Once you have established your business, you’ll, hopefully, find yourself with a few extra shekels to splash out on advertising – we all need new customers and using pay-per-click (PPC) campaigns are a great way to start pushing traffic to your website.
I spoke with David Thorpe from IndieSpring, a specialist in this area, for some hints and tips and asked him to break down a few elements into sizeable chunks.
For this article, the focus is going to be on the behaviour of users that make up pay-per-click (PPC) traffic and why it is important for a business engaging in online advertising to pay attention to these factors.
Introduction to Traffic Quality
It would be incredibly easy for a certified Google AdWords specialist (and we only recommend you use properly trained companies), to send vast amounts of traffic to your website regardless of whether your PPC budget was £5 or £500 per day. In order for PPC advertising to be effective, that traffic needs to be relevant to what it is that your website offers – it’s no point attracting traffic that’s interested in ‘how to bake a cake’ if you run a shoe shop for example.
This is all very well, but, as a normal bloke on the street, we don’t know how to target relevant traffic, give us some tips:
To work out whether the traffic that comes to your website is worthwhile, there needs to be a way of measuring that relevance, and that is where Traffic Quality analysis comes in.
There are a huge number of analytic factors that can be used to provide insight into the type of user that makes up a specific PPC click, but the three core factors are as follows:
A ‘Bounce’ is when someone arrives at your site then immediately navigates to somewhere else away from your site. This could be by typing something else into the navigation bar to go to a different website or a new search, or hitting the back button.
A bounce rate of 60% would mean 60% of your site visitors didn’t do anything else during their visit, and 40% did i.e. they chose to interact with your site in some other way.
A high bounce rate isn’t necessarily a bad thing – it could also mean they landed on your website purely to find your phone number, or send you a message via your contact form or email, and left immediately after finding the information they wanted.
It could also be because people are simply reading an advertised latest blog piece or article and don’t need to go anywhere else.
Different industries or interests will have different average bounce rates, so benchmarking can be difficult, but generally, the lower your bounce rate, the better you are doing. It should be mentioned however that PPC traffic will almost certainly have a higher bounce rate than organic traffic.
Time on Site
Time on site is a measure of how long a user spent on your site. From the moment they clicked on the PPC ad and your website loaded to the time they navigated away or closed their browser. It is reported as an average of all the users over a specified time range, so if you only had two clicks – one user that spent 1 minute on your site and one that spent 3 minutes on your site then your time on site metric would be reported as 2 minutes.
Pages per Visit
Pages per visit is a measure of how many unique pages of your site a user has visited. This refers to unique pages, so if a user goes from your home page to a sub-page and then back to your home page, that would only count as 2 pages in that visit, not 3.
Like time on site, it is reported as an average however rather than averaging individual users, it is calculated as total number of page views divided by total number of users. With the exception of some very rare circumstances, the end result is the same though.
So, there’s a few tips for you to maximise your traffic quality, but, as usual, if you need any further help or advice, feel free to get in touch.