What's post-click analysis and why do data-driven PPC marketers need to use it?
Our sixth webinar brought to you by ClickGUARD covering the importance of post-click analysis and why data-driven PPC marketers leverage this super-power! 💣
… and then they were 6!
The sixth webinar session brings, or rather, keeps together your favorite digital marketer, Jason Pittock, and Miloš Đekić, CTO and Co-Founder of ClickGUARD.
Their dialogue uncovers the power of the post-click analysis, known as “the secret sauce of data-driven Google Ads marketers.”
Miloš gives us a crash definition for post-click analysis:
The process of recording the behavior of visitors on your website, after they click on one of your adverts, to turn it into actionable information.
Right away, Miloš emphasizes the importance of making that information actionable.
“It’s never enough to simply track and record how your visitors interact with your website. You have to perform a deep analysis of the data you collect in order to make it actionable and perform a real PPC optimization.”
So, do all marketing ninjas, masters in PPC, use post-click analysis?
No, unfortunately. If you’re one of them, follow Miloš’s advice and start analyzing visitor behavior beyond Google Analytics to really optimize your advertising efforts.
And why is that, you may ask
When you’re running ads, you are configuring your ad vendor to target a specific audience. The platform allows you to target them geographically, demographically, based on interests, etc., etc., and will do its best to match your adverts with the right people. Its whole job is to send you leads. But after they’re sending someone to your website (and charging you for the interaction), that’s it.
And, you’ve guessed it right, if you don't do post-click analysis on the traffic you’re paying for, you rely solely on the controls provided to you by the advertising platform. No PPC optimization for you! Doesn’t sound too good, does it?
Let’s talk numbers
Can an account be too small to use post-click analysis? Can the budget be too restricted to afford post-click analysis?
We can’t argue that size matters when it comes to data and performing post-click analysis to make it actionable. But, Miloš reminds us, “as any data scientist will confirm, you most certainly can use almost any scope of data, you just need to adjust the algorithm. If the data sample is small you use simpler algorithms to analyze it and make conclusions.”
So, (IF sample=small, THEN algorithms=simpler). (IF sample=big), THEN… this is the best part: you can introduce complexity and perform deeper analysis for better insight. That happens “naturally” when you’ve got a lot of paid traffic.
To conclude, when dealing with data, “the more, the merrier”, and a bigger sample will lead to better conclusions.
But, as Miloš suggests, no need for a scientist to show if a small advertiser would benefit from knowing:
- The average time people spend on their website before converting
- The level of interaction with the site
- If the interaction was made by a bot
Let’s talk money
It’s as simple as one plus one, according to Miloš: your marketing strategy must include paid traffic quality analysis and attribution. How else are you going to measure results?
- Paid traffic quality analysis gives you insight into the quality of the traffic you’re paying for. Results: improve your reach and refine your audience - power to you!
- Attribution shows you which one of your adverts and platforms work and which one doesn’t. Results: you know where to cut funds and where to invest - more power to you!
“Budgets belong to strategy, and if you don’t make room in your strategy for these two things, you’re basically flying blind.”
Post-click analysis vs. click fraud
We’ve covered how ad platforms work and how they can trigger clicks and traffic that drain your ROAS, and Miloš tops it up with an example.
Let’s say you want to show your ad in California to people who have an interest in sneakers. Yes, you have a sneakers business for which you launch an ad campaign, and clicks start coming in. You’re getting conversions, meaning a number of people who clicked on your ad end up signing up for your innovative “random sneakers every month” subscription.
There are some numbers there for you to look at and review, like:
- How many impressions and clicks you’ve gotten,
- What’s the click-through rate,
- Cost per click.
When you calculate cost per conversion, you’re like “hey, this works for me. I can pay $250 per conversion because the average LTV of my customer is like $500!”
Your customers usually stick around for 6 months, then they get sick of all the cringy sneakers you’re sending them after the 3rd month. All this seems a bargain, for you’re actually running a successful business.
But then, your business gets competition, the cost per click goes up, and you start noticing some abnormalities. Your Google Analytics shows a lot of traffic on the website and a very high bounce rate. You start noticing crazy click-through rates (like 300%), as well as what your ad vendor will show as “invalid traffic.”
What if you sign up for ClickGUARD and let it run for a week?
Spoiler alert: you’re going to be dumbstruck for at least three reasons.
- Your display ads, so nicely crafted, could be clicked by bots from as many as 100 different mobile apps and shady websites. It’s unlikely for them to have an appreciation for your creative designs, or do anything else than immediately bounce.
- On the bright side, you know what you’re dealing with and can take action to solve the problem. Create some rules to block these non-converters, reconsider your Display, and ponder leaving it for remarketing.
- You may find that many of those clicks you’ve been getting from desktop devices end up spending not more than 10 seconds on your site and barely interact with it. You can also see the average time spent on your site and might notice a big discrepancy. For instance, the average time before conversion is one minute and 40 seconds, and after conversion is just about 30 seconds.
- Take action once again: set a rule to cut out the ones not sticking around and optimize for the ones who are close to that minute and a half.
- You’ve been getting almost all traffic for a specific campaign or keyword that had no or low site interaction. And check if the visitors ever went past your landing page…
- Be ready to stop advertising for some keywords.
“And this is just the tip of the iceberg, the true optimization potential is huge, especially when you start analyzing behavior for specific campaigns, keywords, ad groups, countries.”
All these actions based on data from post-click analysis translates into a lower cost per conversion and maximum ROAS.
Post-click analysis - ClickGUARD’s no. 1 asset?
If he said it once, he said a thousand times: post-click analysis is the best way for the online advertisers to get intimately acquainted with their audience through actionable insight. There’s no point in watching hours of video recordings of people’s interactions with your website.
Post-click analysis is a part of ClickGUARD’s forensics -- a 360 overview of every single ad click you’ve paid for.
And so, if you want the full potential for PPC optimization, all you have to do is combine post-click behavior data with other data. For instance, look at
- Visitor behavior metrics:
- Time spent on site
- Page views
- Level of interaction
- Bot probability
- Other data:
- The threat level
- Click source quality information
To make it all actionable, apply protection and optimization rules, which will automate the process of dealing with wasteful ad traffic.
“Click quality alone - weak data.
Behavior alone - weak data.
Together - strong data.”
“Data-driven decision-making” for Google Ads
You’ve run ads before, so you know the drill: your ad vendor provides you with metrics that show how many times your ads were seen and clicked on, and you know nothing about what happened on the website. You know what didn’t happen: conversions. You pay for more clicks, missing on the essential: the better clicks.
The data you get from us empowers your decision-making for PPC Optimization. We provide you with insight that opens up huge opportunities to save your budget from waste and re-allocate it to target intent.
When so many Software as a Service products abuse the AI/ ML buzzwords to draw customers (throwback to Session #5) disregarding altogether transparency, accountability, no wonder some others brag about letting you review the entire session. In all fairness, that allows for some behavior analysis.
Fitting post-click analysis fit into your ad performance toolbox
No offense to the software, but going through recordings to catch click fraud and wasteful interactions it’s a waste of time for a human. It’s 100% not scalable and 100% not applicable to any decent volume of paid traffic.
“If you’re using a service that does post-click analysis, just make sure that the data they provide is transparent and actionable.”
When we say transparent: behavior data can never be definitive, but from a data science perspective, we can look for patterns and cases that stand out. We offer you a paper trail so you can always make your own conclusion.
ClickGUARD never claims that a website interaction was made by a bot. Behind our conclusions there are complex algorithms that analyse the interaction, compare it with other similar interactions. There’s no blaming game, as we show the probability that an interaction was made by a bot rather than plainly say “it’s a bot”.
When we say actionable: can those vanity metrics and colorful charts be used to automate and control your PPC optimization process?
“Machine Learning is still awesome and 100% applicable to post-click behaviour analysis, but YOU have to be in control.”
For the bonus question and unpredictable answer, tune in to our podcast.
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Former Head of Product
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Former CMO @ ClickGUARD