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2. Tools to measure SEM

Topic: Find success with analytics

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{[ ((lesson.showTranscript) ? 'Hide' : 'View transcript') ]} Check your knowledge

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!

Conversion

The action you want visitors to perform. Examples include e­commerce purchases, form submissions, phone calls, and video views. E.g. “My main goal is for people to book a consultation on my website, but signing up for my email newsletter would also be considered a conversion.”

Actual Cost-­per-­Click (CPC)

The true amount that a business pays to the search engine when their ad is clicked. Businesses set a Max CPC which acts as a “ceiling”—they can never be charged more than that figure. However, depending on the number and relevance of the other ads in the auction, the actual amount paid can vary. The formula for cost­-per-­click may vary slightly across search engines, but generally works like this: (Ad Rank to Beat ÷ Your Relevance Score) + £0.01. Let’s see an example. Your competitor, Wanda’s Weddings, has the next­-best Ad Rank (that’s the Ad Rank to beat in this formula). Her Ad Rank is 12. Now we need to divide that by your relevance score. Let’s say you’ve scored a 9 out of possible 10. So, your actual cost­-per-­click will be (1 2/9) + £ 0.01, or £ 1.34. E.g. “I’m willing to bid as high as £1.75 for my wedding photos ad, but luckily my actual CPC is only £1.60.”

Goal

The action you want visitors to perform. Examples include e­commerce purchases, form submissions, phone calls, and video views. E.g. “My main goal is for people to book a consultation on my website, but signing up for my email newsletter would also be considered a conversion.”

Anchor Text

The visible or clickable part of a link on a web page. E.g. “If you click the link whose anchor text says ‘Organic Produce photo gallery,’ you’ll be directed to the page with more photos of our fruits and vegetables.”

Desktop

A non­mobile computer. E.g. “I prefer to use a desktop at home, but when I travel I use my laptop.”

Device Type

The category of device, such as laptop, tablet or smartphone. E.g.­ “My analytics tool is a great way to figure out what devices people use most to view my video room tours—tablets are especially popular.”

Backlink

Any link incoming into a page or website from another page or website. E.g. “Our blog posts are very popular and filled with useful information, so we have loads of backlinks to them from other websites.”

Click Through Rate (CTR)

The number of times people click an item of interest, like an advert, in comparison to the number of times people are exposed to that item. For example, if your ad received 100 impressions and 3 clicks, your CTR is 3%. CTR is a crucial indicator of whether your ads are relevant to the people using the search engine—think of it as the difference between the amount of people actually coming into your shop divided by the amount of people stopping outside to look through the window. While there are no specific guidelines, you should always be working toward improving CTR. E.g. “I improved my CTR quite a bit when I added pricing info to my Wedding Photos ad—that clearly made more people want to click through.”

Ranking

A listing’s position on a search engine results page. E.g. “With a lot of work, I’m hoping to get my website to the #1 ranking on search engines for my relevant keywords and audience.”

Search Engine Marketing

A form of advertising that allows you to bid for your advertisement to show along with search results for keywords that people are typing in. This lets businesses be seen by people at the very moment they’re searching for the things a business offers. E.g. “SEO is a long process, but using SEM helped me get a lot more website traffic really quickly.”

Visitors

The total number of people who have come to your website or app. E.g. “My guest house website had 3,000 visitors last month!”

Average Ad Position

The position of your ad on the search engine results page (SERP). Search engines typically denote the highest position as “Position 1.” If your ad appears half the time in Position 1, and half the time in Position 2, your Average Position would be 1.5. E.g. “My average ad position for my pet photos ad improved from 7 to 3—I’m thrilled!”

Crawler

A programme designed to systematically browse content on the Internet and collect information about it to help searchers find what they’re looking for. E.g. “I’m scared of spiders, but not the ones that help my website appear in search engines.”

Traffic Acquisition

The process of attracting visitors—often referred to as traffic to websites, mobile apps and other digital assets. E.g. “My acquisition strategy focuses on targeting people who have recently bought old houses.”

Keyword

The specific term a user searched for before they reached your website. E.g. “The keywords “luxury romantic getaway” are performing great for my site.”

Ad Extensions

Optional extra information that can be displayed below a search ad. E.g. “We added sitelink ad extensions to our ads, giving our customers extra options to click through to on our site.”

URL

The unique address of a page or piece of digital content on the Internet. E.g. “Max, you can access my website by typing the URL into your browser.”

Ad Network

A platform connecting advertisers with publishers who want to host their ads. The advertiser pays the network every time an agreed event takes place, such as an ad impression, a click or a sale. The network then shares the revenue generated from the advertiser with the publisher, after deducting the network fees. E.g. “We chose an ad network for our display campaigns, so we could get our ads out to a wide range of websites quickly.”

Internal Links

Links from one page to another page within the same website. E.g. “Website visitors can click on internal links on the homepage to see the web pages in my fruits and vegetable gallery section.”

Content

The digital material available to users, via text, video, audio, images, etc. E.g. “I’m adding more image and video content to my site, so it’ll be more engaging.”

User-Generated Content

Content created by users of an online platform such as videos, comments or posts. E.g. “Most social networks rely on user-generated content for posting and sharing.”

Home Page

The introductory or “main” page of a website. E.g. “On my home page, visitors can see examples of my most beautifully painted houses.”

Conversion Rate

The ratio of conversions to visits, often used to measure digital performance. E.g. “I’m not sure why, but my conversion rate on external painting is very low for male visitors.”

Pageviews

The total number of pages that users viewed on your website. This metric is sometimes referred to as “screen­views” for mobile apps. E.g. “There were 5,000 sessions on my website last month and 20,000 pageviews. Almost all of those pages were from my ‘Chocoholics Anonymous’ page!”

Campaign

The specific marketing effort that drove a user to your website. E.g. “Creating campaigns around lots of dessert ­related keywords has boosted my business.”

Landing Page

The first page on a website that a person usually sees—not necessarily the home page of that website. E.g. “I’m directing people who click my ad to a landing page with a discount coupon so that these visitors will be encouraged to buy.”

Banner Ad

A form of advert found on web pages and mobile applications, available in a variety of formats (such as images, animated GIFs and rich media). E.g. “I’m using banner ads to bring new customers to my website.”

Average Session Duration

The average amount of time of a session on your website. It’s measured in minutes and seconds. In general the longer the session, the more interested the visitor is. E.g. “Ever since I launched video tours of all my rooms, my website’s average session duration went from 2 minutes to 8 minutes and 32 seconds!”

Index

A searchable catalogue of web pages and digital content used by a search engine to provide relevant results. E.g. “Before my site appeared in the search engine’s index, people couldn’t find my website when they searched for foyer murals.”

Pageview

A web page that successfully loads in the user’s browser. Many web analytics tools use the pageview as the basic unit of measurement. E.g. “On average, every visit to my website has 20 pageviews. People seem to enjoy the page “5 Minute Chocolate Truffles Recipe”, which gets about 40% of the pageviews.”

Bounce Rate

The percentage of sessions in which the visitor doesn’t interact at all with your site or app after arriving. E.g. “I added a welcome video to my site, but people seem to leave after just a few seconds of it—the bounce rate is high. Next steps would be to review how I can improve the video, or perhaps consider removing it altogether.”

Goals/Conversions

The total number of tracked, successful actions that your website visitors complete. E.g. “Once I started tracking conversions on my guest house website, I could see how many visitors registered for a room online, subscribed to my email newsletter, submitted contact forms and downloaded my free book.”

Bid Price

­Your maximum cost­-per-­click (CPC), or bid price, is the highest amount that you are willing to pay for 1 click on your ad. However, you will not necessarily be charged the full Max CPC. For example, if your Max CPC is £1.25, you may only pay £1.04 for the click, depending on competitive factors. However, raising a bid might increase the likelihood of a higher ad position on the search engine results page. E.g. “I’ll bid as high as £2.25, but that’s my max CPC—I’m not made of money!”

Advert

A sponsored result that appears on a search engine results page, or SERP. Ads are typically formed from a few lines of text, and may include additional elements like a street address, reviews and phone numbers. E.g. “My ‘Beautiful Wedding Photos’ ad is already bringing in tons of new business.”

Application

A programme designed to run on smartphones, tablets and other mobile devices. E.g. “My house needs painting, so I used a local app to find a reputable service near me.”

Location

The geographic region of the user. It’s often possible to get location information about your users down to the specific city level. E.g. “It’s interesting to note that people in Northern England gravitate to my “5 Minute Recipes” page, while the location Southern England seems more interested in “Mastering Pastry Techniques’ page”

Natural Listings

Results from a search engine that are not paid adverts. E.g. “The higher my website ranks in a search engine’s natural listings, the more website traffic I’ll get.”

Social Media

Content such as text, images, or videos, created by individuals and shared across the Internet. E.g. “Social media changes all the time, so I hired someone to help me create a social media strategy.”

SERP

A list of results appearing in a search engine in response to a user’s search query. E.g. “After I searched for ‘buy high­ gloss paint in bulk’ I noticed that the SERP had both natural listings and paid listings.”

UGC

Content created by users of an online platform such as videos, comments or posts. E.g. “Most social networks rely on user-generated content for posting and sharing.”

White Hat

Tactics that optimise web pages for users, not for search engines. E.g. “I only use white hat tactics to help search engines find my website www.blakeproduce.com.”

Bid Management Software

Software that can be used to automatically manage a search campaign, often to pre-set rules.

Black Hat

Manipulative or deceptive SEO tactics that optimise only for search engines and not for users. E.g. “I was especially careful to avoid any black hat SEO techniques; I didn’t want to hurt the ranking of www.mydeliciousorganicveggies.com in search engines.”

HTML

Hypertext Markup Language. A language used by web developers to create websites. E.g. “My website was written using HTML.”

Link

A text or image that provides a link from one web page or website to another. E.g. “When a major home decor blog linked to my website, I got a lot more visitors.”

Search Engine

A tool that indexes and returns relevant digital content in response to users’ keywords. Popular Internet search engines include Google, Bing, Yahoo, DuckDuckGo, Baidu, Yandex and more. E.g. “I use search engines to look for trends in home decor.”

Search Term

The keyword or phrase a user types into a search engine in order to find what they’re looking for. E.g. “When people use the search term ‘hairdresser’ they might be looking for tips on how to do it themselves or a service to do it for them.”

Algorithm

A set of rules used by computers to solve problems. Search engines use algorithms to determine the rankings of a page for a specific search query. E.g. “I hope search engine algorithms match my relevant web pages with my desired audience.”

Bot

A programme designed to browse the content on the Internet and collect information about it to help searchers find what they’re looking for. E.g. “When I launched my website, I made sure that the pages were visible to search engine bots, so they could index my pages.”

Vlog

The video version of a blog, where updates are new videos rather than written posts.

Pay­Per­Click

An advertising system in which advertisers pay for users to click on their advertisements. E.g. “I’m going to use pay­per­click adverts to promote my new faux finishes.”

Traffic Source

The specific place that referred the user to your website, such as a search engine, a social network, or another website that links to your website. (Note: many analytics tools, such as Google Analytics, allow for very detailed breakdowns of traffic sources.) E.g. ­“The top traffic source for my site yesterday was Twitter—my football video blog must have gone viral!”

Dimension

An attribute of a user or a session. E.g. “I look at dimensions like ‘Browser,’ ‘Region’ and ‘Landing Page,’ to get a better understanding of who seems interested in my store’s ‘Cake Decorating Tools’ page.” (See Common Dimensions section below.)

Search Engine Results Page

A list of results appearing in a search engine in response to a user’s search query. E.g. “After I searched for ‘buy high­ gloss paint in bulk’ I noticed that the SERP had both natural listings and paid listings.”

Revenue

The value of sales processed through an online shopping basket. If you don’t have an e­commerce website, this metric doesn’t apply to you. E.g. “If revenue from my Football Fanatic room continues at this pace, I could retire by the time I’m 97.”

Quality Score

A measure from 1 to 10 of how relevant your ads and landing pages are to the keywords you’re bidding on. Improving your Quality Score can help you achieve better ad positions and lower prices for clicks.

App

A programme designed to run on smartphones, tablets and other mobile devices. E.g. “My house needs painting, so I used a local app to find a reputable service near me.”

Spider

A programme designed to systematically browse content on the Internet and collect information about it to help searchers find what they’re looking for. E.g. “I’m scared of spiders, but not the ones that help my website appear in search engines.”

Duplicate Content

Content that it is similar or identical to content found on another website. Search engines tend to ignore duplicate content. E.g. “We avoid duplicate content by investing in original content.”

Session

A group of interactions that take place on your website within a given time frame. For example, a single session can contain multiple page views and e­commerce transactions. E.g.“My website got 2,000 visits last month, but what I really care about is whether those visits resulted in sales.”

Email Marketing

The process of using email messages to share information and promote products and services.

Query

The keyword or phrase a user types into a search engine in order to find what they’re looking for. E.g. “When people use the search term ‘hairdresser’ they might be looking for tips on how to do it themselves or a service to do it for them.”

Search Query

The full, exact word or phrase that a person types into a search engine in order to find what they’re looking for. It may or may not exactly match the keywords advertisers are targeting. E.g. “The search term ‘pet photographer Cardiff’ is performing well for me every month.”

Max CPC

­Your maximum cost­-per-­click (CPC), or bid price, is the highest amount that you are willing to pay for 1 click on your ad. However, you will not necessarily be charged the full Max CPC. For example, if your Max CPC is £1.25, you may only pay £1.04 for the click, depending on competitive factors. However, raising a bid might increase the likelihood of a higher ad position on the search engine results page. E.g. “I’ll bid as high as £2.25, but that’s my max CPC—I’m not made of money!”

Conversion Optimization

The process of improving your digital strategy in order to increase the percentage of visitors who complete your goals. E.g. “Once I add a new line of faux finishes to my website, I’m going to start focusing on conversion optimization.”

CTR

The number of times people click on an item of interest, like an advert, in comparison to the number of times users are exposed to that item. E.g.: “My click­through rate on ads about external painting is 2%, but my CTR on ads about indoor murals is less than 1%.”

Visit

A group of interactions that take place on your website within a given time frame. For example, a single session can contain multiple page views and e­commerce transactions. E.g.“My website got 2,000 visits last month, but what I really care about is whether those visits resulted in sales.”

Content Marketing

Creating online content such as blogs, videos or infographics to attract and engage a defined audience.

Title Element ­

The title of a web page as indicated in the HTML of a page. Also often used as the title of your page in a search engine results page. E.g. “I pay careful attention to the title element of my web pages, to help search engines understand what the pages are about.”

Destination Page

The page being linked to from another page. E.g. “If you click the link to “Gallery,” you’ll see a destination page chock full of images of our fruits and vegetables.

Visits

The total number of sessions on your website or app. E.g. “Three thousand visitors came to my guest house website multiple times last month; I had more than 5,000 sessions!”

Page

The specific page a user is viewing, often referred to by its URL. E.g. ­ “The most popular page on my website is the ‘Special Offers’ page.”

Cookie

Not a biscuit. A small file used by many web analytics tools to keep track of a user’s activity on a website. If that person clears their cookies or uses a different web browser, web analytics tools will see them as a different user (although they is, in fact, the same person.) E.g. “If cookies are enabled on their computer, your web analytics tool should be able to track how much time they spent on the “Top Rate Baking Equipment” page.”

User

A person who visits your website or mobile app. Users are sometimes referred to as “visitors.” There are two types of users: New Users: A person who has not visited your website before. Return Users: A person who has visited your website before. E.g. “When Joan first came to the website for information about baking equipment she was a new user. She comes back every few months to buy new cake tins, which makes her a return user.”

SEO

The practice of making changes to web pages, content, and the promotion of that content to improve visibility in the organic —or unpaid—search engine results. E.g. “Investing in SEO helped my website get a higher ranking in search engine results.”

SEM

A form of advertising that allows you to bid for your advertisement to show along with search results for keywords that people are typing in. This lets businesses be seen by people at the very moment they’re searching for the things a business offers. E.g. “SEO is a long process, but using SEM helped me get a lot more website traffic really quickly.”

Cost per conversion

Often referred to as cost per acquisition (CPA), this ratio measures how much money you spend on advertising relative to the number of conversions received from the ads. For example, if you spend £100 and receive 4 conversions, your cost per conversion is £25. Your cost per conversion should be lower than the value of a conversion. For example, if a conversion is only worth £20, then a £25 cost per conversion is not profitable. E.g. “My cost per conversion was too high, so I started spending a little less on online advertising and reviewed how I could improve my ads for future campaigns.”

Exit Page

The last page a user views before they leave your website. E.g. ­ “Analytics tells me my most frequent exit page is the one with the welcome video, so maybe it’s taking too long to load.”

Language

The language settings of the user’s browser. E.g. “A growing percentage of my website visitors have set French as their browser’s default language.”

Click

When a person visits your site via an ad. For most SEM campaigns, you only pay when the searcher clicks your ad. E.g. “My ‘Cute Puppy Photos’ ad gets substantially more clicks than my ‘Cute Kitty Photos’ ad.”

XMP Sitemap

A listing of web pages on your site that helps search engines understand your website. E.g. “Adding a sitemap helped search engines understand the pages on www.blakeproduce.com.”

E­commerce

The sale of products and services online.

Link Building

The process of encouraging high-quality, relevant incoming links to a website through the creation of unique, relevant content that can naturally gain popularity in the Internet community. E.g. “Because our content is relevant and engaging, other websites are more likely to link through to our pages, thus helping our link-building efforts to improve our search engine positions.”

Sitemap

A listing of web pages on your site that helps search engines understand your website. E.g. “Adding a sitemap helped search engines understand the pages on www.blakeproduce.com.”

Browser

A computer programme used to navigate the Internet on computers, tablets and smartphones. Examples include Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer and Safari. E.g. “I’m not sure why my website looks different depending on the browser a person is using.”

Impression

The number of times an advertisement is displayed; it doesn’t necessarily mean someone clicked on it. E.g. “I’m getting a lot of impressions on my Baby Photos ad, but not many people are clicking—I may need to rewrite it.”

Web Spam

Techniques that try to cheat their way to the top of search results, like repeating keywords, paying other sites to link to yours, or putting invisible text on the screen. This is considered bad form because truly relevant websites get buried in the results. E.g. “I received email offers to rank first in Google search results but have turned them down because the techniques used are spam.”

Analytics

The analysis of data generated by people’s activity on websites or mobile apps, for the purpose of discovering ways to improve websites and marketing campaigns. E.g. “I’m using a web analytics tool to understand how to improve certain web pages with the goal of increasing customer engagement on my website.”

Ad Rank

The overall “score” an ad receives that determines where it can appear on a search results page (SERP). Higher Ad Rank leads to higher positions on the SERP. The formula for Ad Rank varies slightly across search engines, but generally works like this: Max CPC X Quality Score. For example, an ad with a Max CPC of £2 a nd a relevance score of 6/10 will have an Ad Rank of 12. If this is the highest Ad Rank, this ad wins the top position on the SERP. E.g. “Improving my adverts’ relevance and increasing my bid helped me improve my Ad Rank.”

Impressions

The number of times an advert is displayed. E.g. “My new marketing campaign for home-baked dog treats received thousands of impressions, but I’m not sure if I’ve made any sales yet.”

Web Analytics Tools

The analysis of data generated by people’s activity on websites or mobile apps, for the purpose of discovering ways to improve websites and marketing campaigns. E.g. “I’m using a web analytics tool to understand how to improve certain web pages with the goal of increasing customer engagement on my website.”

Metric

A measure of something, by quantity. E.g. “I look at metrics like ‘Bounce Rate,’ ‘Pages per Visit,’ and ’Conversion Rate,’ to see how my guest house website is doing.” (see Common Metrics section below)

Redirect

An automatic forward to a different URL than the one entered by the user. E.g. “We implemented redirects when we moved the website to a new domain.”

Uniform Resource Locator

The unique address of a page or piece of digital content on the Internet. E.g. “Max, you can access my website by typing the URL into your browser.”

Unique Visitor

A single visitor to a website during a specific period of time. E.g. “No matter how many times Uncle Bob visits my website, he’ll still count as one unique visitor.”

Spam

Techniques that try to cheat their way to the top of search results, like repeating keywords, paying other sites to link to yours, or putting invisible text on the screen. This is considered bad form because truly relevant websites get buried in the results. E.g. “I received email offers to rank first in Google search results but have turned them down because the techniques used are spam.”

Social Network

A community of individuals creating and sharing content. E.g. “Social networks could be a good place for me to showcase my beautiful foyer murals and maybe get new customers.”

Blog

A regularly updated website with posts written by an individual or a business, typically in a conversational style and focused on a specific subject.

Organic Listings

Results from a search engine that are not paid adverts. E.g. “The higher my website ranks in a search engine’s natural listings, the more website traffic I’ll get.”

Meta Keywords

A short list of several words that succinctly describe the content of a page. Not used by any search engine. E.g. “I don’t worry about including meta keywords on my web pages, as search engines do not use this information.”

PPC

An advertising system in which advertisers pay for users to click on their advertisements. E.g. “I’m going to use pay­per­click adverts to promote my new faux finishes.”

Web Analytics

The collection and analysis of data generated by people’s activity on websites or mobile apps, for the purpose of discovering ways to improve websites and marketing campaigns. E.g. “I’m using web analytics tools to find out which cookie recipe is more popular on my baking blog: ‘Raspberry Dream’ or ‘Triple-Choc’.”

Users

The total number of people who have came to your website or app. E.g. “My guest house website had 3,000 visitors last month!”

Sessions

The total number of sessions on your website or app. E.g. “Three thousand visitors came to my guest house website multiple times last month; I had more than 5,000 sessions!”

Display URL

The URL that is shown on the ad, often a shortened version of the actual or destination URL. E.g. “So that my users don’t see a long url, like “http://www.blakeproduce.com/proucts/specials/italiantomatos.com”, I use a url shortener service like https://goo.gl/, which allows me to create a shorter, more user-friendly display url for use in social media updates.”

Cost per Click

The amount of money required to produce a single click on a digital advertisement. E.g. “Cost per click prices seem to be higher during weekends, so I’m only running my campaigns during the week.”

Search Engine Optimization

The practice of making changes to web pages, content, and the promotion of that content to improve visibility in the organic —or unpaid—search engine results. E.g. “Investing in SEO helped my website get a higher ranking in search engine results.”

Pages per Session

The average number of pages viewed during a session. In general, a higher number indicates that people are more reading more, or are more “engaged” with your website. It’s also known as page depth. E.g. “I’m so glad I launched a ‘Customer Testimonial’ page, it’s really increased visitor engagement. My website’s average number of pages per session increased from 3 to 12.”

ROI

A calculation an advertiser uses to try to identify if their online marketing campaigns are profitable. One common formula used for calculating ROI is the following: return on investment = (gain from investment – cost of investment) / cost of investment. E.g. “The sales driven by our display advertising campaigns have demonstrated positive ROI this quarter”.

ALT Text

Text used in the code of a page to describe an image. If an image is broken and can not be loaded by the page, the ALT text appears in a blank box that would normally contain the image. ALT text is also used by screen readers to improve accessibility for blind and visually impaired people, to tell them what is on the image. E.g. “The homepage of my website www.blakeproduce.com features an image of a fruit and vegetable garden. I included the following ALT text in the image code to describe it: ‘Fresh fruit and vegetables picked from Blake Produce gardens.”

Avatar

An image used to represent a person, business or organisation on social media. E.g. “When I click on my avatar it brings me back to my profile.”

Operating System (“OS”)

The operating system of the device, such as Windows, Mac, Android or iOS, that the visitor is using. E.g. “People using the Mac OS seem to spend more time browsing my site.”

Return on Investment

A calculation an advertiser uses to try to identify if their online marketing campaigns are profitable. One common formula used for calculating ROI is the following: return on investment = (gain from investment – cost of investment) / cost of investment. E.g. “The sales driven by our display advertising campaigns have demonstrated positive ROI this quarter”.

Meta Description

The description of a web page included in the code of the page. May also be used as a part of the description in the search engine results page. E.g. “I write meta descriptions for each page of my website in case the search engine displays the page in the search results.”

Ad

A sponsored result that appears on a search engine results page, or SERP. Ads are typically formed from a few lines of text, and may include additional elements like a street address, reviews and phone numbers. E.g. “My ‘Beautiful Wedding Photos’ ad is already bringing in tons of new business.”

Chatbot

A computer programme that simulates human conversation often over the Internet. E.g. “We created a chatbot to answer common customer questions and help with customer service.”

Geo-targeting

Use geo-targeting to only show ads to people in a certain geographical area. E.g. “We adjusted our geo-targeting to only show our ads to people within 50 miles of our business.”

Paid Listings

Advertisements that appear on search engines results pages. E.g. “I’m thinking about paying to have my website appear in the paid listings, so that I can bring more customers to my website.”

Click­through Rate

The number of times people click on an item of interest, like an advert, in comparison to the number of times users are exposed to that item. E.g.: “My click­through rate on ads about external painting is 2%, but my CTR on ads about indoor murals is less than 1%.”

Virtual Reality

Computer-generated simulation of a three-dimensional environment with which you can interact using equipment such as headsets, sensors or joysticks.

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Key learnings

When it comes to SEM, you’re paying real money for every click that brings visitors to your website. Here’s how you can use web analytics to make sure you’re getting the most out of your investment. We’ll look at:

  • which keywords are paying for themselves
  • how to understand which ads are working
  • how to use analytics to help you bid smarter.