In this clip from our presentation at Digital Summit Portland, Senior Account Manager Donna Lagow outlines the second major danger of a paid search audit: ignoring the dragon. It’s every bit as dangerous as it sounds.


A big round of applause, talking about paid search, Donna Lagow.

Next up: the beast! You really want to focus on the beast, and the things that matter. Really, it’s—what that’s indicative of are the big huge things in your account that are:

  • The primary drivers of revenue
  • The primary drivers have spend
  • The primary drivers of orders

When you’re looking at those larger aggregates of spend, you’re likely going to be able to get to, in short, the problems, the areas that are absorbing that spend and how it can be improved better.
Focus on that not on the little guy. Basically, you can spend a lot of time focusing on something that’s accrued you ten dollars over the last two months.

In order to do this, you really need to also focus on what? Leads, and understanding that they’re really not all created equal. What does that mean? Well, it goes back to being able to focus, again, on the things that matter.

Where possible, you want to be focusing on lead-to-revenue ratio, your cost per sale: how do those things grow and be impacted by your overall account performance?

Optimizations on CPL can lead to what we call the “death spiral.” We’ve had a client who wanted to bring their CPL down. “I would like to take it down 10%.” Okay, that’s a fair goal. I’ll take that challenge. But what they weren’t focusing on, again, was that end-to-end measurement.

This was an online academic client and they weren’t looking at, really, the cost per enrollment. So in general, more of that lead-to-revenue ratio was what they were removing from the equation.

So when you actually flipped the numbers and focused on the end-to-end tracking and performance versus only CPL, it was a different story completely. And, again, this was a heavy impact to their performance and how they continued to actually move up from there.