Adwords Stats Can Be Overwhelming
Lions, tigers and bears, oh my! Impression share, clicks, and conversion rates, oh my!
If you’ve used AdWords for any length of time, you know it offers a tremendous amount of data to help guide your efforts. However, the sheer volume of data can be overwhelming if you’re just starting out. If you every feel overwhelmed and wonder “What the heck should I really be looking at?” That’s perfectly normal.
So let’s aim to simplify your life…
The first step to identifying the most important data is to identify what’s most important to your business. What’s your goal? Is it to simply get more eyeballs on your content? Is it to promote your brand? Is it to generate leads or sales? The answer to this question will help you narrow down which AdWords stats are KEY for you, and which stats play a supporting role.
So let’s talk about different types of goals you might have and which statistics would be the most valuable to you. To keep things simple, let’s assume we are talking about your AdWords search campaigns (rather than other campaigns like display or shopping).
Goal #1: You want to increase traffic to your website
This one is pretty basic – you want more people to see your stuff. There are a couple things I’d key my eye on. First, you want to monitor how many CLICKS you’re getting (the number of times your ads generated a visit to your website). Second, keep an eye on your AVERAGE COST PER CLICK. If your end goal is to simply generate clicks, doesn’t it make sense to acquire these clicks at the most affordable rate possible? I’d avoid spending the big bucks in your industries most competitive (and expensive) keywords when you can find enough “click inventory” at a lower cost.
Goal #2: Increase the number of sales leads (or actual sales)
While the volume of clicks you receive plays a role in this goal, the key metrics to keep your eyes on are related to conversions. In order to begin collecting this data, you will need to enable conversion tracking in your account (this requires adding a small snippet of code to your “conversion page” which might be the thank you page after the prospect fills out a form or makes a purchase). If you need help with this, we talk you through the specifics here: Is Adwords Delivering Results? Setup Conversion Tracking to Find Out.
After this conversion code is in place, the most valuable stats to measure this goal are…
CONVERSIONS: The number of AdWords visitors who took your desired action on your website.
CONVERSION RATE: This is the percentage of visitors who took your desired action. It’s an indication of how successful your website is in prompting folks to take action.
COST PER CONVERSION: This is your total cost for the period divided by the number of conversions. How much is each lead or sale worth to you? Is your cost per conversion well below the number? It should be!
Goal #3: Raise brand awareness
Generating sales leads or immediate sales might not be all that important to you. Instead, you might just be focused on raising brand awareness… you just need to get your brand out there in front of as many people as possible. In this case, don’t even sweat the clicks or the conversions. The best way to measure success for your goal is to monitor IMPRESSIONS. Impressions refer the number of times your ad has actually be displayed to users. Impression-based goals are very common in the display side of the house where you can target folks by demographics, topics, and interested, but they can also play a role in your search campaign.
Goal #4: Achieve a solid return-on-investment
Of course we’d all want this correct? However, the truth is, most AdWords advertisers can’t seem to put their finger on this stat. Why? Because it’s really a function of some key AdWords metrics AND some key business metrics.
The goal of every advertiser that strives to generate leads or sales via their AdWords campaign should be to dial in their MAGIC NUMBER… the number they can afford to spend that will always yield a predictable profit margin. If you’d like to dig deeper, we’ve outlined a straight-forward process right here: Want Guaranteed Adwords Success, Know Your Magic Number.
So there you have it – our attempt at simplifying your AdWords life. Of course the metrics we’ve discussed are all OUTCOMES. They are generated by looking at your account’s past performance. This certainly begs the question of…. “OK… how do I actual impact these metrics in a positive way?”
If you’re ready to dive in and improve your account, we suggest you check out our series of posts on AdWords best practices.
Until next time!