Internet Marketing has long since shifted to smarter and more analytical strategies. And this efficient and data-based marketing all depends on the metrics (like traffic and conversions) gathered by your analytics platform. However, not all metrics are equal and some have actually been misunderstood or overvalued.
Presented here are 8 of the most misleading metrics in PPC.
- Time on Site – This metric used to be valuable way back in the 90’s when websites used to send all their traffic to their homepage. The time a user spends on the site would then be important for marketing reasons. However, with sitelinks offering bridges to specific parts of the website, this metric has become unreliable.Some analytics softwares also have problems for accurately recording this metric. An analytics software usually tracks the actions of the user up to his last action and is unable to record how long the user stays on the site after his last action. This produces skewed and unreliable results.
- Click-Through Rate (CTR) – CTR is another metric that is not so reliable. CTR values can be skewed by SEM managers thru increasing your bids and using sitelinks or other extensions.If a keyword has a high CTR but low conversion rates, you are mostly just wasting money. Even if a keyword has a low CTR but it still converts below your target CPA, then this keyword is still making a profit for your company. Although the ultimate goal would be to have high CTR and conversions, don’t let CTR alone determine your actions.
- Quality Score – With regards to PPC quality score usually has little influence. There are still some keywords that may give you a low quality score but still give you significant profits. Bidding on your competitor’s brand name, for example, is also one PPC tactic that entails bidding on a low quality score keyword that is your competitor’s brand name.If you still profit from these keywords, don’t let a low quality score stop you.
- Impression Share – It can be inaccurate because your optimisations efforts into an account are not part of the calculations for impression share. A SEM manager’s job is to increase or decrease bids on keywords based on its performance and not on impression share.Just don’t use keywords or groups of keywords if they are not gaining you any money.
- First Page Bids – First page bids aren’t the absolute value for your bids to get to the top 3 slots. Sometimes you can even get to the first page even if you bid less than the first page bid thereby saving you your money.Do some manual bidding and testing for you to be able to arrive at the right amount.
- Average CPC – Considering only your average CPC will make you overestimate or underestimate the amount you are paying per click. Average CPC can be misleading because it is heavily affected by your competition. Throughout the day, you may bottom out at $10 but also peak at $200.Don’t put too heavy a consideration to your average CPC so that you don’t misjudge how much you are paying for your keywords.
- Average Position – The argument for average position as misleading is the same as the Average CPC’s. It is also heavily reliant on your competition and may lead you to misjudge your actual positions.You must also take into account the number of competitors that are also bidding on your keyword set. Also with how many ads are showing in the top of search results, there are many other metrics that you need to consider.
- Conversion rate – Well, before you react, no, I’m not saying that this metric isn’t important. I’m just saying that you may be misled by this metric. In actuality, this metric is really important as this is the data that runs most of the data-based search marketing. However, depending on your case, it may lead you to make incorrect assumptions.For example, you have a product which you sell in 2 sizes: small and large. And for the purposes of this example, let’s say that these two have different prices and the large product nets a higher profit for you. You may have a conversion rate that is high but upon closer inspection, those conversions may only be for the small product.
Depending on your case, carefully consider every factor before making an important decision.