blog post

7 Core PPC KPI Principles to Follow

Florian Cabirol
October 24, 2023
7 Core PPC KPI Principles to Follow

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Pay-per-click (PPC) advertising uses KPIs to develop a roadmap that takes you closer to your digital marketing goals. Investing in immediate impressions can generate traffic to your landing pages immediately.

As your PPC campaigns interact with potential customers, you'll receive information about how people see your efforts. This data turns into metrics that you can measure through the KPIs on your digital marketing report.

Catchr helps you organize this information to ensure you can make informed and empowered decisions about your outreach efforts.

What KPIs Should I Track for a PPC Campaign?

Before you start tracking key performance indicators, it is crucial to have goals for your business to achieve. Without a clearly defined vision and values to serve as the foundation for those desired outcomes, you’ll be wandering in the wilderness of the digital marketing landscape.

After you set those definitions and boundaries, the KPIs become the highways you follow to cross the roadmap. They let you go from your starting point to your eventual destination. 

1. Average Position

When this KPI is on your digital marketing report, you’ll see where your advertising appears on search engine results pages (SERPs). Although the top spot is often seen as the best, that is not always true for some keywords. []

Some ads in lower positions have better click-through rates or more conversions. It helps to experiment with this metric to see the different ways you can maximize your investment power. 

The most straightforward method is to increase your bid amount. That also means you’ll pay more for your PPC campaign.

Dayparting is another effective strategy. Schedule your ads to show when your audience is most active to maximize your spending efficiency.

Responsive ads are another modern option to consider. Google's machine learning can help create advertising that adjusts to fit different formats and placements, like how a responsive template works for mobile users hitting your landing page.

Reviewing your digital marketing report each month to check your metrics will let you make more data-driven decisions. In return, you'll discover ways to raise your average position to get noticed more often.

2. Click-Through Rate

Think of your CTR metric as your first impression. It's calculated as clicks divided by impressions. 

When you've got a high click-through rate, that means your ad is catching eyes. When the figures are low, you should revisit your ad copy or visuals to see what could improve things. []

If your content directly addresses what the user is searching for, they're more likely to click. Relevance creates trust. You must earn that as a business to get more clicks.

Here are some additional tips to help you raise this PPC KPI if it is too low for comfort.

  • Improve Descriptions. Use your meta options and advertising text to deliver a sneak peek to prospects about the value you offer. Do you know how a movie trailer gets people excited to see a film? Follow the same principle with your content.
  • Keyword Inclusion. When digital marketing reports became a thing in the early 2000s, you could get to the top result by restating the same keyword more than another page. Today, Google is more intelligent. Search engines know when you’re trying too hard. Focus on providing value first. 
  • Visual Elements. Images or videos can complement your written content. They make the ad visually appealing, which can draw eyeballs and clicks.
  • Social Proof. Reviews, testimonials, or user-generated content can validate your message. People trust previous customers, allowing this effort to nudge your CTR upward.

Content that resonates personally has a higher chance of being clicked. Whether location- or behavior-based, this emphasis helps your brand stand out from all the noise you can find online today.

In return, your PPC KPIs should start rising with your revenues. 

3. Quality Score

Google's Quality Score measures how relevant and useful your ad is to the user. It's a blend of CTR, ad relevance, and the quality of your landing page. []

A higher score can earn you a better ad position at a lower cost, so aim high!

Relevance is the most crucial attribute of this metric. Ensure your keywords, ads, and landing pages are all aligned. The more relevant they are to each other, the better your score.

Once you have that structure, start focusing on creating high-quality copy. Create compelling content that people want to see. Your advertising should accurately reflect what someone receives with a click.

After you get those issues sorted, think about improving the on-page SEO components that might drive people away. Your landing pages should have fast loading times, responsive constructs for mobile optimization, and clear calls to action. []

Once you've taken those steps, here are a few additional ways to improve this PPC KPI.

  • Use ad extensions like site links or callouts to provide additional information and fill out your content.
  • Split testing can help you figure out what's working and what's not. Change one variable at a time so that you know what impacts the results.
  • Keep reviewing your keyword choices. Setting them and letting this component be automated might be tempting, but people's preferences change. Your investments need to reflect those changes.
  • Quality Score is more of a marathon than a sprint. It takes time and regular adjustments.

Always keep an eye on your metrics. Minor adjustments can lead to significant improvements! Your consistent attention to this KPI should deliver your desired results as time passes.

4. Impression Share

This PPC KPI is the percentage of impressions your ad received compared to the total number of impressions it could have gotten. If you've got low numbers for this metric, you're likely missing out on potential clicks and conversions. 

Check your budget and bidding strategies to see if you can lower your costs and raise this figure.

How to Improve Impression Share

How This Work Provides Benefits for Your PPC KPI

Keyword Selection

Use keyword research tools to seek less competitive long-tail options. You can also implement negative keywords to filter unwanted searches and test your match types (broad, phrase, exact) to discover what works better.

Ad Rank:

This metric is determined by your creative quality, bid, and expected CTR. It can be improved by focusing on compelling material and relevant ad extensions. Keep monitoring your data to ensure the changes are what you want to see.

Geographic Targeting

Consider expanding to new areas through lead generation or narrowing down to high-performing locations. You can conduct A/B testing to refine your copy or landing page. Some businesses succeed by adjusting their bids based on regional values instead of what works locally.

Competitor Activity

It is essential to watch what your competitors are doing to improve your PPC KPIs. Adapt your strategy based on the movements you see from similar businesses, including bid adjustments. If you can be different, you can stand out.

Bidding Strategy

Different strategies are available, including manual, automated, and target impression share bidding. Each approach has unique pros and cons to consider. Keep adjusting based on how your PPC campaign performs.

It takes time to improve this metric, even when using ad extensions like site links, callouts, and structured snippets. With ongoing optimization, you can get to a place where the results are what you want.

5. Conversion Rate

In the simplest terms, the conversion rate is the percentage of visitors who complete the desired action after clicking on your ad. []

Whether you want people to make a purchase, sign up for a newsletter, or download an eBook, the conversion rate tells you how effective your ad and landing page are at nudging people to do that.

Four elements impact your PPC conversion rate. 

  • Relevance. If your advertising outreach efforts promise one thing, but the landing page delivers a different message, you’ll lose people – and your potential quality rankings.
  • Content Quality. A well-designed, easy-to-navigate landing page can significantly boost conversions.
  • Instructions. Any calls-to-action you provide should be clear and compelling. It helps to make them easy to find in your content transitions.
  • Audience Targeting. Having your demographics aligned with each offer makes it more likely that you’ll earn sales from this investment.

One of the best ways to improve your conversion rate is to use A/B testing. Try out different headlines, ad copy, or images to see what resonates more with your audience.

You can also work to streamline your sales funnel. Remove unnecessary steps in the conversion process. When the user experience is friendly and convenient, there could be fewer cart abandonment issues to manage.

Finally, people often need a bit of a nudge. If your PPC KPIs show that you're getting attention without sales, consider running retargeting ads to bring those visitors back to your brand.

6. Cost-Per-Click

In online advertising, ads are displayed through an auction system. You bid on keywords or placements to have the information displayed to a relevant audience. 

Each advertiser sets a maximum bid amount, which is the most they're willing to pay for a click on their ad. When a user performs a relevant search or visits a website displaying ads, an ad auction takes place in milliseconds. The winner of the auction gets their ad shown to the potential customer.

The CPC is calculated based on the winning bid amount divided by the number of clicks received.

If your digital marketing report suggests you’re paying too much per click, you can improve the metric by taking a few steps.

  • Focus on creating high-quality ads with compelling ad copy and relevant landing pages.
  • Consider whether the top ad positions are necessary for your goals. Sometimes, lower positions can be more cost-effective.
  • Optimize your ads and landing pages for mobile devices since mobile traffic can have different behaviors and costs.
  • Improve your website's user experience and conversion pathways to increase the likelihood of turning clicks into conversions.

Outside of a drastic reduction in spending, CPC metrics take time and constant monitoring to get them to where you want them. Keep reviewing the data and be willing to experiment with various approaches to find what works for your specific advertising goals. 

7. Cost-Per-Acquisition

This metric tells you how much you're paying for each successful conversion. A high CPA might indicate too much spending to acquire customers.

You'll want to lower this while improving your conversion rate. Here are the steps to take to make that outcome a reality.

  • Ensure your ad is relevant to the keywords you're bidding on and the landing page you're directing people to visit.
  • Use audience targeting features like demographics, location, and even time of day to get your ads in front of people who are more likely to convert.
  • If you notice high-performing keywords, consider increasing your bids on them.
  • Adding negative keywords to your PPC campaign helps exclude your ads from irrelevant searches.

Constant monitoring is crucial to earning improvements with this PPC KPI. Use analytics tools with your digital marketing report regularly to keep the figures where your budget needs them.

Although it takes time to improve this metric, your fine-tuning is an effort worth the time it takes. A lower number here shows you're running an efficient campaign, so you save money and boost your ROI.

You Can Take Control of Your PPC KPIs Right Now!

Your pay-per-click KPIs can unlock the answers to your questions about paid media and advertising. When people interact with your investments, they give you feedback about what they prefer and how you meet those needs.

It's crucial to pay attention to that information. Whether on a digital marketing report or through customer interviews, keeping track of these key performance indicators will help you develop a well-rounded approach to PPC.

Catchr delivers the resources you need to conveniently review this data. You can dig into your analytics and make empowered decisions because the info doesn't lie. In return, you get to make PPC adjustments based on facts instead of instincts.

Dive into your PPC accounts to see if changes are necessary today! Your bottom line will thank you for making this investment.

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In this template, you will find all the metrics and dimensions you would need to get a better view of your data.

If you need more templates, you could look at our looker studio template gallery.

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In this template, you will find all the metrics and dimensions you would need to get a better view of your data thank to our integrations.

If you need more templates, you could look at our PowerBI template gallery.

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