Last week I setup a new AdWords account for a two-sided market site focused on aged care for seniors. The client is based in London and has goals to spread across the UK in the long run. While setting up AdWords and going through my process, I got to AdWords extensions and more so the snippet extensions and paused.
You’ve just over a dozen options to pick as your header, including Black Friday & Cyber Monday, for your snippet extension.
The header helps tell customers what your offerings fall under. Hotels can show amenities; universities can show degrees and travel brands can show neighbourhoods or destinations as options.
For my new clients, I felt they could fall on Types, Amenities and Service Catalog for their header. I was torn between the former two but something told me to try Service Catalog as well. So I picked all three and decided to see what AdWords approved.
After a few days I found out the system approved all three. The account went into review and even after a review by Google’s business team, I was still approved for all three snippet headers. What really caught me off guard was that after running for November and seeing decent traffic to the account…. I started to see a shift in my costs, CPCs and over all my CPA too.
This left me with more questions then answers now.
- Is Service Catalog cheaper because less brands/competitors use that header?
- With no direct cost for a click on a snippets, how can the ad be cheaper?
- where all else remains equal.
- Will this shift in costs maintain as we expand beyond London to across the UK?
- Does cheap ads mean cheap snippets?
A difference of 12% early in an accounts history does’t seem like a lot of money now, however, 3 years from now when we’re spending hundreds of pounds a month and are across Europe. A savings 12% and a reduction in CPA is going to be helpful. Profitable growth is key.
I’ve been documenting my attribution modelling journey….
3 Questions To Ask Yourself About Multi-Channel Attribution
When Do You Use A Last Non-Direct Click Attribution Model?
The Journey To Multi-Channel Attribution
Multi-Channel Attribution That Goes Beyond Last Click
…as I try to figure out a model that works for startups. It’s not perfect, though it’s a starting point and good is certainly better than perfect so we can launch something and iterate as we go.
If you’re a startup and resources are scarce and you can’t get money to use an attribution vendor (yet), than we’re in the same boat and this post is for you. So today I want to share the framework I’ve started to work on and what shape it has taken. To build this framework I started by answering the 3 attribution questions in my last post.
Defining Success and our Attribution Window
Customer signing up for the service is our main KPI. However, I also look at people subscribing to the blog, downloading an ebook or whitepaper. The last two are tracked because maybe a campaign you thought would be for driving customer acquisition, is actually more suited for blog subscribers or getting people to download an ebook. If your company offered webinars or product demos and you’ve those as goals (or events) in Google Analytics, than you can add that to the spreadsheet below.
I picked a 30 day attribution window for the cookie that sits on a customer’s computer. However, when I think about the effect of a campaign and how long to look at it after it launches. I picked 90 days because we don’t generally have long sales cycles and if someone takes longer than 90 days to convert, it becomes a mess to track. If I had more time I’d look at 180 days after a campaign launches to see its effect on the business. Maybe that will be round two for next year.
The spreadsheet below is what I created when I put everything together. I added in a threshold of $500 for campaigns we track in this birds eye view because anything under that limit doesn’t tend to have enough data to make a proper informed decision that doesn’t risk getting a false positive for you campaign and data. All data is fake below and just to give you ideas of what your could look like.
If you’re trying to figure out multi-channel attribution and all the different models you could choose from. Than you’re drowning in options and where to start from. While I’ve been mulling things over the last two months and making some headway, I’ve started with some basic questions.
How Will We Define Success?
I think trying to figure out what success means beyond the initial campaign is import. Success can’t be defined within a campaign launch window. Many potential customers may start their journey with your brand with this campaign… if it’s the starting point and not the end point where they buy. Than you’ve to understand how that campaign can help grow your business and if you’ve to put more money into its success.
What Should Our Success Framework Look Like?
Every brand has different goals and conversions. Figuring out if your latest campaign has contributed to more than one goal is a good starting point. Maybe you thought a campaign would achieve one goal but after looking at all your campaigns, you find out the campaign and other similar campaigns was better for achieving a different goal. Having that information means you can better align with campaigns with the goals you want to achieve. One other area I looked at was budget, only comparing campaigns that spent a certain budget is a good start point because it gives you a baseline to judge all campaigns.
What Is Our Attribution Window?
Knowing how far back you should look at customer interactions with your band will help you understand if you’re being successful and if your framework is starting to take shape and make sense. I’d look back at 90 – 180 days as a starting point because it’s a long enough window to get an idea if your campaigns and attribution is starting to take shape and give you meaningful data that you can turn into information. Information that can help grow your brand.
There are half a dozen or more questions you will ask yourself as you go through this process but you’ve to start from somewhere. Good truly is better than perfect and if you don’t start then you can’t grow your business in the long run.
As I wrote last month, I’m starting to think about attribution at work. I’m doing this because we’re trying to figure out how to judge the success of a campaign we launch. I’ve already written about the 5 different multi-channel attribution models and what makes each one different. As I’ve started down this journey though, I’ve came across one more model that’s interesting and promising: Last Non-Direct Click
This takes all your conversions that show up under “Direct” traffic in Google Analytics (GA) and looks at the second last click before that conversion happened and resigns it to that channel in GA. Many customers will come to your site through a campaign or a landing page and then bounce off your site and or look at other pages on your site. When that happens, those customers will then become a “Direct” channel customer because going from a sub-domain to your main site domain will cause them to get reclassified in Google Analytics.
Attribution has been all the rage at the office the last few weeks. From looking at what would happen if we turned off paid completely, to how we can look at multi-channel attribution but not actually look at multi-channel attribution to judge the success of campaigns we’re working on. To judge the success of a campaign, beyond getting a customer, I’ve started to look at longer attribution windows and look at different goals within our organization.
I’m starting to only hit the tip of the iceberg and though my model is rough and could use a lot of work. It’s a starting point and you’ve to start somewhere…or you’ll never get anywhere.
The last few weeks have reminded me of a good post a few months back looking at 3 top UK retailers and how they have grown up and handled going from last click to multi-channel attribution. A line from the article I like is…
At the end of the day the data has to tell a story and it’s not always the story you want told but one that needs to be told.