MPG’s digital arm Media Contacts is to publish re-search which it says shows the idea of “attributing value to the final click is flawed” and could change how the effectiveness of search campaigns are measured.
Media Contacts says that the fewer keywords people click on before buying a product, the more likely they are to use keywords not associated with a brand name. Its research also shows that consumers who use more than 25 clicks in their journey tend to use a much higher proportion of “brand terms”, using a search engine as a directory to find a website.
Media Contacts head of digital Paul Frampton explains: “This could change the way the industry measures search campaigns. In our analysis across a number of advertisers, we identified that consumers can conduct up to 90 search clicks before they buy; only 17% of them buy after one click. The idea of attributing full value to the final click is therefore flawed.”
Media Contacts tracked data over six months on campaigns over 100,000 clicks across a range of advertisers and assessed “first-click” versus “last-click” behaviour. It showed that in 36% of searches, users start by using a keyword that is not related to a brand. However, before they buy, a brand-related term will appear and play a role.
The study shows that the effectiveness of brand terms masks the true performance of a search campaign. Keywords unrelated to a brand get 39% more clicks as first clicks than as last clicks. As a result, the report concludes that campaigns must be optimised according to the full journey.
Frampton adds: “It is not possible to accurately optimise a search campaign without understanding the full keyword search journey. We must take into account the actual entry point of the consumer into the advertiser’s universe, as opposed to optimising only on exit point. This method is much more compliant with consumer behaviour.”