Getting the Full Picture
They say the human eye can only see a fraction the total light spectrum – and that’s just those sources identifiable with current technology. We live among these unseen radio and television waves, x-rays, solar rays, and various others, missing a huge portion of the true nature of everything around us.
I have to say that I’ve felt the same way as I pour through the data collected my clients’ websites, looking for insights and trends to optimize their search engine marketing (SEM) campaigns. I sometimes feel that I just don’t have the full picture I need to do the best job possible.
For the most part, spikes and dips in SEM performance can be attributed to influences such as a large television campaign kicking in, holiday seasonality, or a news story highlighting a particular keyword causing its search volume to rise. However, the truth is that I never know the complete story of why Person A went online and purchased a specific product or service or signed up for my site’s newsletter. I may see that he or she clicked Keyword X immediately before converting, but was there interaction with any media before finally making that decision? Did the individual hear a radio spot or read about the company in a magazine? Did someone from work recommend a product at this site? And SEM professionals will wonder what influenced the buyer to search for one of their ad-triggering keywords?
For a data guy like me, not having access to this data is a bitter pill to swallow. Luckily, the picture is becoming clearer by the day, as more companies realize the advantages gained from an understanding of the processes that convert a prospect into a customer.