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As a digital marketing professional who has worked on PPC campaigns for B2B and B2C brands in North America, Europe, and Asia, I often get asked – which metrics matter in a PPC campaign?

Advertisers are working on understanding which metrics to optimize towards for the brands they are working with. Many expect that there is a one size fits all answer to the above question. Unfortunately, that’s not the case. There is no standard or generic answer.

So, what on what basis do we decide which PPC campaign metrics matter the most to the brand? Well, before we jump into optimizing campaigns, it is important for us to understand the goal of the PPC campaigns we are running. The business/marketing goals define what metrics we optimize towards.

Goals and Metrics

The goal of the campaign depends on which level of the conversion funnel we want to target. Do we want to target people who are at the top, middle, or at the bottom of the conversion funnel?

Top of the Funnel

If we want to target people at the top of the conversion funnel, our goal is to drive awareness. In this case, we focus on impression share, CTR, and CPC of the campaigns.

Ad Types to help achieve this goal: Social Media Post Engagement, Google Display Ads, YouTube Ads

Mid Funnel

If we want to target people in the middle of the conversion funnel, our goal is to influence consideration. In this case, we want to focus on the CTR and CPC. Our goal is to work towards targeting people who belong to our target audience and have them interact with the brand.

Ad Types to help achieve this goal: Social Media Post Engagement, Social Media Page Likes, Social Media Link Clicks, Google Search Ads

Bottom of the Funnel

If we want to target people in the middle of the conversion funnel, our goal is to generate conversions. Now, remember, the meaning of a successful conversion varies from brand to brand. Some examples of what may be considered as a successful conversion in different industries include:

  • News and Media: Newsletter signup, purchase of an eBook/subscription
  • eCommerce Brand: Purchase of a product/service on the website
  • Education: A lead to a person who would consider their school or university for higher studies
  • Travel: A hotel and/or flight booking for a trip

While some forms of conversions are paid, others are not. In both cases, we focus on PPC campaign metrics such as the number of conversions, cost per conversion, and conversion rate. In the case of where there is a measurable monetary value linked to each conversion (such as in the case of an eCommerce brand), it is also important to look at the ROI from the PPC campaigns.

Ad Types to help achieve this goal: Social Media Form Fills, Social Media Website Clicks, Social Media Shopping Ads, Google Search Ads, Google Shopping Ads, Google Form Fills

Like I mentioned at the beginning of this article, the ‘same size fits all’ method does not work when we are talking about which metrics to optimize towards. It is important for first understand the goals we want to achieve from the paid ads in order to have a successful PPC campaign management strategy.

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