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Why Too Much Data Can Kill A PPC Client

Do you think the "traditional PPC client" has the time or interest to read through 50 different reports, and find it as interesting as you the Search Geek that got all excited that changing a keyword to "phrase" match to [exact match] caused the CPC to lower by 2 cents? Nah, I don’t think so. Is it that important to create a 30 page Powerpoint presentation to tell them that they saw a 5% increase in their overall CTR% because it was over the holiday weekend and impressions were down. Wrong again! Let discuss why this stuff does not matter.

If I were a client on the receiving end of a 1-2 hour weekly and/or monthly PPC status call, I would dread it, because I would not want to hear the PPC Guru or the Account Manager on the other end telling me every stink’n  little change in the traffic metrics different from the previous week or month. The first thing I want to know is the following:

Ok, I put $10,000 in the Cash Register this month, so how much did I get back?

That is the only thing I really care about because I gotta tell the VP, CEO, President that we are not losing money, so that I, myself can sleep at night.

Trying to Sound Smart To A Client? They Don’t Care!
They can honestly care less about how smart or good you were to figure out the latest Algorithm or idea to create a 2 month Ad/Creative test where the only change in the Ads is a SINGLE WORD. They would also care less about how you broke out some adgroups to increase relevancy which will keep your keywords from going Inactive and forcing $5-$10 CPCs. Sounding smart can only do one thing, Make you feel better about yourself or to ensure your own boss that you are worthy of your next paycheck.

However, If you tell them that you created a new campaign from a new line of products which is delivering a 500% ROI, that is where you have something interesting to say. It’s all about talking combining the "Weeds" with the "High Level" business conversation. Personally, in the past I have been at this crossroads where I had a difficult time switching from "In the Weeds Boy" to a polished high level and strategic presenter. But you always have to keep in mind that RESULTS is what matter most.

Too much Data, Too Much Overhead:
Not only can too much data confuse a customer or give them a MIDOL moment, it can also take a toll on you or your analytics team who is responsible to preparing these extensive reports that typically get thrown in the trash or deleted from the email a couple days later. Why overdue it when you could be doing something else, like say improve your client’s PPC campaign.

In my opinion, the only slides that truly matter to a PPC-Only client are the following:

  • Performance Metrics (orders, leads, CPA, Revenue, ROAS%, ROI%, Conversion Rate, AOV)
  • Monthly Traffic (overall: clicks, new vs. returning, impressions)
  • Monthly Engine Breakdown
  • Month to Month Comparison (all metrics)
  • Top Products (margin, Revenue)
  • Next 1-4 month projected plan (seasonal, offerings, testing, etc..)

> Slides that Matter to some PPC-Only clients:

  • Top 25 keywords & ads (revenue & traffic only)
  • Events that made an impact (offline, online, seasonal calendar, etc…)
  • Funnel Report (if conversion enhancements have been made or for benchmarking)

Information that MAY not be important to a PPC-Only client are:

  • Avg CTR%
  • Avg Time on Site (horrible metric these days with Tabbed Browsers in the background)
  • Bounce Rate
  • Entry Pages
  • Exit Pages
  • Path Analysis
  • Browser type, screen resolution, time zones, etc…

In Conclusion:

It is obvious that Analytics is extremely important for measuring success of the client’s investment of both the search engines, as well as your PPC knowledge and experience. We have to always realize that PPC is a business that is "cut-throat", has a high turnover rate and is all about results and making money for the client.

However, even with these realities, it is also a very rewarding and exciting industry to be apart of. To be a great PPC marketer, you not only have to work in the trenches and perfect the craft of being proactive, you also start thinking strategically about the client’s business goals and through experience and confidence, you will realize that the metrics that may be important to the "Geek" in yourself, doesn’t matter a whole hell of a lot to the client.

Filed under: Web Analytics

One Response to "Why Too Much Data Can Kill A PPC Client"

  1. Marcel says:

    I couldn’t agree more. I was just discussing the same topic with another consultant today.
    Even when presenting performance metrics and forecasts, I’ve seen client get stuck onto and want to control the associated details.
    I am very careful about even providing too much detail in the performance metrics.

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