Measuring and Tracking the Success of Your PPC Campaigns

Apr 2, 2015

While pay per click (PPC) advertising is generally regarded as one of the most effective means of generating targeted traffic to your website, it can quickly devour your ad budget with little to no results unless it’s properly tracked and managed. The only way to know if your paid click campaigns are profitable is to measure and track your progress across key performance metrics.

track and measure success

Setting Your PPC Campaign Goals
Establishing measurable and attainable goals defines the nature of your overall campaign as well as helps determine the number and type of metrics that you need to use to measure and track your progress. The right goal should be just hard enough to reach that it pulls you out of your comfort zone while still keeping you in the game.

Your goals should focus on the results that you expect to gain rather than on the tactics that you will use to achieve those results. For example, a goal of “adding 75 new keywords” to your PPC campaign is a tactical goal; results-oriented goals might be to “increase sales by 4 percent over the previous month and decrease cost per acquisition by 2 percent.”

track and measure ppc campaigns

What Metrics Should You Measure?

  • Impressions – this represents the size of the audience exposed to your PPC ad in the search results listings.
  • Click through rate (CTR) – this is the percentage of search users exposed to your ad that clicked through to your website.
  • Average cost per click – the average price you are paying for clicks, determined by dividing your total cost by the total number of clicks.
  • Impression share – a comparison of the number of times your ad could have been displayed versus the number of times it was actually displayed.
  • Conversion – the percentage of users clicking on your ad that completed a specified call to action.
  • Quality score – this is a composite score that reflects the relevancy of your keyword and ad to the search query, the CTR of the keyword and ad, and the quality of your landing page. The higher your quality score, the lower your cost per click.
  • The 4 Most Important PPC Performance Metrics
    Given the sheer number of performance metrics to choose from, it’s easy to get overwhelmed with data to the point that your efforts suffer from “analysis paralysis.” It’s better to stick with a manageable number of key metrics that will provide a good overview of your PPC campaign performance, and give you actionable insights into what is and isn’t working.

    Click Through Rate
    Many PPC experts consider the CTR to be the single most important metric to track because it indicates how relevant your ad is to search users, in addition to being one of the major factors in determining your Quality Score.

    Impression Share
    The impression share metric is the percentage share of actual ad impressions received compared to the number of impressions that your ad was eligible to receive. Ad eligibility is based on such factors as your ad’s targeting setting, bids, Quality scores, and approval status.

    Quality Score
    Maintaining a high Google AdWords Quality score is important because it determines your ad rankings as well as how much you will pay for each click. Quality Scores range from 1 to 10, with 1 being the least relevant and 10 the most relevant.

    Conversion Rate
    Your conversion rate is on the same level of importance as your CTR – all of the clicks and traffic to your site are useless if your visitors aren’t taking meaningful steps to becoming a paying customer. A healthy conversion rate is one of the best measurements of your PPC campaign’s return on investment.