When you launch your new paid search account it is imperative that you closely measure your results. By diving deeper into other advanced metrics you can get a great idea of what is working in your account and where there may be areas of opportunity to improve on its success.
Below are 6 metrics that we recommend you become familiar with in order to evaluate the successes and areas of opportunity within your paid search account.
Click Through Rate (CTR)
CTR is a great indicator of the quality of your ad copy that is being served when a keyword is searched and your ad is shown to the searcher. Higher click through rates will tell you that your ad copy is resonating with your target audience and relevant to the keywords that you are bidding on inside of your ad groups. When you see a lower CTR it’s time to spruce up your ad copy because what you are currently serving is either not getting your potential customers attention or is irrelevant to the keywords it is attached too.
Having a high CTR will result in a higher quality score and a lower Cost Per Click (CPC). This can also help to increase the number of conversions overall if your landing page is properly optimized.
Bounce Rate when compared to CTR is a great way to see what pages on your site need to be optimized for paid search as well as all of your other visitors. For example, if your CTR is 8% for an ad and your bounce rate is 80%, we can certainly come to the conclusion that your landing page is either not relevant or is too confusing to your potential customer. A higher bounce rate may also mean that your targeting is too broad.
Remember to look at the number of clicks in relation to the bounce rate. If you only have a handful of clicks, a higher bounce rate may not be as telling.
Quality score is a good overall indicator of relevancy of a keyword to your account structure. Your quality score will show a range between 1 and 10, with 10 being the most relevant and 1 being the least relevant. Quality score is calculated by your ads expected CTR, the quality of your landing page, ad vs. search relevance, geographic performance as well as targeted devices and historical data. The higher the quality score the less Google will charge you per click! Quality score is a great way to test if your optimizations are benefitting the account.
Bear in mind that quality score will give you a general sense of the quality of your ads, but it doesn't take into account any auction or time factors, such as someone's actual search terms, type of device, language preference, location, or the time of day.
Cost per Conversion
With any marketing initiative, you want to sell your product or get a form on your website filled out at the lowest cost you possibly can. The cost per conversion metric will show you how much you are paying when a customer makes a specified action on your site, whether that is buying a product, calling your office or any other website action you want to track.
When you see your cost per conversion numbers trending up it is time to take a deep dive into your keywords, both the keywords you are bidding on as well as your negative keywords, your ad copy and quality score. All of these factors contribute to your overall cost per conversion. Bidding on overspending and non-converting keywords with little to no negative keywords can cause your conversion cost to soar. Check your search query report to add converting keywords and add irrelevant search queries to your negative keyword list.
It’s a great idea to have a specific target cost per conversion in place so you give yourself or your marketing agency something to work towards, having no direction or goal to shoot for can be counterproductive.
Conversion Rate by Device
While total account conversion rate is a great KPI to monitor, there are now more Google searches on mobile devices then on desktop computers in 10 countries, including the U.S. and Japan. This specific reason is why you have to break down your conversion rate more granularly to see how often you are converting on a specific device. To view this metric, simply click on the settings in a particular campaign then click on the devices tab. This report will show your conversion rate by device type. Mobile traffic converts at a much higher rate so you should always have bid adjustments attached to it to ensure you are capturing as many conversions as you can. This report will also show you both desktop and tablet conversion data as well and in the coming months you will be able to attach bid adjustments to both of these devices as well.
Using this report to see what devices are converting at a higher rate and using this information to create both positive and negative bid adjustments will go a long way to controlling cost and increasing conversions as well as conversion rate across your entire account.
Search Impression Share
Search Impression Share is an underused metric by many, but very important for overall success. This metric will tell you what percentage of the time your ad was served. This tells you where you may be missing out on opportunity and giving potential business away to the competition.
There is also an impression share metric to show you what percentage of searches were lost specifically due to budget. This can help you to determine how much money you could spend with your current structure. By simply increasing the budget for high performing campaigns with lost impression share, you should see more conversions without a rise in your overall cost per action.
There are a ton important metrics and KPIs that you can review when looking at your paid search accounts. The 6 metrics above focus on some of the more important ones to look at when you are evaluating your campaign’s overall performance. If you would like a deeper understanding on evaluating and improving your PPC campaigns, click here to download our free eBook, How To Transform Your PPC Campaigns Today!
Your Friend in Paid Search,
-Jason is a Paid Search Specialist at Stream Companies, a Philadelphia based advertising agency