As with any marketing initiative, it is important to measure your results. The focus is generally on calculating Return on Investment (ROI) for the spend incurred, but there are other important metrics that are critical to your success.
Even if your current campaign is profitable and you are happy with the result, there is always room for improvement. By diving into other metrics you can get a better handle on what’s working and where there may be areas of opportunity.
Here are the 6 metrics that we recommend you become familiar with in order to evaluate the success of your paid search account.
1. Clickthrough Rate (CTR)
While most paid search campaigns do not look at traffic as the primary success metric, it is a great indicator for the quality of your ad copy and the relevancy between the keyword searched and the ad copy served to the searcher.
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.
2. 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.
3. Quality Score
If you want a good indicator of relevancy of a keyword to your account structure, look at the Quality Score. The range is between 1 and 10, with 10 being the most relevant and 1 being the least relevant. While not all keywords will have the highest scores possible, you should start investigating when they drop too low. This may indicate that some account changes are needed to improve performance.
4. Bounce Rate
Bounce Rate is another good indicator to show you areas that might be in need of optimization.For example, if your bounce rate is close to 100% for a campaign or ad group, this may mean that your landing pages are down or having intermittent issues. 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.
5. Cost per Estimated Total Conversion & Mobile Click To Call Volume
This is the big one! While all metrics are helpful for account optimization and troubleshooting, it all comes down to return on investment.
The Cost per Estimated Total Conversion metric will show you how many web conversions and/or manual calls (from the phone number listed in your ad copy) that you likely received for a given period. Currently, this metric does not include mobile click to call volume.
To get a true Cost per Action, you will want to pull a "Call Details Report" under the Dimensions tab and add in any mobile click-to call activity that meets your criteria for a lead or conversion.
6. Impressions and Clicks
While there are some advertisers who measure success with impressions and clicks alone, this is rare. However, impressions and clicks are an important metric for all campaigns. If you focus on Cost Per Acquisition alone, you might be missing out on volume that would still be profitable.
It is important to find a balance between the cost per conversion and the volume of conversions. This will vary by business and will depend on overall business objectives.
There are many important metrics for paid search. The above list just focuses on some of the most critical items to look at when trying to evaluate 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!
All the best,
Michelle Kelly is a Sr. PPC Consultant at Stream Companies, a full-service Philadelphia area advertising agency.