Inspiration Can Come From the Strangest Sources

“If you don’t know where you are going,
you’ll end up someplace else.”

– Yogi Berra

This quote, uttered by baseball hall of famer & noted Aflac Insurance pitch man Yogi Berra may deliver the quintessential bit of advice all advertisers need to optimize their online ads.  Mr. Berra, it appears, was a man ahead of his time.

Individuals new to advertising often dive in to their marketing endeavors with a fervent passion, launching campaigns for varying products with dreams of dollar signs spurring them on. “Find your product, create your campaign and add keywords, deposit funds”, the thinking goes, “and clear a space for the boat load of money headed your way”.

If I had a nickel for every time I came across a PPC account that utilized this strategy, I’d have, well… I’d have a whole lot of nickels. At least enough for a Snickers bar simply based on the accounts I’ve reviewed today.

Yogi Berra, Snickers bars, nickels …what does this all mean? Put simply, novice advertisers, either due to lack of knowledge, intimidation, or both, tend to overlook the key to crafting and maintaining a successful PPC campaign: Analytics. You see, “If you don’t know where you are going…” then you are likely missing out key information in regards to different elements of a campaign that can only be obtained through the use of Analytics.

Let’s take a look at four essential elements that your Analytics software can provide pertinent data for/about:

Conversions – This is the bottom-line statistic every marketer needs to know, and it is astounding to see how many marketers launch campaigns without accounting for this data. While most partner programs do provide some level of conversion reporting to their publishers, without their own data marketers are at the mercy of the Affiliate program. The use of individual analytics also allows users set goals which can track total conversions, conversion rates, as well as apply a monetary value to the traffic received. Without this information, it is impossible to improve your campaigns as you are, essentially, in the dark.

Keywords – One of the major strengths of pay per click advertising is that, in combination with analytics software, users can receive powerful information on which keywords perform best in a short timeframe. This data allows a marketer to update their keyword inventories to funnel more their advertising budget towards terms that convert best. Users can also review actual searched phrases for potential long tail search terms they might normally overlook.

Traffic Sources – Taking campaign optimization to a more granular level, analytics software can provide a user with significant information about which sources are delivering traffic to their offers. Users can then, in turn, block poor performing traffic sources in order to improve the campaign’s effectiveness.

Ad Copy Effectiveness – Online marketers know that poorly worded ad copy can sink a PPC campaign before it gets off the ground. Split testing, also known as A/B testing, is a strategy employed by marketers where they create two versions of an offer in order to compare their performance. The better performing ad remains, and a new version is then created to test against it. The goal is to regularly test and improve the ad in order to maintain success. By creating custom tracking URLs, analytics users can easily compare the ads in order to determine the best performing offer using this budget friendly technique.

In the end, analytics software provides a roadmap for marketers looking to optimize their advertisements. From information on visitor trends, traffic sources, keywords, ad copy, to top performing offers, this software is a must have to get where you need to be. Or, as Yogi puts it,”…you’ll end up somewhere else”.