Must-Have Metrics for Every PPC Report: Looking Beyond CPC & CTR

PPC METRICS· 4-MINUTE READ ·  By Misty Faucheux on October 31 2016.     PPC metrics demonstrate the effectiveness of your campaigns. The wrong metrics, however, could be sending the wrong message to your stakeholders and clients. You need to showcase the right stats to illustrate how well your PPC campaigns are actually performing. Yet, many of us usually default to CPC and CTR without a second thought. There are, however, better metrics that could provide better campaign insights. In this article, we break down the fair, good, best – and the caveats – metrics.  

What’s Wrong with CPC & CTR?

To be honest, there is nothing wrong with tracking CPC and CTR. They tell how much traffic your ads are garnering, determine message effectiveness and how much you’re spending. CPC, for instance, tells you whether you’re wasting too much budget on clicks. For example, let’s say your clicks cost on average $10-$12, but your budget is $20 per day. You’re only garnering 1-2 clicks per day. That’s not good! You’d do better to go after less expensive, niche keywords. To change the bids for an entire ad group,
  1. Click on the Campaigns tab, and then the name of the campaign that you want to change.
  2. Click on the ad group, and then Edit.
  3. Change the default bid amount for all the keywords.
If you have a higher budget, then you can always raise your default bids if many of your keywords are below the first page bid. Another useful stat in this category is impression share. It shows how many impressions you were eligible to receive versus those that you actually did receive – and how well you’re stacking up against your competitors. There are several types of impression share metrics available, including Search Lost IS and Display Lost IS. These metrics provide info on how many impressions you lost due to limited budget or poor Ad Rank. Use these to adjust bids or work on Ad Rank. Access Impression Share by:
  1. Going to the Campaigns tab, and then clicking the Columns button (located above the stats table).
  2. Selecting Modify columns from the drop-down menu.
  3. Selecting Competitive metrics and the Impression share metrics you want to track.
  4. Hitting Save.
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Tracking Conversions Is “Good”

Conversion tracking is an amazing metric. You know immediately whether your clicks are converting – or if you’re simply driving bounce rate up. Many people want to know what a conversion is: It’s really whatever you define it as. Be sure to outline this during the strategy phase. Examples:
  • Form fill-out
  • Newsletter signup
  • Webinar attendance
  • Actual sale
  • Whitepaper download
  • Engagement on-site, etc.
ALWAYS set up conversion tracking. It’s quick and painless – and necessary to determine whether your messaging and landing pages are working.
  1. Sign into your AdWords account, and click on Tools.
  2. Go to Conversions and + Conversion.
  3. Select the source of the conversions, i.e. website, app, phone call or import from offline.
  4. Create a Conversion name (one that you’ll remember).
  5. Add your metrics
    1. Value: Worth of each conversion
    2. Count: Typically, this is every conversion, but tweak as necessaryphoto2
    3. Conversion window: I’d leave this as the standard 30-day window.
    4. Category: Purchase/sale, sign-up, lead or view of a key page.
    5. Include in “Conversion”: Yes
    6. Attribution Model: Default Last Click. You can change this.
  6. Click Save -> Continue.
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Why You Should Pay Attention to Bounce Rate

We mentioned bounce rate at the start of the previous section. Bounce rate refers to the percentage of people who navigate away from your site after only viewing a single page. So, why is bounce rate important? Bounce rate is like the canary in the coal mine: It can bring your attention to issues within your campaign. An extremely high bounce rate could alert you to problems like:
  • Disconnect between ad messaging and website/landing page. Don’t even think about bait-and-switch.
  • Driving people to a home page. They aren’t design to convert.
  • You’re CTA is lost in the mix. Don’t make your visitors search for it.
  • You’re not using a landing page.
Monitor bounce rate from both AdWords and Analytics if they’re connected (or using Supermetrics). PPC tends to increase bounce rate, but you should shoot for a bounce rate of 70% or lower. A 50% percent or below bounce rate would get you a gold star.  

Actual Sales/Leads Are the “Best”

For most companies, sales are the actual objective. They want to see real return-on-investment (ROI). Conversions should be compared to actual revenue numbers. The best numbers to display are:
  • Conversion rate: How often an ad click leads to a conversion
  • Cost-per-acquisition (CPA): How much your conversions cost
  • Sales revenue: Revenue can be broken up by individual or total sales
These numbers tell you exactly which keywords, ads and overall campaigns are leading to sales and revenue. Use these numbers to determine whether you are spending too much on a sale or lead. For example, if you have a product that costs $12.00, you don’t want to have a $20.00 CPA. Negative ROI won’t make clients and stakeholders happy.  

Tracking Calls Over Online Conversions

Many businesses, especially brick-and-mortar, only want to track phone calls. Call extensions on AdWords campaigns allow for phone calls to be tracked as conversions.
  1. Go to Ad Extensions, and View Call extensions.
  2. Select +Extension.
  3. Select the campaign, and Done.
  4. Select + New phone number.
  5. Add the number, and then Save.
photo4   Google also allows you to use forwarding numbers in ads.  These numbers capture information like call duration, start/end time and area code. If you set up call tracking in the Conversions column, you can track it there. If not, go to Ad Extensions to view call conversions.  

Tying it All Together

These are only a few examples of the types of advanced PPC analytics available to you. Experiment with different metrics and reporting until you find the right mix that best tells your side of the story. All of your metrics can work together to create a cohesive picture of campaign successes. The more that you can prove the value of PPC, the more likely your clients and stakeholders will continue to fund your efforts.  

About Misty Faucheux

20140725_0031Misty Faucheux is an Integrated Online Marketing Specialist at Faucheux Enterprises and a guest writer for Supermetrics. She is a digital marketer, specializing in SEO, SEM, content marketing/writing and social ads. Misty helps companies develop a cohesive online marketing strategy that directly addresses their overall business goals and objectives. You can find her on TwitterLinkedInInstagram and Flickr.

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