The Answer to Your Questions on Impressions, Click, and CTRs

February 25, 2016

3 Minute Read

As an agency, we spend a lot of time introducing clients to a new way of thinking. There are thousands of digital marketing agencies that all have similar capabilities (or so they claim). So, how do we do things differently? To begin, we focus on more than just impressions, clicks, and CTRs.

In simple words, we focus on revenue solutions, not just clicks or (in some cases) conversions. Why does this matter? Let me share an example using paid media.

Having worked in paid media for over 10 years, I still to this day love it when a new client asks, “Why are my impressions, clicks, or CTRs dropping?” It never ceases to amaze me how many times we review a new client’s paid search campaigns and find that they are spending way too much on irrelevant traffic. There are two main reasons that this occurs:

  1. Impressions are too high due to unfocused campaigns, ad groups, keywords, and match types.
  2. Poor messaging and targeting are resulting in irrelevant search traffic.

Oftentimes, a campaign is set up to “test” the reach of the client’s audience, but these tests often turn into a long-term, mismanaged campaign. The result is an abundance of irrelevant impressions and/or clicks that ultimately end up costing you budget that could instead be focused on high-profit traffic. While high impressions have their place for brand visibility (since they mean more eyes on your brand), they can also lead to needless budget bleed. High impressions with low clicks result in poor CTRs. The lower the CTRs, the more that Google, Bing, etc. charge you for the same click.

Going Beyond Impressions, Clicks, and CTRs

When working with a new client, one of our initial steps is to identify where these irrelevant impressions are occurring and adjust match types, pause keywords and adjust ad copy. The result is often a decrease in impressions with little or no change in click totals.

Similarly, it is not uncommon for us to also remove, pause or change match types on keywords that are driving traffic and not leading to a conversion, resulting in a decrease in total clicks and lower CTRs.

This will undoubtedly spur some questions from the client, such as “You decreased our click traffic—why?”

The fact is, clicks do not always equal revenue. While this is sometimes difficult to fathom, as your partner, we have to remain focused on the true objective goal: increased revenue for your business. Revenue should never be sacrificed for volume, while volume may be sacrificed for revenue. As a true partner, we want to work with you to drive profit, not just sales.

Our goal is to always focus on increased sales and profit, but also to understand that we cannot sacrifice profit for additional sales. After all, profit is what drives growth.

Check out this episode of The Dan & Steve Show to learn more about the nuances involved with cost per lead metrics and as always, feel free to contact us if you have any question!

Dan Golden - Co-Founder and Chief Search Artist

Dan Golden

Dan Golden is a veteran digital marketing executive & speaker. He liked to predict the future of digital marketing and is damn good at it. Beyond trendspotting, he has an insatiable desire to know what works and that means spending time auditing accounts, testing tactics, and diving into analytics. Dan is also a Forbes and HuffPost contributor, as well as a Lecturer at Northwestern University and DePaul University.