7 PPC KPIs That Matter To Your Campaign

Written by The Valve+Meter Team / May 28, 2021 / 5 Minute Read
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PPC campaigns require a strategic approach to ensure success. By focusing on the right KPIs, advertisers can drive better results. This post highlights the essential KPIs that have the most significant impact on PPC campaigns, offering insights into how they influence performance and providing tips for leveraging them effectively.


Key Performance Indicators, or KPIs, allow you to measure the return from your pay-per-click (PPC) campaign investments.

Most providers, such as Google Ads, present you with dashboards and numbers detailing your ad performance in different areas.

It is a lot of information thrown at you at once. 

What do you focus on first? 

Which PPC metrics truly tell you whether you are getting the value you expect from the money you are spending?

Valve+Meter Performance Marketing works with different PPC networks and we use our years of experience to narrow down the seven KPIs capable of making or breaking any PPC campaigns.

Read on and learn how to analyze your performance, make effective improvements, and improve your PPC marketing efforts.

KPIs That Are Crucial to Your PPC Campaign

Your PPC Campaign Ad Impressions

The success of any digital advertising campaign starts with getting your ads in front of the intended audience.

You’ll want to know how large the audience is, and if it’s open to the services or products you sell.

It’s not always about making sales at this point. New companies should be focused on building awareness of their brand in the marketplace.

Low impressions may mean your ads aren’t compelling enough to catch attention.

It might be time to take a step back and assess whether you’ve done enough, such as designing an eye-catching logo or coming up with slogans or phrases to stick in the minds of those who see your ad.

Look at where you’re placing your ads as well. Are you sticking to lower-trafficked spaces to save money? Are you “tripping over a dollar to pick up a dime?” How much will the low-traffic spaces do for improving brand awareness?

If you don’t feel you’re getting a wide enough audience, you might want to up your budget and aim to be seen on larger search engine providers or spread out into higher-trafficked social media spaces.

Valve+Meter understands the art and science of running a successful ad campaign on newer and more established online platforms fitting your advertising budget.

Your Average Ad Position

Now that you’ve secured a place where you can be seen by your target audience, you need to set yourself apart from competitors.

The thing is, you don’t necessarily have to be #1 in Search Engine Result Pages, or SERPs, to get ahead of the competition.

Google and Bing constantly tweak the search algorithms making it nearly impossible to game the system by trying to buy your way to the top.

Instead of trying to beat the system, you should create a distinct strategy to benefit your business.

Remember this is an average of where your ad consistently ranks along with the maximum dollars you’re paying per impression.

An ad currently ranked #2 might have been anywhere from #1 to #6 earlier in the day.

What you should take from this key performance indicator is how well your ad performs “quality-wise.”

Consistently low rankings suggest you need to review the relevancy of keywords you’re bidding on or make some improvements to your landing pages.

Your Click-Through Rate (CTR)

Getting seen is one thing. Getting users to click on your ad and browse what you have to offer is something else. This makes your CTR extremely important in your PPC campaign.

The work you put into improving your ad’s visibility and improving your ad position also pays off here.

If you’ve paid for keywords aimed at exactly what the user’s looking for, you’re more likely to attract their attention.

Confusing or jumbled ads just cause people to move on to something else. Not focusing on the right keywords also fails to bring your ad up in the search engine results page when users enter their search terms.

Are you making a strong enough pitch asking users to take some sort of action? Passive ads do nothing to engage users.

Instead, use compelling messaging to drive them to find out how much they need to see what you have to offer.

Your Cost Per Click (CPC)

Cost Per Click tells you whether you’re getting the ad action you’re expecting from the advertising budget for your PPC campaign.

It’s the amount you’re paying every time someone clicks on your ad on a platform.

Ideally, you’re driving enough traffic to your sites to make this fee negligible. Clicks through to a high-quality site end up costing you less in the end.

Most search engines reward you for this in their algorithm calculations.

Watch out for keywords eating up a lot of your ad spend yet doing very little to attract clicks to your PPC campaign. You may want to refine or remove them entirely.

Don’t throw keywords into ads just to attract clicks. You’ll be penalized by a poor user experience when they fail to find what they’re looking for after clicking your ad.

Your Conversion Rate (CR)

There’s a reason we’ve been stressing the importance of choosing good keywords for your PPC campaign ads.

When users search for a pair of red flats in a certain size, it is what they’re expecting to see when they click your ad.

Your conversion rate tells you how much you’re spending to gain an active engagement from a user browsing your site.

Active engagement could be anything from signing up for a mailing list for promotions to an online purchase.

It’s possible to have keywords pulling a lower number of clicks and leading to a high number of conversions. Congratulations – you’ve found a way to attract the attention of those needing your products or services and give them what they’re seeking.

Your Cost Per Acquisition (CPA)

We all love repeat customers. But no business survives without consistently attracting new customers into their base.

This KPI tells you how well ads in your PPC campaign perform in attracting new eyeballs and making some sort of engagement.

What if you are doing a great job keeping your old customers, and not seeing a large number of new customer purchases?

It might be time to refine the ads you’re using to make sure they haven’t grown stale. The trick is not turning off your regulars in your attempts to gain new traffic.

This is where it helps to gain insight from a marketing specialist like Valve+Meter. We work to understand what’s gotten your business to this point. We believe what got you here, isn’t going to get you there.

It may sustain the status quo, just not growth. Our research informs any new strategies we design to grow your business by expanding the type of customers you attract.

Your Return On Investment (ROI) 

Return on investment shows you the culmination of the work you’ve put into your PPC campaign.

You’re looking to find out how much profit you yielded from each ad conversion. How you define conversions and come to your ROI depends on the overall goal you’ve set out to accomplish with your ad spends.

If you measure conversions by sales, then you’re looking to see how much you’re making for each purchase made from your site. If it’s getting user information, then you’re looking at how many times users filled out forms passing you their information for future contacts.

You may be able to increase ROI with adjustments like dropping underperforming keywords or finding new spaces to place your ads to improve your conversion rate.

We recommend analyzing how keyword performance changes in different search engines over time.

How to Adjust Your PPC Campaign Based on Each KPI

Perhaps you know about the top PPC marketing KPIs to use when monitoring performance, but what can you do in each area to improve your PPC campaign performance?

Ad Impressions

If your impressions are low, consider improving the appeal of your ads by focusing on design elements, slogans, or phrases that will capture the attention of your audience.

Additionally, evaluate the placement of your ads and consider targeting larger search engine providers or higher-trafficked social media spaces to reach a wider audience.

Average Ad Position

Your average position is determined by several factors that make up its quality score, including your bid amount, ad quality, and ad relevance.

While the top ad position is always best, there’s nothing wrong with being the second or third featured ad.

Instead of always aiming for the top position, focus on improving the quality of your ads.

Review the relevancy of your keywords and make necessary improvements to your landing page to increase your ad’s performance.

Over time, focusing on the quality of your PPC ads will help you establish a strong presence and attract relevant clicks, even if your average ad position is not always at the very top.

Click-Through Rate

Ensure that your ads are compelling and relevant to attract users’ attention. Your ad copy should be informative and relevant to what the searcher is looking for.

Use appropriate keywords to increase visibility in search engine results. Craft compelling messaging to drive users to take action and engage with your offerings.

Cost Per Click

Monitor your CPC to ensure you’re getting the desired ad action within your budget. The goal of your ad campaigns should be to reach as wide of an audience as you can, while staying within your budget.

To improve your cost per click, make sure to optimize your keywords to minimize costs and avoid including irrelevant keywords solely to attract clicks.

Provide a high-quality user experience by ensuring that your ads align with users’ expectations.

Conversion Rate

Select relevant keywords that align with users’ search intent to increase the chances of conversion.

Continuously optimize your ads to meet users’ expectations and encourage them to take action, whether it’s making a purchase or signing up for a mailing list.

Create high-quality landing pages with a clear call to action. Conversion rates will suffer when users cannot easily complete forms.

Cost Per Acquisition

If you’re struggling to attract new customers despite retaining existing ones, refine your ads to prevent staleness.

Ensure that your ads appeal to new audiences without alienating your regular customer base. Seek insights from marketing specialists who can help develop strategies to expand your customer base.

Return On Investment

Evaluate the profitability of your PPC campaign by measuring the ROI. Define conversions based on your campaign goals, such as sales or user information acquisition.

Adjust your campaign by eliminating underperforming keywords, exploring new ad placements, and analyzing keyword performance across different search engines.

Why You Should Start Using PPC if You're Not Already

In general, PPC is a very effective way to get fast results. Unlike SEO which can be a months or even years-long process, PPC provides quick wins almost overnight.

If you’ve been neglecting PPC, consider the following benefits of using PPC campaigns:

Immediate and Targeted Results

PPC offers unique advantages over other digital marketing strategies in that it provides immediate and highly-targeted results. Unlike other marketing channels that require time to build organic visibility or rely on long-term strategies, PPC allows you to reach your desired audience instantly.

By selecting specific keywords, demographics, locations, and other targeting parameters, you can ensure that your ads are shown to the right people at the right time.

This level of precision targeting enables you to maximize your chances of reaching potential customers who are actively searching for your products or services, increasing the likelihood of clicks, conversions and sales.

Cost Control and Measurable ROI

One of the most impactful benefits of PPC is its cost control and measurable return on investment (ROI).

With PPC, you only pay when someone clicks on your ad, making it a highly cost-effective advertising method.

You have full control over your budget, allowing you to set daily or monthly spending limits based on your resources and marketing goals.

Additionally, PPC platforms provide comprehensive analytics and reporting tools that enable you to track the performance of your campaigns in real time.

This means you can measure the exact ROI of your PPC efforts, determine which keywords or ads are generating the most conversions, and make data-driven decisions to optimize your campaigns for better results.

Reliable PPC data lets you make impactful changes that can lead to quicker results.

PPC Services

Monitoring your paid marketing campaigns on your own can be a time-consuming and stressful process. Let Valve+Meter Performance Marketing help. Our team can help you start making the improvements necessary to get the returns you expect from your online advertisements.

Contact Our Team