June 15, 2017 Search Marketing

Google processes over 2 trillion searches per year, or at least 63,000 searches per second. Last year this generated $57.8 billion dollars in ad revenue, with $47.57 billion generated from search ads. And, for search marketers who manage Google AdWords campaigns, you know how important a search query can be for your revenue goals.

Google AdWords accounts are made up of a hierarchy of campaigns, ad groups, keywords, ads, landing pages, and ad extensions. The complexity of its audience targeting, ad types, click to convert, and attribution has only expanded in response to consumer behavior. When people conduct research and complete purchases they use multiple channels and devices.

The cross-device, cross-channel world is the new reality for search marketers, who measure, attribute, and optimize on it to achieve the most revenue per dollar spent. Remember, your dollars are one of the $57.8 billion!

Let’s break down the importance of search keywords and how you get keyword-level attribution.

The Importance of a Search Keyword

Millions of brands are in business and millions of search marketers have a job because consumers search. But, let’s not forget what consumers search for – a keyword. At the end of the day we, as search marketers, are optimizing for keywords. Granted, those keywords are part of a targeted campaign with specific ad copy, but even so we optimize specifically for a keyword. Everything in search comes down to a very specific keyword and match type. Using a keyword we place bids, develop campaigns, budgets, ad copy, landing pages, and content. Everything we manage revolves around a keyword and it’s match type.

Why Keyword-Level Conversion Attribution?

If the keyword is so important, then shouldn’t the conversion attribution and measurement at the keyword-level be just as important? I have worked on a wide variety of search campaigns encompassing e-commerce, lead generation, and branding goals.Depending on the size of the account, I have managed and optimized hundreds of thousands of keywords. From my experience, nothing is more important than getting keyword-level attribution for every conversion type, whether it’s an email sign up, phone call, form fill, or cart checkout.

The number one reason keyword level attribution is so important is because every action in search starts with a keyword or keyword phrase. Maximum cost per click (CPC) bids are set at the keyword- or match type-level, we build ad copy around specific keywords in an ad group, and we devote campaign budget o a subset of keywords. Knowing the exact keyword(s) driving conversions allows your search account to run at its most efficient ROI.  

What Can You Do to Get Keyword-Level Attribution?

Good news, Google and Bing are in agreement that keyword-level attribution is important too. In most cases they allow unique keyword IDs that provide conversion attribution. Specifically, any conversion action that occurs from a click to a landing page will get keyword- or match type level attribution, even at the device level.

TIP: Search behavior can be very different on mobile devices compared to desktop. If a consumer uses voice search there will be more short tail keywords due to natural language keyword phrases.

The keyword- or match type-level attribution will also filter into your analytics platform. It integrates seamlessly into Google Analytics if you have a direct integration in place. However, your analytics platform won’t capture every conversion at a keyword level – you could still be missing call conversions.

Never fear, there is a solution! Call attribution technology can be used with Google call extensions to capture the missing call conversions down to the keyword match type. And not only will you get the count of conversions, you will get conversation insight, caller id, location, and browser/device, and can pass that information into your CRM tool as well as Google AdWords and Google Analytics.

I urge you to capture every single conversion your brand measures at the keyword level. With keyword-level attribution you can ensure the highest bids are for the keywords driving the most conversions. Even if the conversion is a phone call! DialogTech for Search is your one-stop shop to ensure you are measuring, attributing, and optimizing for inbound calls.

About the author:

Kelley Schultz

Director of Digital Marketing & Analytics, DialogTech

As the Director of Digital Marketing & Analytics at DialogTech, Kelley Schultz is responsible for all digital acquisition channels and analytics including: SEO, SEM, Display, Email and Social Media. She has been in the digital marketing space for the past 8 years with experience on both the client and agency side working on B2C and B2B clients.

See more posts by Kelley Schultz

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