E-commerce Insights Give Search Marketing Campaigns a Chec
For many catalogers, pay-per-click (PPC) search represents the largest line in the Web marketing budget. Just as you should visit your dentist or doctor twice yearly for a checkup, so too should you conduct a routine search marketing audit every six months. Regular checkups ensure your PPC campaigns stay healthy, whether managed by an in-house team or an agency.
A PPC audit has three components: a sales data audit, a cost data audit and an economic performance audit. The two data audits ensure you're working with accurate numbers, and the performance audit leaves your
campaign running efficiently.
By managing paid search campaigns for catalogers, my firm conducts several of these audits for prospective clients each month, and we recommend following the full process:
1. Audit your raw PPC sales data. Here's how: Pick a recent calendar month. From your in-house team or search agency, get the total sales attributed to PPC search during that month. Also, get a detailed list of every order attributed to PPC search over that month, with order time and date stamp, order total, the search ad that drove the order, and the click time and date stamp.
Make sure reported total sales match the sum of the order totals.
Next, from your order management system, obtain a detailed list of every order received via your Web site during the month. For each order, pull order time and date, order total, and the marketing channel credited with the sale (unknown, search, affiliate, e-mail, etc.).
Compare the two order detail lists in Excel, matching orders by date, time and amount.
You should be able to find every search-attributed order within the full list of Web orders — and those orders should be credited to paid search.
If you find orders on the PPC list assigned to a non-PPC marketing channel on the all-Web list, this should be a red flag.