This is part two of a series of posts on Search Engine Marketing for marketers. This part discusses goals in an SEM / PPC campaign and what you can achieve. It also provides suggestions on Key Performance Indicators (KPI). (Part 1 here.)
SEM / PPC Goals & KPIs
Don’t be surprised if you find some people obsessed with web traffic only. At least you shouldn’t be one of them. Some common goals of an SEM campaign are:
- To generate online sales. If you have an e-commerce store with online transaction capabilities, you want to generate sales online via SEM. Choices of KPI are:
- Cost Per Conversion or Cost Per Sale (CPS): SEM cost divided by number of sales
- Return On Advertising Spending (ROAS): a measure of the effectiveness of your SEM marketing program. ROAS is computed by dividing revenue resulting from SEM campaigns by the search engine spend. There’s a handy tool at SEO Book you can use to calculate ROAS.
- To generate online leads. Drive your potential buyers to the site and get them to leave their contact. Cost Per Lead (CPL) is widely used KPI for B2B SEM campaigns.
- To drive online registrations. Registrations are essential to online community sites. You want to understand the cost per registration value and keep reducing it.
- Others. ALWAYS define a goal for your SEM campaigns; there must be more than visits you expect from online users. Here’s a list of more goals you can define:
- Leave a comment
- Subscribe via RSS or Email
- Submit contact form
- Download a document
- Click on a link or a button
- Visit a specific page
As a marketer, it’s more important to know what CAN be achieved than how to achieve it. So, what can you do with SEM / PPC campaigns? You need to understand “targeting” in SEM.
Having defined your SEM goal, you need to profile your targeted search engine users (just like what FBI does ). But, what can you do to better target the users with search engines?
- Keywords Targeting. SEM is keywords driven marketing, enabling you a better targeted campaign.
- Geographic targeting. Either targeting a country or several cities, you can do so with all search engines.
- Related Websites. For finance products, you may want to target finance websites visitors like those on WSJ.com, FT.com,. You can do so with placement targeting and/or contextual targeting.
- Ad scheduling. Control the days and times your SEM campaigns appear.
More often than not, you need to optimize your campaigns after gradually better understanding of your targets from your SEM campaigns. Web analytics is critical in all online campaigns including SEM. The next part will talk about the importance of web analytics and what you can do with it.