PPC Metrics: 5 Key Paid Search Metrics to Watch

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You were super excited to launch your pay-per-click (PPC) campaign and start driving valuable leads for your business. After launching your campaign, you waited a few weeks to see if your campaign delivered any results. Now, when you log in, you’re immediately overwhelmed by all the PPC metrics.

Impressions. Clicks. Conversions. Average Position.

The list goes on, and you’re unsure what you should look at for your campaign.

Before you resort to tracking every metric in your dashboard, take a breath, and learn about the most influential PPC metrics to watch. On this page, we share five paid search metrics you’ll want to monitor for your campaign.

These aren’t the only Google Ads metrics you’ll want to look at, but they’re fundamental to PPC.

Need some guidance for running your PPC campaign? Check out our free PPC resources to help you make the most of your campaign and contact us today to learn more about our results-driven PPC services.

5 fundamental PPC metrics for measuring success

When you launch a PPC campaign, you must know which metrics to watch.

Here are five key Google Ads metrics you’ll want to track:

1. Clicks

The first metric we’ll look at is clicks.

This metric monitors how many clicks your ad gets. It’s a great metric to watch to see if your ad is generating interest and getting people to act. It can help provide insight as to whether your ad copy fits with the searcher’s query.

 

When you monitor clicks, you can see spikes or slumps in your clicks. These changes may occur due to seasonality or changes in your market. You’ll still want to keep track of how many clicks you get to ensure there aren’t any issues with your campaign.

If you see an increase in clicks… It means your ad is performing well and generating interest from your audience. As a result, you may want to take a more aggressive approach with your keyword bids. You can invest more in your budget and optimize your bid amount to get more clicks.

If you see a decrease in clicks… You might want to revisit your ad text or keyword selection. Your ad copy may not resonate with your audience, which leads fewer people to click. Alternatively, you may not be targeting the right keyword with your ad content and will need to revisit your selection.

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2. Click-through rate (CTR)

When you’re trying to figure out which PPC campaign metrics are the best to monitor, you’ll want to add click-through rate to your list. While it may seem like CTR and clicks are the same metric, they’re slightly different.

Your CTR is the ratio of people who click on your ads versus the number of times your ads are shown. Clicks, on the other hand, focus solely on the number of people that click on your ad.

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CTR is one of the most valuable PPC metrics because it provides insight into how many people find your ad appealing or relevant.

So, if your ad gets shown 1000 times and 400 people click on it, you’d have a CTR of 40%.

So, what’s a good CTR for your ads?

Well, that’s a multi-layered question.

There’s no grand CTR that every business tries to reach. Instead, a good CTR will depend on your industry, company, and whether you’re running search ads vs. display ads.

So, for example, a dating service may experience a CTR of 6%, while an insurance company may only have a 2% conversion rate.

Does this mean that the insurance company is less successful than the dating site with their campaign? No! Both fall right around their industry’s average, which makes their campaigns successful in terms of their industry.

When monitoring CTR, keep in mind that it will change from month to month. Like clicks, things like the seasons or changes in your industry can impact your CTR.

If your CTR is near the industry average… Keep doing what you’re doing! You’re keeping up with the industry average CTR, which means your campaigns are performing well.

If your CTR is below the industry average… You may need to evaluate the keywords you target, as well as the ad copy. The information in your ad may not provide the right information to generate clicks — or you may not have the right keywords in your campaign.

3. Cost per click (CPC)

Next on our list of PPC metrics is cost per click.

CPC is the amount you spend every time someone clicks on your ad.

 

One of the most significant benefits of PPC is that you don’t pay unless someone clicks on your ad. With this bidding model, plus the advanced targeting options of PPC, you can focus on the qualified leads who saw your ad and took an interest by clicking it.

It’s essential to monitor this metric because you want to ensure you’re getting the most out of your budget.

You want your CPC to remain low so that you can get more ad clicks for your budget. Adjusting and optimizing your CPC will help you choose a reasonable bid that also allows you to maximize your budget.

CPC is calculated using the following factors:

  • Maximum bid: Your max bid is the most you’re willing to spend when someone clicks your ad.
  • Ad Rank: A value, composed of multiple factors like bid amount and auction-time ad quality, that determines your ranking compared to other ads.
  • Quality Score: Quality Score is how Google rates your ads using factors like CTR, ad relevancy, and more.

When there’s more competition for a keyword, it can drive up the CPC, making it difficult for you to maximize your budget.

There is no ideal CPC for your ads. You’ll have to look at industry averages to see if you’re on track.

TRY OUR FREE CPC CALCULATOR!

If your CPC is low… If your CPC seems low for your sector, then you’re in great shape! You can, however, see if there are ways to optimize your ad content or target more precise keywords to help you get your CPC even lower!

If your CPC is high… It’s time to do some work. You may need to refine your ad copy to make it more relevant to the keyword. Or, you may need to target more specific keywords, known as long-tail keywords, to help keep your costs low.

4. Conversion rate

If you want to know how to measure PPC campaign success, start with this critical metric.

Conversion rate tells you how often a click on your ad becomes a sale for your business, a lead, or an email subscriber. Having a high conversion rate means your ad content is relevant to the searcher’s needs and provides them with enough information to convert.

A high conversion rate also means you earn more sales for your business.

When looking at your PPC conversion rate, don’t forget that seasons or changes in your industry can affect it. So, if you sell Christmas trees, you’re going to see a higher conversion rate in months like November and December, but not so much in months like June or July.

If you have a high conversion rate… Keep at it! Your practices are allowing you to generate more sales for your business.

If you have a low conversion rate… Revisit your target keywords or landing page. Check your clicks and CTR and compare them. If you’re generating tons of click but few conversions, you may need to think about targeting different keywords or refining your landing page to provide more relevant information.

5. Cost per conversion

When you’re making a list of important PPC campaign metrics, don’t forget about the cost per conversion!

Cost per conversion focuses on how much it costs your business each time you get a conversion.

This metric is one of the most valuable paid search metrics because it shows whether you’re paying too much to get people to convert. Ideally, you don’t want to have to pay a lot, so you make a profit.

 

A low cost per conversion means you’ll get a better return on investment (ROI).

For example, if you spend $100 to generate clicks and get 10 sales, your cost per conversion is $10.

So, is this good or bad?

It depends on what you’re selling.

If you’re selling t-shirts for $15, a $10 cost per conversion doesn’t leave much room for a high ROI. On the other hand, if you’re selling a lawnmower for $2000, a $10 cost per conversion leaves room for a great ROI.

You need to look at your profit margin to determine what’s a reasonable cost per conversion for your business.

If you have a low cost per conversion… Keep doing what you’re doing!

If you have a high cost per conversion… You can follow similar practices listed for improving your conversion rate. From optimizing your landing page to targeting more relevant keywords, you can refine your ad campaign to target more qualified leads and get them interested in your products or services.

Start tracking these critical PPC metrics today

Now that you know which paid search metrics to monitor, you know how to measure your PPC campaign success.

As you monitor your campaign, you may not like the results. If you’re dissatisfied, we’re here to help.

With over a decade of experience, you can count on us to help you create a PPC campaign that drives results. In the past five years, we’ve driven over $2.4 billion in sales and over 6.3 million leads for our clients. You can count on us to help you create a PPC campaign that generates results.

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