One of the most useful pieces of advice from the book “Clout: The Art and Science of Influential Web Content,” by Colleen Jones, is this one: Data is your eyes, not your brain. When it comes to Search Marketing, when the data you see in Google Ads will help you define where and how your money will be spent, this motto is a reminder that data-driven decisions require a lot of strategic thinking.
Our job as marketers is to use data to get the complete picture before making a decision. Only when you see a situation from all different angles, then you can decide whether it’s the way you want it to be. One primary example from search: there is no point in analyzing the click-through rate (CTR) if you don’t consider the number of impressions as well. After all, an ad with two impressions and one click will have a CTR of 50%, but how relevant is this data for you?
Stay in control of your data and your resulting decisions by cross-referencing contexts and looking for trends. Get a solid understanding of all the possibilities data is showing you about your user, your keywords, search intent, your biddings. For instance, what keywords are generating most clicks? And what keywords are eating away your budget? How many intersections can you find in that group? What is their bounce rate? How much time the users searching these keywords are spending on your website? How is your search impression share for them? If you pause the top keywords with a high volume of search, will that mean that long-tail keywords can use your budget more efficiently?
Just remember: you — and not data — are the one making the (data-driven) decisions.