A lot of the time people will use multiple ways to research a service or product. This means that if you’re for example using Pay Per Click (PPC) Ads like Google Ads to get people on to your website, the person might leave the site and then follow up with a search for your business name or something relating to what was on the page, this means that they are searching using a search engine like say Google and no longer using the Ads to get to you or your product.
If your reports are set up to measure as last click attribution, that’s simply the last source of traffic before the goal or sale is being triggered will get the credit for the sale or action. If you don’t look deep enough you might assume that your PPC campaign was a waste of money because organic search was the last click in that scenario above, so you make the simple and what seams reasonable decision to stop doing the PPC Ads.
Suddenly your sales drop like a brick and you don’t know why and once you figure it out you’ve lost a lot of sales and your competition is now getting them, which means they have more profit to spend more to try to keep you out of PPC, not all Ad spend is for conversion sometimes it’s just to reduce the competitions exposure to customers or give you more brand awareness.
Now let’s flip that scenario and assume that you’ve used first click attribution to measure and again you don’t look deeper into the actual customer journey. Now you know that PPC is getting you all the business, great! you drop your Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) campaign to save some money or put it into the PPC campaign to get even more clicks to the site.
Again sales drop, but this time it will happen more slowly because SEO unlike PPC doesn’t just suddenly stop, it tails off over time. You think you’ve done the right thing and bask in your smart decision…well at least for the first couple of months, but you now notice a bigger decline in sales and can’t work out why, you panic and change up your PPC campaign which changes how well it was working before.
What you didn’t realise was the PPC campaign you had originally was working perfectly as it was, but due to the dropping the SEO campaign the customers using Search to come back aren’t finding you anymore.
If you figure all that out and return to doing both PPC and SEO campaigns together it’s unfortunately going to take some time to build up your SEO again because your competitors have jumped up the rankings and have maybe 2-3 months on you. That could be as much as 4-6 months of sales that you’ve missed out on from the point of stopping to getting back up.
Please pay attention to the whole customer journey and ensure your making the right decision before you stop any specific marketing channel, also if you’re only doing the one marketing channel you might want to investigate multiple as more customers are using multiple sources to research and make their buying decisions.
Remember traditional marketing had TV, Radio, Outdoor (like billboards/bus stops), newspaper/magazine advertising and the most successful companies usually had a mixture of these advertising methods.
Digital Marketing is just traditional marketing with more channels to advertise with and even better measurements to figure out if it’s working or not and more importantly maybe why it’s not working.