<img height="1" width="1" style="display:none" src="https://www.facebook.com/tr?id=1387476824747287&amp;ev=PageView&amp;noscript=1">
Skip to content

PPC Metrics That Matter The Most (And Least)

In this post, I want to help you understand which metrics matter the most and which metrics matter the least.

To be effective as a performance marketer you have to be able to spot trends, which is why it's so important to know which metrics should be ignored and which are really crucial KPI's.

Unfortunately, the likes of Google and Meta ads throw so much jargon and different figures at you, deciding what is a KPI and what isn't can be incredibly overwhelming.

The Most Important PPC Metrics

The most important metrics to track are…

  1. Cost: You absolutely need to keep track of how much your campaigns are spending. I don't think that one needs too much of an explanation as to why. If you blow your month's ad budget in a single day, your campaign just isn't going to be effective.
  2. Conversions: Depending on the business you work for, conversions will generally come in 2 forms. They will either be a lead like a form fillout or a phone call or a sale if you're working for an ecom business. This is one of the single most important metrics to keep track of. It will let you know which platforms, audiences, targeting strategies and sales funnels are working best. Then you can optimise your campaigns based on your results. Without paying close attention to your conversions, your results just won't improve.
  3. Cost Per Conversion: Is more suited to campaigns where the main goal is to try to generate leads. 

    It's important for all of the same reasons as the overall conversions metric, but it's crucial to know whether or not you're generating leads cheaply enough to make the campaign viable. 

    For example, if you're a software company with an average customer value of €100 and you are generating form fillouts at a cost per conversion of €10 and you're converting 50% of leads from forms to customers, then you know your cost per customer is about €20. 

    If you take that €20 from the €100 you can see you have a profit of €80, so you know all is going well. 

    If all else remains the same but it's costing you €100 to get a form fillout, it will actually be costing you €200 for every €100 customer which isn't sustainable.
  4. ROAS: Return on ad spend is used in a similar way to Cost Per Conversion, but it's usually reserved for ecommerce sites. This metric pulls in the value of purchases from your campaigns and compares it to your ad spend. It is essentially your sales value divided by your ad spend. 

    What's profitable varies a lot from business to business, some will be highly profitable at a 2:1 ROAS while others might need as high as a 10:1 ROAS to be profitable. As you can imagine, ROAS is about as important as a metric can get for optimising ad campaigns.

The metrics I just mentioned are the absolute most important ones to focus on, but there are some other slightly less important, but still important metrics that you should keep an eye on.

Important Secondary PPC Metrics

  1. Impressions: Impressions are the total number of times your ad has been shown. It's especially important for brand-building campaigns when you want to get as many eyeballs on your brand as possible.
  2. Link Clicks: Is the total number of times people clicked on links on your ad that go through to your website.
  3. CTR: Click-through rate is a really good indicator of how well-written your ads are, especially for Google Search. 

    The higher the CTR, the better, as it means your ad is more relevant to the user and they think you can solve their problems better than your competitors can.
  4. CPC: is short for Cost Per Click. It's good to keep an eye on this figure because it's usually an indicator of how well your ads are constructed or how well your targeting is working.

    It's especially useful when your main goal is to drive as much traffic to the website as possible. Simply put, if your clicks are cheaper, you can get more of them for the same budget.
  5. Video Views/Cost Per View: These metrics are important for brand-building campaigns. If you create a video and push it out with ads across social media and YouTube, you need to know how many people saw it and how low the cost per view was. 

    If the cost per view for one video is really low, you know the video is engaging. If the cost per view on a second video is much higher, then you know you haven't done a good enough job with the second video. You can use that data to make better content that resonates more with your audience going forward.

All of the metrics I have mentioned so far are really useful, even if some are only useful in certain situations. The next set of metrics I want to go through are some common ones that I often see business owners and marketers placing way too much faith in. 

Overused Glamour Metrics

  1. Bounce Rate: A session is considered bounced when someone only visits one page without going on to any other pages. I see people get way too focused on bounce rate, someone only visiting one page isn't always a bad thing. 

    If someone visits your site and finds exactly what they are looking for on one page, I would say that was a successful visit but focusing on bounce rate makes it appear negative. It's a metric that can be very misleading.
  2. Time on Site: While a higher time on site can indicate user engagement, it's essential to consider the type of content. 

    So for example news articles may naturally have a lower time on site compared to in-depth guides or video tutorials. 

    Blindly chasing a high average time on site could lead to creating overly long content that users find tedious. Or even worse, optimising your paid campaigns based solely on how long someone stays on your site after clicking.
  3. Total Clicks: Earlier, I mentioned link clicks specifically as being important for ad campaigns. 

    But I often see people getting mixed up and optimising based on total clicks. That can include clicks anywhere on an ad, even just the text section. It's nowhere near as useful as link click data, so keep an eye out for that one.
  4. Page Views: This is similar to the bounce rate and time on site metrics. Just because someone visits a lot of pages on your site, doesn't necessarily mean your site is doing a good job, it can equally mean your site is overly complex and it's difficult for users to find what they are looking for.

Each of the metrics I just mentioned have specific times where they can be useful, but you should be careful not to get too fixated on them at the detriment of the more important figures.

Want to learn more? Follow me on LinkedIn or follow 3B1 on YouTube for regular insights and strategies.

Written by Christian Donovan, Director of Performance Marketing at 3B1.