Nobody likes being in the dark, especially when it comes to making decisions. The more information we have, the better we can manage the outcome. This is exactly the case with paid search and why tracking and analytics at the keyword level is critical for B2B marketers.
Why Being In The Dark Is Dangerous
Having a full understanding of the sales cycle is essential for B2B marketers with cost per lead (CPL) goals. They need to know the drivers from click, to lead generation, to lead completed. However, many marketers fail to track a keywords’ performance once a lead is generated.
Yet, without knowing the full picture — from the keyword that prompted a consumer to click on an ad, to then fill out a form, to finally buy a product or service – a marketer will never know whether that keyword generated real dollars or just a lead.
In other words, they’ll be left in the dark. As a result, they could end up wasting thousands of dollars on unqualified leads.
The Beauty of Knowing the Full Picture
Fortunately, tracking and analytics at the keyword level can provide B2B marketers with the sales cycle insights they need. In fact, the granularity it provides enables marketers to focus on the keywords that drive the most revenue, and identify and eliminate keywords that generate unqualified leads.
By optimizing campaigns for their top performing keywords, marketers can boost the cost efficiency of their campaigns and potentially increase revenue. The key to doing so is to ensure that tracking and analytics follow every consumer from the initial click to the final sale.
Don’t Be Short-Sighted
A successful B2B firm who always used traditional selling methods decided to test paid search for six months. However, due to their naivety about online marketing, along with the fact that they had sparse internal resources, the company did not set up their tracking and analytics appropriately.
Unfortunately, their decision to proceed in this way was short-sighted. When the campaign began, the leads started pouring in, and everyone was ecstatic. But their enthusiasm was short-lived once they realized that only a very small percentage of the leads actually led to a sale.
Because they were not able to distinguish which keywords were merely driving leads, and which keywords were producing leads that resulted in a sale, their budget was evenly allocated for any keyword that generated a significant amount of leads. Ultimately, this approach caused them to spend thousands of dollars on keywords that drove unqualified leads.
How Keyword Level Tracking & Analytics Can Help You
Below are a few reasons why marketers should implement tracking and analytics at the keyword level:
- Strategic Bidding. Tracking and analytics at the keyword level can provide important insights that can play into your bidding strategy. For example, if your analytics indicate which keywords are driving unqualified leads, you could lower your bids or these keywords or pause them altogether. In turn, it would allow you to increase bids and budget for keywords that produced qualified leads.
- Keyword Expansion. Because analytics at the keyword level can provide you with a deeper understanding of which keywords drive the most qualified leads, it can help you expand your keyword list.
- Better Testing. Testing is essential to creating a successful search campaign. Constant tinkering with key campaign elements, testing landing pages, ad copy, and match type, etc., leads to a better understanding of what works best. Leveraging keyword level insights on what is driving actual sales will create better testing opportunities, and in turn, could lead to cost savings and increased revenue.
- Boost the Efficiency of Other Channels. Paid search offers marketers a great testing ground — a new idea can literally be put into motion within minutes. Therefore, many companies use paid search to test ideas before investing in them in traditional channels. It is a great way to see if your efforts are effectively reaching your target your audience. With tracking and analytics in place, you can take the learning’s you gain from paid search and apply them to other marketing channels. Doing so could lead to considerable cost savings and increased revenue.
Without the full understanding of a lead’s sale cycle at the keyword level, marketers can’t optimize a campaign effectively, and could end up spending a ton of money on keywords that will never convert.
Smart marketers will ensure that their tracking and analytics cover the entire sales cycle per keyword so they can tap into the insights they provide.
Opinions expressed in the article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Search Engine Land.