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Your five must-have Pay Per Click reporting metrics

Analyse your pay per click (PPC) campaign results confidently as Tom Roberts, Paid Media Analyst, sheds light on the metrics you need to take note of.

What’s the end goal for any business’ PPC campaign? Results.

Results show the effort that has gone into building, optimising, curating, and monitoring PPC campaigns, and how that is paying off. Using variable data in the form of performance metrics and reporting with Google Ads helps realise results, but the sheer volume of data available on the platform can be overwhelming for both agency and client. The big question is always, which metrics should we be measuring? Here are ways to access the wealth of information on Google AdWords to help understand PPC performance.

Impressions/Impression Share

PPC impressions are the number of times an ad has been displayed on the SERP (Search Engine Results Page). In this case, the metric isn’t about tracking clicks, but about visual awareness. Without impressions, nobody sees the advert, which would mean no conversions. Impression share is the number of times your ad is shown as a percentage of the total available impressions in the market you’re targeting. So, for example, if one of your keywords has 15 per cent impressions share, that means a competitor owns the other 85 per cent. It’s possible to boost the impressions share by simply increasing your bids and overall budget.

Click-through Rate (CTR)

This data point represents the number of times an ad was clicked, divided by the number of times the ad was shown (impressions). This metric is helpful for agencies and clients to judge the effectiveness of their ad copy. If there is a high number of impressions, but a low CTR, this means people are seeing the ad, but the content isn’t compelling or convincing enough to be clicked on. There is a disconnect in the message that needs to be fixed. A good CTR is around 2 per cent; if your CTR is below 1 per cent it’s a good reason to start looking at revaluating your ad copy.

Cost Per Click (CPC)

An account’s CPC is the total cost of all clicks on an ad divided by the number of clicks. It shows you the average amount your account is charged each time your ad is clicked. So, if you paid £66.50 for 250 clicks, your average CPC would be £0.26. This little number is very important as it helps you evaluate the return on investment (ROI). Establishing budget is closely related to what you have determined is an acceptable ROI, and by tracking your CPC over time, you can understand if the investment is paying off.

Conversion Rate

This is one of the most important metrics to watch in PPC, providing you with the aggregate cost to acquire one paying customer on a campaign. Hitting your cost per conversion goal illustrates the success of your PPC campaign. The lower the cost per conversion (when analysed against your budget) the better your campaign is running.

A low CPA, or cost per acquisition – the metric that measures the cost to acquire a customer at campaign or channel level, which leads to a conversion – means you’re driving a strong ROI while leveraging affordable, relevant keywords. If your CPA is too high, try lowering your bids, finding more specific keywords to target and improving your ad copy.

Reporting on your success

Once the campaigns have been created, ads written, and you have refined your keywords, it’s time to take advantage of the account’s search advertising capabilities and rich data reporting. You can use the five data points above to quickly measure the campaign’s performance, and make sure that the campaign is getting the most out of the budget invested.

Tracking the metrics that are important allows you to more accurately test your campaigns and learn how to optimise the performance of your campaigns. Testing, learning, and refining your campaigns will help ensure the metrics you want to see improve, actually do.