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Web Site Measurement Hacks by Eric T. Peterson

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Calculate Click-to-Visit Drop-off

Some advertising systems may report far more clicks than ever reach your web site, a frustrating proposition for anyone paying for clicks. Learn where those clicks might be going and how to bring them back.

A common challenge in Internet marketing is reconciling differences in reported numbers from system to system. This becomes especially obvious when you’re trying to compare a system that measures “clicks”—such as Google and Overture—with a system that is designed to measure “responses.” The essence of the problem is that Google will report that you had 1,000 clicks during a month, while your web measurement system reports only 750 paid visits from Google. The question then becomes “Where did they other 250 clicks go?”

If you’re unable to find these clicks in the pay-per-click model, then you have to absorb the loss as a cost of doing business. Using the Google example where you lose 250 clicks, to calculate the true cost-per-click for the campaign, you need to add 25 percent to the cost of every click to absorb the missing traffic. Most marketers agree that click-based advertising is expensive enough already, and with keyword costs projected to increase by over 30 percent by 2009, wouldn’t it be nice to figure out where those clicks are going?

Needless to say, there are a number of problems associated with counting clicks on the Internet, well beyond the scope of this hack (or even this book). To keep things practical and actionable, let’s walk ...

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