Measuring PPC performance

Any organisation which has an online presence will understand the importance of search engines. With such vast numbers of people using Google in the UK, having a good page rank is a key driver of good quality traffic to websites.

However, search engine optimisation can be expensive for small organisations, so its no surprise that hundreds of millions of websites are using pay per click advertising to get their websites onto page one of Google. One of the advantages over traditional advertising is the level of reporting that you see. It is very thorough, but there are very few organisations who understand how to interpret these results.

So, I am going to explain six key measures and what to look for when looking at the results – here are the ‘Fantastic Five’ (sorry, I do work in Marketing!).

Visits – These are the number of visits that each keyword or campaign have delivered to your site. The bigger the better, right? Not necessarily! You need to combine this number with others to understand the quality of the traffic that the keyword is delivering which is more important than the absolute number.

Pages per visit / Visit duration – These measures indicate user engagement. You are paying for the privilege of these users visiting your site, so your landing pages need to be specific towards the search term and have a clear call to action. Doing this will see user engagement improve.

Bounce rate – Keep bounce rate as low as possible….for most occasions! Why not all the time? Well, if you have a website showing information and one page will complete yours and the user’s objective, a high bounce rate might show that your landing page and search term combination are correct. But for most websites, you will want visitors to see other pages, so your bounce rate should be low. Anything below 50% is regarded as pretty good.

Click through rate – this is the proportion of people who see your ad and click on it. A low CTR can indicate that your ad is not achieving a good enough position (solved by quality score or budget), or that the copy on your ad is not enticing enough (solved through a good copywriter).

Quality score – This is a Google measure which is a combination of a number of different measures. These include CTR, relevance of landing page to search term and other historic performance measures. It is a simple score out of 10, the higher the score the better. It’s important to keep an eye on your quality score – if its strong, it can boost the position of your advert and can actually lower the costs of your campaign as Google will see yours as a relevant advert.

Pay per click advertising does not have to be expensive or complicated. Looking at the key measures will ensure that you have a strong understanding of how your campaign is performing and how you can improve it.

What are your tips for understanding PPC results? Leave a comment and let me know!


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