Beware these 7 sneaky PPC attribution tricks

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PPC account managers are held to exacting performance standards. Their efforts are judged by KPIs like Return on Ad Spend (ROAS) and CPA (Cost Per Acquisition).

That sounds simple enough. But it’s a lot easier to set tough performance standards than to achieve them. As competition mounts, an account manager may decide to shorten their time horizon to four months instead of four years, figuring that keeping the gig is a lost cause. That leads to “Operation Obfuscate” — to fool the boss by the attributed conversion numbers, at least over the short term.

This column is about doing the opposite of that — or reversing the damage when Operation Obfuscate has sapped the strength of an account that used to have real customer acquisition power.

Businesses are always healthiest when they’re viewing their performance statistics with full transparency.

This process can get uncomfortable, especially when rooting out past malfeasance. But the path to prosperity generally starts with getting back to basics and weeding out all the attribution tricks. Here are seven ways PPC accounts can slowly lose their mojo via, shall we say, “relaxed” approaches to reporting conversion behavior.

[Read the full article on Search Engine Land.]

Some opinions expressed in this article may be those of a guest author and not necessarily Marketing Land. Staff authors are listed here.

About The Author

Andrew Goodman is founder and President of Toronto-based Page Zero Media, a full-service marketing agency founded in 2000. Page Zero manages clients’ paid search campaigns, full-service organic search “Findability” from SEO audit through content strategy, display advertising, and other forms of effective audience targeting. Clients include fast-growth companies and recognized brands alike. He is author of Winning Results with Google AdWords (McGraw-Hill, 2nd ed., 2008) and a co-founder and longtime board member of HomeStars, a consumer review site that recently reached #71 on PROFIT mag’s Profit 500. His current goals include improving Page Zero’s “inbound strategy” and authoring new tools.


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