Learn the Full Value of Your Paid Search Program

Search advertising is a powerful medium that can do many things when deployed correctly. It can touch consumers at all points of the conversion funnel, as well as impact brand awareness.

Right or wrong, the first thing that probably comes to advertiser’s minds when they think about search advertising is direct response. The idea here is to encourage all search advertisers to think about direct response beyond just orders, or applications.

In baseball there are six ways to get to first base without getting a hit, and in business there is more than one way to monetize your site traffic.

As consumers increase their use of multiple devices — cell phones, desktop, and tablets — the way in which consumers use websites will also shift. Ideally, the goal is to close the sale on the site in one visit, but that doesn’t happen all the time.

Our data shows about 60 percent of retails sales occur in one click. Does that mean that 40 percent of the clicks were wasted?

Here’s an example of a search experience for [mens jeans” for Macy’s.

mens jeans search

There are at least five additional potential conversion events beyond a sale that are possible on this landing page:

  • Credit card signup
  • Social media
  • Store locator
  • Jeans finder
  • Wedding registry

Macy's landing page

All these touch points and conversion events can be tied back to business value for Macy’s.

If they can drive additional fans, they can engage in ongoing dialogue with their consumers. If they can drive incremental credit card consumers those people have more incremental lifetime value to Macy’s than traditional consumers.

Here’s an example of Target’s search experience for the term [pumpkin pie”.

Pumpkin pie search

On the landing page Target isn’t even trying to sell pumpkin pies, but instead driving folks to recipe and coupon pages. There are no fewer than five conversion events on this landing page.

Target landing page

So if there isn’t a conversion event with revenue tied to it, how can you value these events?

In almost every example the value of a non-order conversion event can be derived by backing into the cost per action. Here’s an example of how you can use data from various channels to help value events.

Value of an E-mail Address

In some cases there will be the need to use an assumption, for example, how many people who use the store locator will actually visit a store? This data can be derived from a survey, or potentially industry research.

The average conversion rate of a consumer once they are in store, and the AOV of that consumer should be data that’s available, or can be acquired.

Putting these estimates and values around your campaigns can help gain visibility into the full value of your search program.

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