PPC Internet Marketing Campaigns - Campaign Goals and Success Metrics

By Gregory Smyth

Part of any business initiative is having a goal, knowing how to measure when you have achieved the goal, and doing so. Campaign goals and success metrics are not just a web marketing strategy, they apply broadly to business. They are particularly critical to PPC internet marketing campaigns, and many people are not sure where to start with goal setting and metrics. We run through the basics.

While the internet has increasing become a law unto itself, as many more applications and technologies are developed based on it, there are some things from the world of business that are just as applicable to internet marketing as they are to anything else. One of these is the fact that in order to make a successful initiative, you first need to determine what 'success means, that is set a goal, and then decide on how you will measure that goal - in terms of dollars, foot or online traffic, increased search engine rankings, and so on. Many businesses do not even currently measure their sales metrics, so we run through the basics of how to set goals and metrics for internet marketing success, in the particular context of PPC (pay per click), or paid search marketing strategies.

Your main campaign goal will center around making more money for your business (as long as 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 you are setting goals for your internet marketing, they need to 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 that your metric will ideally increase by, or a set amount per your advertising spend.

You will need to set up extra monitoring on your site, in order to be able 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
  • 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 keyword, source and campaign (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 can be measured

Naturally, you will also need to employ Webtrends or another website analytics mechanism to monitor your overall site traffic, so that you can compare sponsored versus organic traffic.