For those of you who don’t know, eBay has recently published the results of a study it performed into paid search.
eBay concluded that paid search was a waste of time for big brands as they received clicks due to the strength of their brand organically and through other marketing channels.
An eBay spokesperson said: “The test methodology used in the study analysed the true returns from this significant investment.
“The conclusion: Incremental revenue from paid search was far smaller than expected because existing customers would have come to eBay regardless, whether directly or through other marketing channels.”
The study stated that where the ads were not placed, the traffic never really dropped off due to the organic presence of eBay, and the only real use of the PPC ads were that it attracted new customers. Once someone had bought from eBay however, they tended to come back and buy at least three times in a year.
Subsequently, the value of using paid search is small to eBay, resulting in an extra $0.25 in revenue for every dollar the auction site spends.
Google however, disagreed with the findings and issued a statement of their own: “Google’s own studies, based on results from hundreds of advertisers, have found that more than 89 per cent of search ad clicks were incremental and that 50 per cent of the search ad clicks were incremental even when there was an organic search result for the advertiser in the top position.
“Since outcomes differ so much among advertisers and are influenced by many different factors, we encourage advertisers to experiment with their own campaigns.”
So who is right?
The answer is they both are.
Paid search success involves in depth experimentation to find the right balance of keywords, ad copy, and landing pages. Without the right software, it can cost businesses a small fortune, and as eBay discovered is not always worth the effort.
Phone Call Tracking to the Rescue
Phone call tracking can make your pay per click campaigns more effective. The data it provides can be configured to show which campaigns and keywords are resulting in sales, and what products or services you are selling. eBay would have used software of this kind to for its case study.
These insights will not only speed up the process of discovering the best PPC ad optimisation, but will help you identify redundant ads in your marketing campaigns, enabling you to make the right decision to cut campaigns which simply do not yield results.
The Power of the Phone Call
If you choose to put dynamic phone numbers in your ads, and indeed other online and offline sources, then not only will the amount of calls you receive increase, but you can determine which marketing channels are generating calls to your business. Once again the data can be linked to sales and, you can see call statistics which will help you streamline your customer service.
Phone calls are considered a far stronger lead than click throughs or online forms. There are several reasons for this and here are a few of them.
- The business has direct access to the customer / client
- Phone callers tend to be more serious about buying a product / service
- Online shoppers like to ask question before they buy, especially as they cannot see or feel the product. The phone number allows the customer or client to call and ask the question. This is especially true for complex, expensive purchases.
Pay per Click – What Works for you?
Though eBay’s motives may have been politically led for publishing the study – the changes to Google marketplace which scraps free listings for retailers may have had a lot to do it. There can be no question that the retailer identified that PPC is not for them at least in its present format, and you must do the same for your business if you want it to be efficient and profitable.
To that end why not contact us and find out what we can do for your business and how we can help you determine whether or not pay per click campaigns can work for you.