Growth Planning: Planning, Monitoring, and Measuring Success

In this post we’ll discuss the final, crucial step in developing a multi-channel pay-per-click advertising strategy: Knowing what success looks like.

Previous posts in this series have covered the following topics:

  • Establish your target audience
  • Develop a strategy based on an understanding of the various networks and how they’re used
  • Plan your budget by using conversion data and corresponding networks to your conversion funnel

In determining what you need to make your pay-per-click investment worth it, consider these questions:

1.) Are the data insights reward enough?

Beyond delivering conversions, paid channels hold huge value in terms of market insights. Pay-per-click channels enable you to pay for exposure to new segments who might otherwise never have heard of you.

How to use this data:

  • Measure success not just in terms of conversions, but by engagement. Look at bounce rates, time on site, pages viewed, and other behavior metrics to understand what new users think of your website.
  • Identify high potential segments. Segment traffic in Analytics and look at performance differences by region, device type, gender, interest category, etc.
  • Identify problems in your purchase funnel, and other site deficiencies

2.) Do you need to get a target return?

If you need your investment to be profitable, or at least break even, use estimated cost-per-click data in AdWords along with your conversion rate and value estimates to determine whether your goals are realistic (See my last post for more on this calculation.)

3.) Am I factoring in value of my micro-conversion actions?

There are likely to be many valuable actions a user might take on your website beyond your primary conversion. Be sure to measure and assign values to micro-conversions such as e-book downloads, mailing list signups, views of key pages, etc. Factor this value into your overall assessment of your pay-per-click campaigns.

4.) Do you have unrealistic expectations?

Pay-per-click is great, but it’s not necessarily a sure thing. There are many factors at play when it comes to finding success with any channel:

  • The quality of your website
  • The quality of your advertising campaigns
  • The quality of your product or service
  • The level of interest in your product or service

Don’t expect to fire up your campaigns and just watch the conversions roll in. It’s possible that this’ll happen, but more likely that you’ll need to hone your campaigns to find success. These channels offer huge reward when you take advantage of the data insights they produce, but just running the campaigns is no guarantee for success.


Use A Multi-Channel Measurement Model

Keep track of your performance by using a measurement model containing the data for all of your channels in one place. This will make it much easier to assess what’s working well, and where changes need to be made. Check out this Web Marketing Planning Model.



When considering how to define success for your pay-per-click investment, remember:

  • The data you get from these campaigns possesses value in itself
  • If you need to see a return on your investment, take the necessary steps to establish realistic expectations
  • Assess value in terms of both marco- and micro conversions