PPC Internet Marketing Campaigns - Campaign Goals and Success Metrics

By Gregory Smyth

Part of any business initiative is setting a goal, knowing how to measure when you have achieved the goal, and actually achieving what you've set out to do. Campaign goals and success metrics are broad business strategies, but they are particularly critical to pay-per-click (PPC) internet marketing campaigns. Many people are not sure where to start with goal setting and metrics. We run through the basics.

While the internet has increasingly become a law unto itself, there are some things from the world of business that are just as applicable to internet marketing as they are to anything else. One constant is that in order to make a successful initiative, you first need to determine what success means -- in other words, set a goal and then decide on how you will measure that goal. Is it in terms of dollars, foot or online traffic or increased search engine rankings?

Your main campaign goal will center around making more money for your business (assuming you are a profit-based organization), however, your internet marketing goal needs to be more specific. It also needs to be more closely related to your actual search marketing strategy activities. Some campaign end goals might include getting more pre-qualified traffic to your site (traffic within your target demographics), increasing your conversion rate for visitors that come to the site, or increasing the profit margin of your online sales by a certain amount.

When setting goals for your internet marketing, be specific in terms of amount and time frame. Leaving your time frame open ended is a good way to pour money down a black hole, while not achieving any results. If you have not achieved your goal within a certain number of months (the best unit of measurement for internet marketing campaigns), you will need to reassess and possibly call in expert internet consulting services. You'll also need to choose a percentage increase for your metric or a set amount per your advertising spend.

Set up additional monitoring on your site in order to measure the success of your internet marketing campaign. Webtrends is a form of online marketing software that helps identify where customers come from and what they do on your site. You will need to monitor:

  • The total traffic that comes to your site from sponsored search marketing ads, broken down by keyword source and campaign (KSC)
  • The conversion from sponsored search traffic, in terms of number and dollar value, products/services purchased, keyword, source and campaign, the cost per sponsored search by KSC
  • Profitability of sponsored search, by product and KSC
  • Length of time visitors from sponsored search avenues spend on site
  • The most common page after the landing page
  • Rates of purchase dropout
  • Any other actions that visitors make that are important and that can be measured

For best results employ Webtrends or another website analytics mechanism to monitor your overall site traffic, which will allow you to compare sponsored versus organic traffic.