How long to a positive PPC ROI?

How long does it take to determine if a PPC campaign will generate a positive PPC ROI (return on investment)?

Paid search success is measurable, but the time frame required to reach success varies widely depending upon the type of campaign, the associated website, the level of competition, ad spend, the quality of the campaign — and other intangibles.

We can discuss some ranges to set expectations.

New and re-engineered PPC campaigns take a little time to develop a normal serving rhythm; typically a few days to a week.  Shopping campaigns can take a little longer.

Once a campaign has ramped up to serve its daily budget, data is collected which allows us to begin the course optimization process. Our procedures are different for each type of campaign, but generally this period will run about 4 weeks. Usually, during this period we build adequate conversion data to serve as a baseline to move the campaigns onto automated bidding.  Then the campaign enters our fine optimization phase as described elsewhere on this site.

How long does it take to know if a paid search success is likely to happen?  That depends upon many variables including the nature of the market targeted, type of product, buyer behavior, primarily ad spend, the average cost per click, conversion rate, and cost per conversion / CPA.

There are a few campaigns in extremely challenging markets that can take six months or longer to forge into winners. But many campaigns become successful within 2 to 3 weeks. The average is 4 to 6 weeks. Most campaigns reach the point where we’re confident they’re successful within 6 to 12 weeks, depending upon the market being served.

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