In the day to day management of paid search campaigns, you can get so engrossed in the fine tuning, that you forget to take a step back and look at the overall picture.
Earlier today I was looking at a geo-targeted account of a clients in the Adwords interface and I thought to myself “cost per acquisition is a little higher than average”.
What I had forgot to do, was check how many phone calls the campaigns resulted in. I was too busy in a single reporting interface. I needed to take a step back, look at things on the whole to see if there really was a problem.
Turns out that the call through rate for this account was significantly higher than other accounts. People liked to pick up the phone more, the sites are virtually identical in call to actions, but the residents of the are just seemed more inclined to pick up the phone and speak to a real person.
It was only after taking a top level view, that I managed to better evaluate how the campaigns were performing. Turns out that they are performing better than expected!
So, lesson is to step back once in a while. Think “what data am I not looking at which may influence a decision”.