The letter C – the third letter of the alphabet. A consonant. Also used to represent one hundred in Roman numerals. For me however, and many other online marketers, the letter C is far more significant than just being the sign possibly adapted from an Egyptian hieroglyph.
Recently while looking over a monthly performance report, I noticed several key metrics start with the letter C. Is this some sort of conspiracy? (shoot, even conspiracy starts with C!) Probably not.
For PPC advertisers the letter C means clicks, conversions, cost as well as click through rate, cost per click, cost per conversion and conversion rate – Seven of the most important metrics in online advertising.
Here’s a quick rundown of what the C’s in PPC means:
- Click – A click (sometimes called a click through) occurs when a user sees your ad and clicks on it, leading them to your website.
- Conversion – An online conversion occurs when a visitor takes a marketer’s intended action. A conversion action can be defined in various ways—the proper measures will depend on your business and the goals of your campaign. Common conversion actions include: email inquiries, phone call inquiries, online purchases, newsletter sign-ups, etc.
- Cost – Your advertising costs are the charges you accrue through the online advertising platforms we use, such as Google AdWords, Yahoo! Search Marketing and Microsoft AdCenter.
- Click through rate (CTR) – The number of clicks your ad receives divided by the number of times your ad is shown (impressions) via Google search only. Your ad and keyword each have their own CTRs, unique to your own campaign performance.
- Cost-per-click (CPC) – An advertising model in which the advertiser pays a certain amount each time their ad is clicked, irrespective of how many times the ad is displayed. Also sometimes referred to as PPC (pay-per-click).
- Cost-per-Conversion – the cost of acquiring a customer, typically calculated by dividing the total cost of an advertising campaign by the number of conversions. The definition of “conversion” varies depending upon the situation. It is sometimes considered to be a lead, a sale, or a purchase.
- Conversion Rate – The conversion rate is the percentage of visitors who take the conversion action.
Now that we have that out of the way, I’m sure you’d like to know why the C’s are so important to an online advertiser. Well, since you’ve asked…All seven of these ultimately drive the success or failure of a campaign. The latter tends to happen if you forget the importance of just one.
For example: Forgetting about click through rate will cause it to drop. A low CTR leads to higher cost per clicks.
Another instance of forgetting about a “C” word has to do with conversions. Become oblivious to either conversions, cost per conversions or conversion rate and you’re just throwing money away. Sure you may be generating a ton of clicks. Some agencies tend to only care about clicks and traffic. However, at Forthea we want you to get the biggest bang for your buck. My favorite metric (this goes for the entire marketing team here) is cost per conversion.
The letter C is far more crucial to online advertisers than just the logo on the Chicago Cubs’ hats (Astros fan here). Like I mentioned earlier, neglecting just one of the all mighty C’s could turn an entire campaign to shambles.