Forecasting accurately for paid media is one of the biggest challenges in the industry, especially when companies base budgets and estimations of performance off of this data. It’s even a challenge for really clever agencies like us!
But in all seriousness, forecasting for paid media is much more scientific and accurate if you have historical data to work with. If not, you can still produce educated estimates, but you have to make some business assumptions on metrics such as conversion rate. For example, when it comes to paid search on platforms by Google Ads and Bing, the potential within the marketplace is driven by consumer demand and the amount of available searches.
First, you need to do your keyword research. This takes time and you need to put the time in to make the projections really, really meaningful. From this, you can develop your keyword strategy and understand the marketplace.
There are some factors outside of our control that we need to be mindful of.For example, rising click costs which we’ve actually seen at Koozai to double over the past five years due to increased advertiser competition. We could produce a forecast in January and then a lot of additional competitors could enter the market in say March, and if they’re bidding aggressively, this will of course change the projection. We’ll monitor auction insights to stay on top of this and to stay on top of trends, but predicting the future behaviour of the competition can be difficult.
When it comes to accounting for seasonality, a really top notch PPC strategy needs to nail this early so we look at the seasonal trends in available traffic for your group of target keywords. Over the past few years, for instance, searches for swimsuits start increasing in March and early April, so we need to think a season ahead to win.
We need to benchmark where you’re at right now. For example, are you running campaigns or coming at this from a standing start? If you’re already running campaigns, we will determine the expected increases that can be driven by campaign improvements and refinements. These structural improvements will have a positive knock-on effect on many key account metrics such as quality score, click through rate, average CPC conversion rate and subsequently sales and revenue.
We’ll also use all available historical data from any paid media platforms as well as Google Analytics to fully inform the projections. And if clients have accurate conversion tracking or e-commerce tracking in place, depending on what’s relevant, then that’s of course even better.
We can also consider the relationship between different channels such as Paid and Organic by linking Google Search Console data to achieve this. Meaningful and reliable PPC projections come from having a solid set of processes in place that make measuring PPC and its true impact on your sales and revenue possible.
Predicting future performance is time consuming but it is absolutely key that the job is done right, to set clear expectations for the campaign and to have hard numbers to provide a solid business case to justify your investment in PPC.
I hope that’s helpful and if you’d like to have a chat about a performance forecast for your business, get in touch for a chat.