What Makes a Successful PPC Campaign?
Even the most skilled digital marketers can have a hard time putting their finger on exactly what makes a successful PPC campaign. While it’s easy to concentrate on your return on ad spend, there are plenty of other metrics that are equally as important to factor in. In fact, taking a more holistic approach to your paid search marketing strategies can lead to better rankings, higher-quality leads, and low-cost conversions.
So to help you make the most of your marketing budget, we’re highlighting a few easy ways to measure the success of your PPC campaign. Below, you’ll find a handful of key performance indicators (KPIs) that offer a well-rounded view of campaign effectiveness.
Ways to Measure the Success of Your PPC Campaign
Instead of focusing on one single metric, determine the success of your campaign using a more holistic approach. Factoring in multiple KPIs provides a well-rounded view of how your paid advertising campaigns are performing. It’s important to have a clear understanding of what different KPIs are and how to track or calculate them.
Before launching a new PPC campaign or trying to determine how pre-existing PPC campaigns are performing, you’ll want to set specific goals. Meet with your marketing team to discuss what you’re looking to get out of your search advertising efforts:
Increasing brand awareness
Increasing traffic to your website, online store, or blog
Converting new leads and increasing sales
Edge out SEO competitors
Different goals for your PPC ads require different metrics, so setting goals now makes it far easier to evaluate your campaigns later. It’s A-okay for these goals to evolve with the needs of your business. While you may be looking to increase site traffic and attract new leads now, you may want to focus on edging out competitors as your business continues to grow.
Establish clear benchmarks to reach them and regularly check your metrics to follow how your campaign’s performance changes over time. Write your goals and keep them top of mind when it comes time to review your campaign’s performance.
Don’t be discouraged if you find some campaigns to be unsuccessful. Instead of scrapping them entirely, treat them as areas for improvement. Oftentimes, it only takes a few tweaks to see major improvements. Reevaluate your strategy and adjust accordingly while you reinvest in campaigns that are performing well.
Low Cost Per Conversion
No matter your marketing goals, your cost per conversion (CPC) is a key metric for determining the success of your PPC campaign. A conversion doesn’t necessarily mean new customers. It could be anything from signing up for an email list or newsletter to watching an informational video to purchasing a product or service. It’s measured by dividing your total number of conversions by the total number of ad interactions.
Target CPCs— sometimes referred to as cost per action— vary widely across different industries, so you’ll need to do some research when setting your goals. But regardless of your end goal, increasing your conversion rate will lead to a lower cost per conversion.
A clear indicator that your campaign was unsuccessful is that cost more than it brought in from conversions. Your marketing goal should be to make money, not to waste it on unnecessary ad spend and low-quality leads. Keep track of your CPC over time so you can adjust your PPC strategy. Invest your time and energy in campaigns with a low CPC and reevaluate those with a high CPC.
If you’re looking to increase conversions, you’ll also want to monitor the quality of your leads. Before evaluating your campaigns, determine what a good quality lead looks like for your company:
Who is your target audience?
What keywords is your target audience searching for? What questions are they trying to answer with their search queries?
What ad copy would they find relevant?
What landing page experience do they expect to have?
Your ad should receive fewer clicks from high-quality leads that are likely to convert than it is to get a high volume of clicks from low-quality leads that’ll only increase costs and spike your bounce rate. Oftentimes, bidding on long-tail keywords can lead to higher-quality clicks than highly competitive short-tail keywords.
Click-through-rate (CTR) is a key metric to measure if you aimed to increase brand awareness. It measures the number of users who clicked on your ad compared to the number of users who saw it. You can calculate it by dividing the number of clicks by the number of impressions.
It’s normal for your CTR to vary from campaign to campaign. Several factors affect your CTR, so it can even vary from keyword to keyword. CTR also varies widely from industry to industry, so you’ll want to do a bit of research to determine what you’re aiming for.
How high your ad ranks on search results can significantly impact your CTR. Most users click on the first few ads instead of scrolling down the page, so ads ranked higher are far more likely to get clicked. Working to improve your quality score and improve ad relevance can help boost your CTR.
A high CTR means that you successfully attracted your audience to your ads. Search engine users found your ads were relevant and engaging. It helps boost your Google Ads, quality score, increases site traffic and gives you more chances to convert leads. A low CTR means you should rework your ads to make them more relevant to users’ search queries.
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There’s no understating the importance of a high-quality score, especially if you’re looking to outrank your competitors on search results pages. Google calculates your quality score based on the combined performance of your expected CTR, ad relevance, and landing page experience. Consider it a barometer of the overall performance of your keywords, ad copy, and landing pages.
A good quality score helps your ads rank higher on the search results page. It’ll help get more eyes on your ads and hopefully increase your CTR as a result. Using a low-quality score should be used as a diagnostic tool. Any components given the status average or below average are an opportunity to improve that area of your PPC strategy.
You can check your quality score and see past quality score statistics through your Google Ads account. Monitor it overtime to keep a watch on the overall health of your PPC advertising campaigns.
Low Bounce Rate
Bounce rate can help determine the relevance of your landing pages— a key part of increasing conversions and boosting your quality score. It’s measured by the number of users that visited your site and left after viewing one page. As a rule of thumb, you should aim for 50% or less. Anything over 70% needs to be reevaluated.
A high bounce rate is a sign that it’s time to rework your landing pages to make them more relevant to your ad. It indicates that people didn’t find what they were looking for when they clicked on your ad and weren’t persuaded by your calls to action.
Alternatively, a low bounce rate means people continue browsing your site and learning about your company’s products or services. It indicates your paid advertisements are successfully moving users down the marketing funnel.