Is PPC Canabalising your Brand Traffic? | White.net

Is PPC Canabalising your Brand Traffic?

By Richard Fergie / March 19, 2010

Are your PPC campaigns eating your organic traffic? Google love for you to bid on your brand name in AdWords, but how to you know if you are wasting money on traffic you could have got for free? Of course, to find this out you need to run some sort of test.

I don’t know how you could run a good A/B split test for this because I don’t know how to randomly segment people into the “see’s PPC ad” and “does not see PPC ad” buckets. Without random segmentation our test will not be fair but hopefully we can get a test that is “fair enough”.

  1. Use AdWords ad scheduling to set time periods where your brand adverts run and do not run
    Be aware of that you can’t split a day into more than 6 segments. You should also think about if your traffic changes much depending on the day of the week.
  2. Wait. Be the surfer. Get ready to ride the gnarly wave of data.
  3. Use Google Analytics to get the data. I’ve done a post in the past about how to segment by time .
  4. Draw some graphs (call them “data visualisatons” if you want to impress) and calculate your averages.
    Bar charts will give you the info you need; I’ve used stacked bar charts to show a bit more detail about how PPC has performed.

We are interested in the incremental value of adding PPC which is the difference in value between the “No PPC” and “With PPC” averages. This is the figure which you need to compare with the cost of your PPC to decided if it is worth running or not.

The idea of incremental value is important here. Just looking at the value of the PPC traffic will almost certainly give you a positive answer because brand clicks are so cheap.

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