Don’t be fooled by first impressions. Conversion is the only stat of importance.

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The world of digital marketing can be confusing for newcomers. There are a lot of terms thrown around that don’t mean an awful lot without context. If you’re just trying the marketing game on for size, it can leave you feeling somewhat lost. But, truthfully, once you get to grips with the jargon, the techniques are pretty simple.

As you’ve probably figured out by now, there are a lot of different methods that are used by digital marketing agencies around the world. They all have their own rhyme and reason. They each perform different results. Figuring out exactly which approach your company should be taking can be difficult. But, ultimately, it’s down to personal preference. The techniques you embrace will depend on what you’re looking to achieve.

One of the most confusing trends in digital marketing is the Pay-Per-Click phenomenon. It’s not that it’s a complex idea to get your head around. Far from it. It’s a relatively simple idea. The basic premise is that your link will appear somewhere on the internet, and you’ll pay for how many clicks you consequently receive.

So, where does the confusion begin to creep in? Quite simply, it’s that people don’t understand the key differences between impressions and clicks. A common misconception is that the number of impressions you make is relative to your success. It makes sense right? The more people that see your ad is going to make it more likely to achieve results. Not necessarily.

Before we get into the hows and whys of the matter, let’s first explore what those terms actually mean. As we touched on above, an impression counts for each time your ad is potentially seen by an end-user. It can be anything. A banner, a link, a keyword. Whatever it is you want, really. So, every time somebody visits a blog that features your ad on the page somewhere, that’s an impression.

Clicks are, obviously, a different beast. Those that have their wits about them know that click-through rate is the only measurement that really counts in PPC marketing. Why? Well, simply, what use is your ad if nobody is paying attention to it. It’s not even necessarily that your ad is poorly executed. It could simply be a matter of poor placement, or you’re targeting the wrong audience.

Any PPC agency worth their salt will charge you for your click-through rate only. Don’t be fooled into thinking that impressions are the long and short of the story. Like I said, what good is your ad if nobody is actually clicking on it? Let’s reinforce that idea before we go any further. Your goal is not to present yourself to a ton of different eyeballs. It’s to make those people click your link.

It’s not likely that you’ve taken total control of your PPC campaign. At least, not if you don’t have a good grasp on digital marketing already. The chances are that you have (or will) call in the experts. A very wise choice, indeed. In that instance, the agency is probably going to take control of all the hard work for you. By all means, you’ll certainly have some say. But, by and large, they’ll ultimately advise you on things like the placement. Hey, that’s why they’re the professionals, right?

Where this is beneficial to you is that it makes analyzing the figures a whole lot easier. Think about it like this. You’re presenting with a bunch of statistics that show your ad is reaching a bunch of people. It just so happens that nobody is following through on it. That’s the point that migraines start to develop. It’s your job to get to the bottom of why.

But that’s only if you put all of the expectation on impressions. The figure that you really need to be looking at is the click-through rate. It’s sort of like a puzzle that needs solving. Forget how many people are seeing your ad. The vital information that you really need is how many of them are clicking on it. With that knowledge, you can make a decision on how you approach the next step.

I mean, aren’t you going to embrace any concept that makes your life, as a business person, easier? Of course, you are. And that’s the point of this exercise. Your click-through rate will paint a much clearer picture than just analyzing your impressions. Don’t make the same mistake that many other business executives are making. Impressions aren’t important. Not if they aren’t making a significant difference.

So, what can you learn about your marketing strategy just from your click-through rate? More than you might think, now you mention it. Simply telling your analysis team to get to the bottom of it isn’t going to work without context. Instead, they’re going to need to know everything they can about placement, site traffic, and such. Then they can begin to make educated assumptions about what you’re doing right. Or, equally, what isn’t quite going so well.

More often than not, your marketing agency of choice will be able to help decipher this information for you. They have years of experience in this relatively new marketing technique. And make no mistake about it, it’s a trend that is evolving rapidly with each passing day. Don’t sweat it. It’s their jobs to know what to look out for.

You should always look to the professionals for guidance. This is especially the case if things aren’t going quite as well as you both hoped. Now isn’t the time for playing the blame game. It’s about fixing things before you waste any more time and money on an endeavor. Seek honest advice and be open to compromise. You may have to change your strategy. That can turn your average control freak into a drooling, incoherent mess. You didn’t plan for this! How can it be happening?

Sometimes things just don’t work out as you’d planned. That’s okay. Digital marketing is very much a game of trial and error. Don’t give up on it now. Keep pushing through until you find something that works. Then, and only then, will you see your click-through rate rise above and beyond.

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