Measure success

Prove the incremental value of PPC

Overview

Paid Search drives incremental volume. Don’t forget other benefits like control over messaging, the use of audiences, and the impact on relevant metrics beyond clicks.

Google’s business model is centered on connecting advertisers to searchers. When people use Google to search, they are presented with two types of Search media designed to answer the Search query and other personalised Search criteria:

  1. Paid Search ads
  2. Organic listings

On relevant, commercial queries, the addition of a paid Search ad alongside an organic listing can drive up to 89% incremental volume.1 For example, a Google Ads experiment by Lastminute.com found that conventional analytics were underestimating performance for non-brand Search ads by 43%.2

Beyond incremental volume, there are further benefits to running paid Search alongside your organic listings. A paid ad gives you control and presence that would not exist with organic visibility alone. You have the opportunity to control:

  • The message (via ad text and extensions)
  • The timing (via ad scheduling)
  • The audience (via Search audiences)

The first thing a user sees at the top of a commercial Search results page is a Search or Shopping ad. For you to have a presence on the queries that are relevant to your business, use paid Search, especially when there’s a risk of competitors bidding on these terms or on important brand terms.

If you want to prove the incrementality of paid Search for your business, prepare a test. Schedule your test during a quiet period and establish a baseline performance. An A/B experiment can be an effective way to test specific geographies against control geographies with similar customer behaviours. Before you start, make sure to define incrementality beyond just site visits for a fuller picture, for example through store visits. Also, define the overall success metric to be used: site traffic, goals, conversions and so on. This will have a direct impact on your test duration and feasibility.

During your investigations, don’t forget about the competition. By removing yourself from the auction, you can make it cheaper and easier for competitors to win customers on queries relevant to your brand. The defensive benefits of Search can be strategically important.

Key takeaways

When investigating incrementality, use the defensive benefits, the control you gain through messaging and audiences, and the impact on all relevant metrics beyond site visits.

If you’re testing paid Search incrementality, test smart. Follow best practices and make sure results are statistically significant.

Next steps

  • Volume of clicks

    If you want to grow volume of clicks, conversions or revenue, paid Search can drive incrementality. Put the appropriate measurement in place to help you understand the full value of Search activity.

  • Maximise the benefit of having paid Search presence

    Follow best practices in your ad copy and extensions, and use Search audiences to better understand who is seeing your ad.

  • Want to test the incremental impact of paid Search?

    Agree on the best approach and ensure statistical significance.

  • One

    Volume of clicks

    If you want to grow volume of clicks, conversions or revenue, paid Search can drive incrementality. Put the appropriate measurement in place to help you understand the full value of Search activity.

  • Two

    Maximise the benefit of having paid Search presence

    Follow best practices in your ad copy and extensions, and use Search audiences to better understand who is seeing your ad.

  • Three

    Want to test the incremental impact of paid Search?

    Agree on the best approach and ensure statistical significance.

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