Learning to measure your campaign’s success…

Have you ever wondered how to determine how successful your campaign’s performance is? Chances are that the most common measures of a campaign’s success is through online sales, travel bookings, customer feedback, or an increase in a particular webpage’s page view/unique visitors, etc. But in a case study published on MarketingSherpa.com, they answer this tough question from a search engine standpoint (but some of what they say can be used for other things as well)…and interestingly enough, it happens to be a little bit of common sense and something that is totally oblivious to most of us.

  1. Assign a Score — oddly this makes a little bit of sense from reading the article. If you assign a “score” to each link, then when you look up the web traffic and see the path that your users take, you will be able to get a decent image of what their behaviour is like. The higher the score, the more likely you’ll get a conversion. Basically the final decision would have the highest score – that being the user buying or taking some decision.
  2. Coding the Links — for those without the resources, this may prove rather difficult. Unless you have the ability to employ tracking tags, which essentially could be a third-party (or pseudo-third party) software that will track user movement after they click on the link on another website. From there, you will also be able to see their behaviour patterns.

Now that you’ve done both of the things above, what was the result? Is this just a small-time thing you can do to squeeze out that extra conversion?

Well…no…after you’ve utilized these two tactics, then you’ll need to monitor the situation and make it work. Get rid of any underperforming keywords, says the case study…you’ll only be using up your budget and that’s just using up vital resources. There’s no need to keep them around if they keywords are being lazy and not performing.

Once you’ve done this, monitor your customer’s behaviour patterns and see what their focus is on. Why have they left your site so quickly or on that particular page. Do some research and if you find that your initial marketing message isn’t working, the beauty of search engine marketing is that you can quickly change its focus. Attract NEW buyers and motivate existing ones to think about your product in a different light.

The results were staggering…in the case study, the initial thoughts were that there would be a small conversion rate (approximately 30%), but in actuality, the conversion rate was 82%!

The results gathered from this study?

  1. Engagement doesn’t always translate into sales. Some of the keywords used were good and gathered high scores, but when the word “Buy” was added, some scores decreased.
  2. Brand name search terms doesn’t always translate into sales. Of course you should get brand names for keywords, in fact, that seems like a logical thing to do. However, the only thing that it’ll do is increase clickthroughs, but NOT your objective. You won’t necessarily see a high conversion rate through your brand name.
  3. You can never guess what keywords your customers will click on. In this case study, what was surprising is that the keyword “MP3 phone” performed better than “music cell phone”. Each customer has their own reason for searching and you can’t necessarily predict their behaviours. Safest thing to probably do is to just buy any keyword deviations and monitor its progress. At the conclusion of your campaign, conduct a survey with your customers to gather some more insight.
  4. Social networking sites have affected launch campaigns. Through blogs and other social networking tools online, word-of-mouth via the Internet tends to ruin campaign intentions. Guess that’s the beauty of the Internet…instant gratification all day long.

I’m sure that if you use these methods, you’ll be presented with a pretty interesting search campaign for you, your clients, and the products the customer wants.

By Ken Yeung

Ken Yeung is a journalist fascinated with the tech industry and internet culture. He's currently Flipboard's Assistant Managing Editor, overseeing news curation in technology, science, gaming and health. In addition to his day job, Ken's the co-host of "The Created Economy" podcast, examining the Creator Economy. In a past life, he was a former reporter for VentureBeat and The Next Web, covering tech startups, the industry's innovations and funding.