You might have read my SEO Basics posts on this blog before now such as my last one on ranking in Google, but recently I’ve started learning more about the PPC (pay per click) side of things here at Boom. PPC is something that’s interested me for a while now, so it was great to start learning more about it.

At first PPC came across as quite confusing to me.  It seems to be the case with many parts of online marketing that it’s filled with all its own unique terminology. It was almost like I was hearing a completely different language to begin with.

Mr B thinks PPC metrics are like a different language

Katie has had me helping out with the PPC reports for the clients. This involves looking at the different data the ads have generated, such as how many clicks an ad has had and what the click through rate (CTR) for it is.

These reports are to show our clients how their campaign is doing each month, and whether they’ve improved or not.

If you don’t know what you’re looking at, this can get confusing.

You see, a variety of different metrics are used to show how a PPC campaign is doing. CTR, conversions and CPC are all examples of these; but what do these terms mean?

You’ll need to have an understanding of this in order to have any idea whether your campaign is having any success.

Clicks

Google AdWords shows the number of clicks an ad receives.

Impressions

Impressions shows how many times an ad has shown up.

CTR (Click Through Rate)

That’s the percentage of impressions that have turned into clicks. A CTR of 2% is often considered very successful.

Conv. (Conversions)

A conversion happens whenever someone has followed the ad to your site and carried out whatever action you want them to perform. That could be anything from buying something on the site to making a phone call or simply filling in a form.

Avg. CPC (Average Cost Per Click)

As you might know, pay per click works as its name describes: you pay each time one of your ads is clicked. Adwords displays your total cost as well as your average cost per click (CPC). This lets you see exactly how much you’re spending on average for someone to click your ad.

Cost / Conv. (Cost per Conversion)

In this same way, you’re given cost per conversion (aka CPA: cost per acquisition or CPL: cost per lead) information too, allowing you to see how much you spent on advertising for each conversion.

It’s using all of this information that allows you to see how effective your campaign is.

Getting more conversions is usually going to be the primary aim. Ideally you’d also be looking to increase your CTR while lowering the CPC, with the goal of lowering your cost per conversion – meaning you can get more conversions for your advertising spend.

Don’t forget though that every advertising campaign is unique. Now that you understand the terminology and what the metrics show; think about your goals and how these metrics can help you to understand if your PPC is successful.