Published On: March 16, 2012
Why You Need to Use Third-Party Data to Measure Pay-Per-Click Campaign Success
Many dealers choose to use a PPC vendor to help with paid search engine marketing, while some manage their own campaigns. With total search engine marketing spend set to triple by the end of 2012, there is now a growing number of vendors to choose from, but not all vendors share the same practices. Large car dealers often find that it’s more efficient to hire a PPC vendor for help with paid search campaigns like Google AdWords and Bing ads. If you’re already using SEM services or if you’re thinking about finding a new vendor, there’s one thing you need to ask to determine whether or not you are working with an honest, reputable SEM vendor who uses professional methods to get you the highest return for your PPC budget.Measuring Your PPC Data
So what’s this all-important question to ask the PPC vendor you’re considering to work with? You need to ask them if they use third party sources to measure objective pay-per-click data. Here’s why: PPC vendors usually have their own “internal” ways of measuring the success of PPC campaigns they run for their clients. These are metrics SEM providers gather and compute based on the code they implant within landing pages. When you request a monthly report to see how well they’re managing your paid search campaign, an SEM provider will give you their own reporting, which shows metrics like the cost per conversion and how many conversions you gained for that month.
What many car dealers aren’t aware of is that some SEM providers may give skewed data to inflate how successful their campaign looks. For example, some paid search managers generate reports that count online lead form views as conversions, when we all know that a true conversion means a customer either called or submitted information on the landing page. These PPC managers are doing this because they control the metrics they measure, and if these are the only data points you’re seeing, then you’re not getting the whole picture. This is exactly why car dealerships need to use third party sources to see the true performance of their PPC campaigns.
What are “third party” metrics? Third party metrics are provided by objective sources not affiliated with any particular paid search vendor. One of the most widely used third party sources for website traffic and conversion data is Google Analytics, a free solution provided by Google. Ask your PPC vendor to integrate Google Analytics within your PPC landing pages to get objective data on how your paid search campaigns are performing.
Google Analytics gives you precise data on web traffic conversions, which you can then compare with the reports generated by your SEM provider. Another powerful analytics tool is Mixpanel, which is popular among the technical crowd and many top programmers. Mixpanel is a lesser known third party provider of website conversion data which offers more comprehensive data on how web traffic funnels into various channels of lead generation.
Get Results You Can Measure
If you are already working with an SEM vendor, talk to them about how you can integrate objective, third party metrics from either Google or Mixpanel into your PPC landing pages. For car dealers interested in getting help with paid search marketing, ask prospective PPC vendors about how they measure and report the success of their campaigns. When it comes to how you spend your online advertising budget, there is nothing more important than having reliable data to measure the results you’re getting. For more helpful information on search marketing and paid search, feel free to ask any questions you may have by getting in touch with us.