
- which keywords are paying for themselves
- how to understand which ads are working
- how to use analytics to help you bid smarter.