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A client of mine sells software and has a Web site describing the offering—its many features, and its many benefits.

The client turned to me to help judiciously cut the thousands of dollars per month it was spending on pay-per-click keywords with Google and Overture.

These folks knew which keywords were bringing in the most traffic and which were costing them the most. But which keywords were worth the cost? They couldn't say.

They found and downloaded a rather inexpensive Web analytics tool from www.clicktracks.com. ClickTracks that seemed to be designed for their dilemma. By incorporating data from pay-per-click engines and e-commerce systems, it displays the cost per click correlated with the revenue spent by those doing the clicking.

There, side by side, were the costs of each keyword and the monies they generated. “I know half of my advertising dollar is being wasted, I just don't know which half” is now a phrase of the past.

Only one problem—my client doesn't sell software online. At $15,000 and up, it's not something you'd whip out a credit card to buy. Sold to organizations, it's one of those products that take a village (or a committee) to purchase. My client knows which keywords bring traffic, but not which ones bring good, qualified traffic or traffic that is more likely to turn into money someday.

So I asked what I ask every client: What is the purpose of your Web site? What's it for?

To teach people about our software.

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image of Jim Sterne

Jim Sterne (jsterne@targeting.com) is the founder and director of Target Marketing (www.targeting.com), founder of the eMetrics Marketing Optimization Summit, and the founding president and current chairman of the Web Analytics Association.