"At his prime," says Jeff Sexton in an article at FutureNow, "Dennis [Rodman] was pulling down a truly astonishing 18.7 rebounds per game." Impressive indeed, but you'd probably form an entirely different opinion of Rodman's prowess if you looked only at his scoring.

"Comparing [his] 8-9 points per game against other star players' 20 or more points per game," continues Sexton, "you'd likely have been misled into trading Rodman, only to find yourself wondering why you started losing games and everyone else's scoring stats went up against your team."

According to Sexton, marketers fall into the same myopic trap when PPC [pay-per-click] keywords fail to convert potential customers on their first visit. By focusing on that sole metric, and eliminating what might appear to be nonperforming keywords, you're forgetting that the sales process for many customers takes time. "[D]epending on what you sell," he notes, "lots of people buy on their second, third, or umpteenth visit to your site, rather than the first visit."

Moreover, you might not notice a problem for weeks, or even months, after taking action. And the result can be dramatic. One of Sexton's clients, for instance, learned a hard lesson when sales plunged by 30 percent.

The Po!nt: Before you eliminate a keyword from one of your PPC campaigns, be sure to consider all of your available data—not just instant conversion.

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