AdWords Optimization Series Part-1

Google AdWords Purchase Path

From the early days of pay per click’s existence until just recently, the paradigm for ppc management was simply conversion based, or more precisely, a final click only valuation.  This means that ppc managers were held to a bottom line success metric and therefore defined keyword performance by any keyword in a particular campaign’s ability to become the final click that led to the desired action– whether an online sale, phone call, email or chat, contact or newsletter sign-up as some examples.

We now know that final click does not deserve 100% value.  We’ll continue to investigate and suggest why that is the case, as that concept is a complex one.  But let’s start with the Google AdWords defined ‘purchase path’ and its 4 components.

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Internet Consumer Buying Cycle
Awareness– discovery of a certain brand, good or service– usually initiated by the marketing manager through Google AdWords/PPC, commercials, billboards etc.
Consideration– the review of a particular good or service, but on the consumers time-frame.  Also referred to as the education process.  Here social media plays a crucial role.
Intent– here is where the consumer is actually captured, regardless of when or where the purchase or conversion of the good/service is made.
Decision– the final click is made in actually consuming the good/service, whether through ppc ads, organic ads, or via direct traffic.

It may be most important to note that the intent phase created the decision point, and therefore good AdWords managers and agencies value the intent phase as highly as the final decision and moreover, there is a value placed on the all 4 cycles as they related and lead to each other.

A final decision or conversion only valuated PPC campaign is a short sighted one.  That campaign’s conversion rate will be great, but with a fraction of the available volume of leads/sales that is could capture with a more comprehensive view of the buying cycle.

We’ll continue to convey our PPC and SEO strategies as well as view points in this series called AdWords optimization– especially as they related to the Google purchase path.

Or ask us to show you on your site or AdWords account– we’ll waive the setup or optimization fee.
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