Measuring true ROI through Search Engine Advertising

For a business to be successful at online marketing the right data is needed and to get this, you need the right tools.

Ever seen the results of your pay per click campaign (PPC) and been disappointed with the conversion results? For many managing their own PPC campaigns this has left a bad taste in their mouth and even a reluctance to use PPC advertising again.

One of the key problems with measuring the success of a PPC campaign is that typical campaigns only measure an online conversion, that is a conversion made by completing an online enquiry form or making a purchase through the site. This means advertisers are effectively only seeing ‘half the pie’, most would be taken by surprise to see the percent of conversions they aren’t tracking.

In March 2006, comScore conducted a study for Google which showed 63% of purchases by consumers who conducted online searches were actually made offline. This means searchers called or went directly in to their local stores rather than purchasing or enquiring through the web site. This means the ROI from a PPC campaign may in fact be significantly higher than what is being are measured.

So how do you get accurate metrics on your PPC campaign? There are a number of basic ways you can track these metrics starting by asking your customers when they call or come in to your store how they were directed to your business. Another more elaborate and advanced technique is known as ‘offline conversion tracking’ or ‘call tracking’. This technology allows an advertiser to track a call in the same way they track an online conversion. There are a couple of companies around who now offer this service charging on a cost-per-call basis.

If you’re a business using or thinking about using PPC advertising through Google Adwords or another advertising network, it’s important you consider using offline conversion tracking. It may significantly change the way you spend your marketing budget.

Webfirm offers PPC advertising and includes call tracking free of charge in all plans. See

Image credit dynamicic on Flickr