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PPC Audit – 10 Essential Metrics You Need to be Tracking

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Google Ads PPC Audit: 10 Essential Metrics You Need to be Tracking

One of the major benefits of PPC is how easy it makes it to track your key metrics.

The problem is, there’s so much you can track that it’s all too easy to lose sight of what you should really be focusing on.

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A thorough PPC audit will give you a clear idea of how well your ads are performing and how successfully you’re meeting your goals. Crucially, you’ll come to understand the areas that could be improved to make your ads perform as well as they should.

In this post we’ll discuss the 10 most important metrics you should be tracking as part of your PPC audit.

The metrics that matter most to you will vary depending on what you’re trying to achieve with your PPC campaign, but taken as a whole, these metrics can give a good impression of the overall health of any campaign.

Cost

Well, you’ve got a marketing budget! AdWords and other PPC platforms will tell you, at a glance, just how much of it you’ve spent.

Why is this an important metric? Because if you’ve spent a lot without getting much in return, then clearly your ads aren’t performing like they should. But if you haven’t spent much yet and you’ve already seen some success, it could be time to scale up!

You will need to monitor your success to find where you’re able to hit peak profits.

Search Terms

Pay attention to the search terms which have triggered your ads.

Are there any relevant terms driving traffic to your site? Then add them as new keywords!

Are there any irrelevant terms showing up that have nothing to do with your business? Add them to your list of negative keywords! That way, they’ll never trigger your ads again.

Tracking search terms like this will help you increase your chances that your ads will be seen by the people you want to see them. Fine-tuning your keywords can also help increase your quality score – find out more below!

Impressions

How many people are seeing your ads? Every time your ad appears on either the Google search result page or on the Google Display Network, that counts as one impression.

If your ad is getting impressions, then it suggests that you’ve done something right.

But take that impressions figure with a pinch of salt. Just because your ad is appearing in search results, it doesn’t necessarily mean that people saw it and it certainly doesn’t mean that people clicked on it!

So though this is useful, don’t base your success here!

Impression Share

This is the number of impressions your ads are getting vs the total available ad impressions for your target keywords.

Let’s say there’s 100 searches for one of your keywords. If your ads are displayed for 50 of those searches, your impression share would be 50%.

Tracking your impression share can help you to understand why certain keywords may not be performing as well as they should. It could be due to your bidding strategy or it could be linked to your budget. In either case, troubleshooting the problem won’t take long at all.

Google tends to rotate different advertisers in search results, so you’re unlikely to ever get 100% impression share for any of your keywords.

Find out more about how you can understand and improve your impression share.

Clicks

Any time a user clicks on your ad, it counts as a click.

If a user’s clicked on your ad, it suggests that they’re interested. They think you might have what they’re looking for.

But again, clicks alone will not tell you how well your ads are performing. If a user clicks on your ad and immediately leaves your page without taking any further action, that still counts as a click. If they click your ad and somehow fail to reach your website – whether it’s through connection issues or a 404 error – that still counts as a click!

Time to go deeper.

Click Through Rate (CTR)

The CTR is calculated by dividing clicks by impressions, it’s shown as a percentage. So, if your ad reaches 100 people and 10 people click on it, your CTR is 10%.

This figure tells you so much! It will help you to determine the effectiveness of your keywords, your positioning and the actual meat of your ads.

Are you striking a chord with your target audience? A high CTR suggests that you’re doing a great job at reaching your target audience with the right keywords, the right text and, if applicable, the right images.

A low CTR suggests that, while your ads might be reaching the right people, for some reason they’re not connecting.

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If your CTR is low, then something isn’t working. Something needs to change. But what? This is where it pays to have a PPC expert on your side. But it also helps to track your quality score.

Quality Score

This is a number between 1 and 10 designed to give you a general idea of the quality of your keywords and ads.

Many factors go into calculating your quality score, including:

  • How relevant your ad is to your target keywords
  • How relevant your ad is to the landing page you’re sending people
  • How your account’s performed, historically
  • The CTR of your ad

Take the CTR and the Quality Score together and you can quite quickly diagnose the overall health of your PPC campaign.

Conversions

What is a PPC conversion? It depends on what you’re trying to achieve.

Essentially, any time a user who clicks on your ad proceeds to take the action you want them to take, that’s a conversion. Examples can include signing up to your newsletter, requesting a quote,  buying one of your products or even visiting a specific page on your site.

Most PPC platforms make it easy to set up conversion tracking. You can then track your conversion rate by campaigns and, more importantly, your cost per conversion.

Conversion Rate

Perhaps more so than any other metric, the conversion rate can tell you just how well your ads are performing.

The conversion rate is expressed as a percentage. It’s calculated by taking the total number of conversions and dividing it by the total number of clicks that could be tracked to a conversion. So, 100 conversions from 1,000 clicks would give you a conversion rate of 10%.

A high conversion rate means that your ads are doing what they should be doing. A low conversion rate means that something’s amiss. For instance, if your conversion rate is significantly lower than your CTR, it might indicate that users like your ads, but not your landing page.

Find out how you can improve your landing pages to prevent account stagnation.

Cost Per Conversion

Good PPC practice is to focus on your cost per click. Best PPC practice is to instead pay attention to your cost per conversion.

This is the average you’ve been charged for a conversion from your campaign and it’s calculated by dividing the total cost of conversions by the total number of conversions.

Yes, you’re paying for each click so it’s a very good idea to keep an eye on cost per click, but as we said above, just because a user clicks on your ad, it doesn’t mean they’re going to take any further action.

The cost per conversion metric will give you a much better idea of your ROI. If you’ve sunk your marketing budget into PPC and got a whole lot of clicks but little else, then that campaign was an expensive failure. It pays to dig deeper.

But one thing to bear in mind – a conversion can be anything you want it to be. It’s not necessarily the case that a conversion is a sale. Before you start your PPC campaign, you need to clearly define what you want to achieve, and you need to work out precisely how much you’re willing to pay to reach that goal.

Try WordStream’s Ultimate Guide to to Conversion Tracking.

A PPC Audit By True Google AdWords Specialists

At PPC Geeks, we specialise in expert PPC audits that will identify any issues with your campaigns and show you exactly what you need to do to get more conversions.

Get in touch today for your free AdWords Audit.

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