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PPC Benchmarks by Product Category

How healthy is your Paid Search program? Rolling into the holidays, it's important to make sure your program is in tip top shape. It's a good time to take a careful look under the hood to make sure the fundamental economics of PPC are being well-handled. We thought it was also a good time to take a look at some industry stats that can serve as useful benchmarks for monitoring the growth and health of your program. Two key stats from yesterday's post:
  1. the ratio of non-brand competitive search sales to total PPC sales. Whether the number is high or low has as much to do with the power of off-line marketing efforts as anything, but the trend can indicate the relative progress of the program.
  2. the ratio of non-brand PPC sales to total site sales. Again, the overall number is less important than the trend.
The relationship between competitive PPC, Brand PPC and total site sales is hugely impacted by business models. Below, I've tried to take business model effects out of the picture to look at the impact of product categories on the relative size of competitive PPC. The first column shows non-brand search sales as a fraction of total site sales; the second shows non-brand search sales as a function of total PPC sales. Category PPC Performance These data may mean nothing at all, however, it does appear that intuition is supported by the numbers. Intuitively it makes sense that search will be a bigger and better channel for companies that sell easily definable products. Products with manufacturer and model names and numbers. It is easier to sell the Acme Premier Widget Model 123 than the proverbial "black dress" because the search terms match the products better. I'd be interested in hearing what others see in this data or their own!
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