Click-through rate (CTR) is important to optimize regardless of the goal of your campaign because it measures how effective your ads are. Whether your goal is to drive sales, leads, or build brand awareness, CTR provides a measure stick for how well your ads are resonating with searchers. Low CTRs indicate that there’s a mismatch between your keywords and ads in terms of consumer expectations. CTRs that steadily decline or drop off suddenly typically point to ads that need to be updated to appeal to and engage better with searchers. In some cases, a reduced CTR may also point to increased competition online, requiring additional efforts to stay competitive.
Aside from universal KPIs like CTR, there are goal-specific KPIs to consider. These are the essential KPIs to track and monitor:
- Conversions & Conversion Rate
Knowing how many orders have resulted from your PPC efforts is a vital metric to monitor because it speaks to your return on investment. However, simply knowing the total number of conversions that have resulted isn’t enough. You also need to monitor conversion rate as a percentage and total conversion value. Generating lots of conversions doesn’t necessarily mean that your efforts have been successful if you’ve spent more than you made.
- Cost Per Conversion
Understanding how much the conversions you’ve generated cost you to do so is an important metric to track as well. You can look at this figure at the aggregate level as total advertising cost or break it down to analyze on a cost per conversion basis. Breaking down costs to the keyword level provides the specificity needed to make smart, data-driven decisions to optimize your efforts.
Utilizing conversion value and cost data allows you to calculate return on ad spend (ROAS). ROAS is calculated by dividing revenue by cost, and the resulting figure represents how profitable your advertising efforts are. ROAS can be calculated at a granular level as well as for the account overall.
While sales-driven PPC efforts should track conversions in the form of orders, lead generation efforts should track other types of conversions like quote requests, trial sign-ups, digital resource downloads, webinar sign-ups, etc. These interest-indicators speak to the effectiveness of your PPC efforts in filling the sales pipeline with leads. While simply tracking the number of leads that have resulted is sufficient, assigning an average value to each type of lead takes this KPI to another level by attempting to attribute revenue to PPC efforts as well.
- Cost Per Conversion
Monitoring how much each lead costs to acquire is an important KPI to track because it can inform your PPC efforts and help determine which marketing efforts are the most lucrative. This cost metric can be compared to cost-related metrics for other forms of advertising as well (both online and offline) to prioritize where budget dollars should be allocated.
- Phone Calls
For a lead generation campaign, phone calls are an integral metric to monitor because they represent a chance for your salespeople to start a conversation with interested prospects. When tracking phone calls, be sure to set parameters to clean up the data as much as possible. Exclude phone calls that are extremely short (less than 10 seconds or so) from being tracked to filter out accidental calls and lead dead-ends. The resulting data can help you optimize your PPC efforts by giving you a way to monitor which keywords and ads are generating consumer engagement.
- Impression Share
While impression share (IS) can be utilized for any PPC goal-type, lead generation campaigns really benefit from tracking IS. Knowing where your campaigns, ad groups, and even individual keywords are missing out on impressions provides the information needed to increase exposure. Low IS areas have the potential for generating additional leads if that additional impression potential can be realized.
Probably the only place where impressions really matter is in a brand-building campaign. When working on increasing brand awareness, monitoring impressions is a key way to determine how much exposure your ads are getting. Impressions can be monitored in both search and display campaigns to speak to the number of people who are being exposed to your business’s name, offerings, and value propositions.
Kate Pierce is the owner of LionShark Digital Marketing LLC, a West Michigan internet marketing company. Her areas of expertise include Paid Search, Search Engine Optimization, Business Blogging and Web Copywriting. She lives in the Grand Rapids area with her husband and son and enjoys cooking, watching sports, and spending time together as a family. Like a true digital marketing expert (i.e. geek), she loves talking about current marketing trends… so don’t say you weren’t warned!