Thursday, February 16, 2006

PPC Analytics - a POOL Tool

Web site owners love the Adwords conversion data. If you haven't tried using Adwords PPC (pay per click) with the google tracking data, you should.

When you are purchasing clicks from google by keyword, it provides you data on the conversion rate and cost per click by keywork. For example, it would allow you to tell that visitors who typed in "3rd grade math help" convert twice as often into customers than people who typed in "1st grade math help". The marketing possibilities become endless: you can try directing each different type of add to individual pages tweeked for the different interests of visitors to get the highest conversion rates.

Additionally, you can adjust your bidding based on this data. For instance, one might find that "3rd grade reading comprehension help" converts at an amazingly high rate but has very few clicks. What keyphrases are worth more? Which ones are we overbidding on? Underbidding? Its somewhat addictive to go in and start bidding more or less per keyphrase. But small business people suddenly need to become statistically sophisticated.

With 14 clicks on the phrase "2nd grade math help" and none of them have converted into customers, is it time to drop that phrase or should I wait for a bigger sample size?

For most of us that are in the under 2% conversion-to-customer rate, you would need alot of data to make statistically reliable decisions if you are looking at each keyphrase independently.

I'm hoping google or some third party will build a tool that does what I'm currently doing by hand with a spreadsheet. Specifically, a POOL Tool (a POlynumeric Optimizer for the Lazy Tool) that :

- Analyses my conversion rate in multiple overlapping pools for the most effective use of my data
- Provide info on statistical reliability (the input would be what our conversion rate is and other variables along with google stats, output would be with what reliability a decision could be made).

Lets return to my problem of being 0 for 14 clicks on "2nd grade math help". This phrase, like most of the ones that I bid one, are constructed out of 3 types of words:

Grade level words such as first grade, 2nd grade, 6th grade etc
Subject type words such as language arts, reading, reading comprehension, math, arithmetic, geometry, science, etc
Other words such as help, tutoring, improve, worksheets, learning games, activities, learning activities, online learning, curriculum, standards, homeschool, etc etc

While most of us don't have enough data on a specific search phrase (ie "2nd grade math help"), we probably do have enough data if we look by pool. For instance, we can compare all the first grade words against the fifth grade words and as a group, we can probably find that generally, one group does better (we can also group first and second together and compare them with 4th & 5th but thats another question....)

We can also compare all the math words (first grade math, second grade math etc) versus another group (perhaps against the average) and find whether math does better or worse.

And of course, we can compare all the ****help phrases against the ****learning games phrases to decide where our best conversions are.

In reality, few of us have enough data to make a statistically meaningful decision comparing "6th grade reading comprehension worksheets" vs "3rd grade math help" but, using the POOL Strategy, it gets alot easier.

Now what we need are some tools (the POOL TOOL) so that the pool strategy can be implemented without the massive ongoing spreadsheet analytical exercise that I seem to run thru periodically.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

What a brilliant thought. Obvious really. I have tried to some of this by looking at data on google by campaign and destination url and advertisement. john is amazing.

Anonymous said...

www.time4learning.com gets alot of traffic. You are 100,000th according to alexa. Not bad. PR 6 according to google. And front page on alot of searches (learning math online, reading math, homeschool online etc). Why are you still doing PPC? I've reviewed your stuff. Its your conversion pages that need work. Your site needs streamlining. Try us: http://www.enhancedconcepts.com/blog/post/index/57/Website-Conversion-Strategy-6--Get-to-Know-Your-Customer-Intimately

JohnE said...

Wow. You're right about www.time4learning.com. Its performing well but I feel it should be 3x more effective on conversions. But I've been doing seo in a haphazard fashion so I've let the pages kinda just show up on the site...