Understanding the Right PPC Metrics to Track
Everyone knows that a successful pay-per-click campaign needs to have a positive ROI. But many struggle to pin down exactly which metrics reveal whether the money they’ve spent is worth it. If you’re planning to launch a B2B paid advertising campaign on your own or through a pay-per-click marketing agency, you need to know how to measure its success.
We often get questions from our clients like “what key metrics should I prioritize in my PPC campaigns?” or “how much time should I spend managing my campaigns?” As a B2B PPC agency, we have these answers for you to help optimize your next campaign.
Essential Pay-Per-Click KPIs: What Do They All Mean?
Not all paid ad metrics are created equal. The ones you’ll need to prioritize will vary depending on your ad goal and which campaign format you’re running.
There are multiple ad campaign formats that you can choose from, including display, search, banner, email, and more. Each social media platform also has its own native ad manager with its own formats you can use.
And picking the format for your ad is only part of the battle! You’ll need to choose a goal setting for your campaign as well. When setting up your Google Ads campaign, you can choose one of the following goals:
- Website traffic
- Product and brand consideration
- Brand awareness and reach
- App promotion
- Custom goal
Not sure which ad campaign or goal you want to use? Consider creating multiple campaigns, each with different goals. Just remember to keep track of how much you’re spending along the way to avoid blowing past your budget. You could also A/B test the various campaign formats to see which gets the best results in achieving your goals.
Once your ad(s) is active, you’ll see a bunch of statistics under each campaign to indicate its current performance. Here are some of these key PPC metrics and what they represent:
- Clicks: The number of times a paid ad is clicked
- Cost per Click (CPC): The average amount spent per click
- Click-Through Rate (CTR): The number of clicks received on an ad per number of impressions
- Quality Score: Google’s measurement of the quality and relevance of your ads
- Impression Share: How often your ads are displayed for a keyword
- Conversion Rate: How frequently a click results in a sale
- Cost per Conversion: How much it costs to drive each paid conversion
Benchmarking Your Paid Ad’s Performance
Now that you know which metrics to focus on, you’ll need to know what the numbers mean. You may see that your ad has a CTR of 3.22% and have no idea if that’s good or needs improvement. How will you know if you need to make adjustments to your campaign? How will you know if you’re getting your money’s worth?
When measuring your PPC campaign’s performance, remember that what qualifies as a good metric will depend on your industry. If you think about it, it makes sense. An audience for a local restaurant will act completely differently than a medical device manufacturer’s audience.
So, it’s best to adjust expectations accordingly. For example, competitive industries like business services and financial institutions can expect to see higher CPCs than others.
Also, keep in mind that different advertising platforms will give you different results. What might be a great LinkedIn Ads CTR could be an abysmal Google Ads CTR. Being aware of each platforms’ benchmarks per industry will help you make a fair comparison.
When benchmarking your PPC campaign’s performance, it’s all about quality over quantity. If you get 100 conversions but none are who you want to target, then your campaign was not successful. However, that doesn’t mean that changes can’t be made to help you get better results!
My Ad Campaign Isn’t Performing Well – Now What?
It’s happened to all of us. You put together a display ad using bold imagery and compelling copy. You launch your ad campaign, fully expecting to break click-through rate records and immediately sign a one million dollar contract. Too much? Well, you get the idea.
Sometimes you think an ad is going to perform well, and it just doesn’t. It’s important to remember that that’s okay. PPC is all about trial and error, so it will likely take time to get all of the elements just right.
The thing about PPC ads is that they need time to optimize and find your most engaged audience. It may seem counterintuitive, but it’s best to launch your ad and try not to touch it for a few days.
Top Tips & Tricks to Improve Your PPC Results
Once your campaign has sufficient time to gather data, take a look at your stats and compare them to your primary goals. If they’re not where you want them to be, there are multiple ways you can get things back on track:
- Make sure your location targeting is accurate and specific enough.
- Update the ad copy. Just a word change here and there to better speak to your buyer persona can make a huge difference!
- Change the CTA. Try conveying urgency with phrases like, “limited time offer” or “just a few spaces left” to encourage immediate action.
- Upload a different image or video thumbnail. Try using different colors (within your brand guidelines, of course) or adding a photo of a person to make it more relatable.
- Increase your bidding. You could be bidding in a particularly competitive space and simply not spending enough money.
- Try A/B testing. Run two different versions of a similar ad to see which one serves your goal best. Remember to only test one thing at a time. Otherwise, you may not know what is causing the ad to perform better (or worse).
- Look at the ad groups for each paid ad campaign. Pause the ad groups that are not performing to allow more budget for ad groups that are working.
- Check your keywords. Are they too broad or too narrow? What keywords need to be excluded (or added as negative keywords)? What is the search volume for the keywords?
A PPC Advertising Agency You Can Trust
Our team of B2B PPC marketing specialists has 15+ years of experience building highly engaging campaigns proven to drive impressive results.
Struggling to generate qualified leads through your current paid advertising efforts? Need an experienced PPC guru to take the wheel on your road to PPC success? Reach out to Creative MMS today to get started on your journey.