You Probably Aren’t Measuring Your PPC Campaigns Properly


There is the fundamental problem when marketing for lead generation.

Leads, by their nature, are not sales.

At least not yet.

Your leads could be high value, or worthless. They could close a sale tomorrow or next year.

Your analytics might not even be telling you a true picture of where your leads are originating. Whilst most people track form fills, contacts through mediums such as phone calls and live chats go unattributed in most standard analytics setups.

If you’re running a marketing campaign and measuring success based on leads only, you have a gap in data that is stopping you improving results.

Whilst tyre kicker, top of the funnel and research keywords may appear to be creating cost-effective leads and making your campaign look great. If there isn’t any revenue coming out at the other end, you’re going to run into a problem.

Take for example a client who came to us in the legal sector.

Their campaign was centred around an exact match keyword generating circa 80 leads a month – but spending the majority of a five-figure budget.

Looking at their AdWords and Google Analytics accounts would lead you to believe that their performance was great.

They were acquiring leads, something was happening, and they were making (enough) money.

However, the middle bit is what makes the difference.

Like many others, they were failing to link their marketing activities directly to revenue, knowingly leaving a chasm in their insight.

When we broke down the leads generated by the keyword, we found that they were acquiring on average just below 1 new customer a month that was making a significant enough impact on their revenue to be considered valuable.

Even the high-value nature of their business didn’t offset their initial outlay.

We’ve seen this so many times, that we have a name for it.


We call it the South Park strategy.

The solution? You need to evaluate your campaigns the same way you evaluate business: by the amount of revenue it generates

Show me the money!

show me the money

To find out leads are turning into real sales and creating revenue, you need a process to track and then match them with the marketing campaign or keyword that created them.

This is added insight is what will drive your campaign to the next level.

There are few steps to get this right, but once they are in place they should produce the data you need each time.

NOTE: You can download a full breakdown of how to implement revenue tracking including spreadsheets, templates AND a 30 day free trial for Ruler Analytics here.


Step 1 – Tagging – Identifying the Traffic Source

The first step is making sure the traffic coming to your website is tagged correctly so that you can see the exact source and any other variables associated such as campaign, keyword or advert reference. This is commonly done using UTM tags, which allow you to add specific labels to the landing pages (more info in our guide below.)


Step 2 – Tracking – Software & Tools

The next stage is to ensure that the data captured is at visitor level, so you are able to match with the marketing source and to a closed sale later. Most leads come in the form of an enquiry form, live chat or phone call. So you may need some additional marketing analytics or call tracking software at this stage, but you can also pass UTM tag values in your forms.


Step 3 – Matching – Feedback & CRM

Finally, once you have captured the lead with the applicable marketing source there needs to be a feedback loop to see which leads closed into business, and just as importantly which leads didn’t.

This can be done manually in a spreadsheet, to begin with, so you can get used to the workflow and prove the business case. However, this could be cumbersome at higher volumes, so ideally they should be automatically matched to where you handle your leads, for instance in CRM.


Next Steps

Once you have this process in place it allows you to see where the real conversions and revenue are coming from, measure ROI definitively and optimise your campaign accordingly.

If you want to learn more check out our guide…

Written by

Director at Ruler Analytics with a background in online marketing, lead generation and analytics. Ian’s role includes designing automated workflows and integrations to help clients attribute the marketing effectively