Many AdWords advertisers mistakenly assume that setting up a PPC campaign is the end of their paid search journey. However, once you’ve defined your campaigns, you need to devote ongoing time to AdWords analysis: monitoring your campaigns and how they’re performing to ensure that you’re maximizing your PPC ROI.
How do you do this? By establishing benchmarks for key PPC metrics, and taking action when your results don’t measure up.
Key Metrics for AdWords PPC Analysis
Although there are virtually endless metrics you can analyze to determine the effectiveness of your PPC campaigns and identify areas of opportunity for improvement, you don’t have endless time.
The AdWords Performance Grader focuses on the 10 key performance metrics that have the most impact on your success as a paid search advertiser:
- Wasted Spend: If your AdWords campaign is underperforming, this metric will show you just how much money you could be saving by refining your keywords and optimizing other areas of your account.
- Quality Score: A strong Quality Score leads to improved rankings, a lower cost per click and overall increases in ROI. This crucial metric will provide you with insight into how well – or poorly – your ads are viewed by Google.
- Impression Share: A low impression share – how often your ads are triggered by relevant search queries – can have a negative impact on the performance of your PPC campaigns.
- Click-Through Rate: CTR is one of the most important metrics to benchmark when evaluating the effectiveness of your paid search efforts, because it’s a strong indication of how relevant your ads are to users. For example, a high impression share will yield little ROI if searchers aren’t actively clicking on your ads. This benchmark can also be used to ascertain if you’re losing ground to competitors. (CTR is also a major contributing factor to your Quality Score.)
- Account Activity: The more frequently you log in and actively manage, analyze, and optimize your account, the greater potential returns you’ll experience. This metric provides valuable insight into how much time other businesses are spending managing their paid search campaigns. (In fact, infrequent logins is one of the main reasons that most small business fail at PPC.)
- Long-Tail Keyword Optimization: Many AdWords advertisers focus predominantly on competitive, costly head terms, and neglect to pay sufficient attention to long-tail keywords that can yield strong conversions at lower costs if targeted effectively.
- Ad Text Optimization: It almost goes without saying that optimizing the text of your ads themselves is one of the most important steps you can take in PPC analysis, since better ad text can improve your CTR, Quality Score, and AdWords ROI. The AdWords Performance Grader will evaluate your ads’ performance, as well as provide you with a benchmarked comparison of how your copy shapes up to the ads your competitors are using.
- Landing Page Optimization: Strong ads alone are not enough to maximize your PPC ROI. Do you have enough landing pages? Are they optimized to maximize conversions? What about mobile? Since landing pages are where the real magic happens or doesn’t, this is a crucial step in your PPC analysis.
- Mobile Advertising: With mobile searches expected to surpass desktop searches by 2015 if not earlier, it is imperative that you identify and leverage opportunities for improvement in your mobile PPC ads. Are your text ads optimized for mobile? Are you using sitelinks, call extensions, location extensions and other mobile paid search best practices?
- PPC Best Practices: Even if you think you’re doing everything right, the chances are still pretty good that there is room for improvement. By using the AdWords Performance Grader, you can see whether you’re adhering to general PPC best practices – such as leverage modified broad match and properly setting up conversion tracking – and how your paid search management stacks up against your competition.
PPC Analysis Tools: How Do I Analyze My AdWords Performance?
With so many metrics to evaluate, many AdWords advertisers simply don’t have the time or inclination to manage their PPC campaigns effectively. This means wasted spend, missed opportunities and lower conversions. Fortunately, the AdWords Performance Grader can help.
Our FREE AdWords Performance Grader allows you to quickly and easily identify areas in which your paid search efforts are performing below standardized industry benchmarks. This enables you to make immediate changes to the metrics above that will result in improvements to your PPC campaigns’ ROI.
In addition to assessing the overall effectiveness of the metrics above, the AdWords Performance Grader also allows you to track the performance of your campaigns over time using the Performance Tracker. Every 30 days, the Performance Tracker takes a snapshot of your account and plots the effectiveness of your paid search initiatives into an intuitive timeline interface, providing you with a visual representation of how changes to your account’s KPIs yielded results – as well as areas in which improvements can still be made.
Take Control of Your PPC Campaigns with Better PPC Analysis
Far too few AdWords advertisers realize that tracking the performance of their PPC campaigns over time, and benchmarking their efforts against other advertisers in their market, is one of the most effective ways to improve their PPC ROI.
The average small business owner wastes approximately 25% of their monthly paid search budget by failing to devote enough time and energy to managing their account. Fortunately, the AdWords Performance Grader enables you to quickly identify areas of improvement, and evaluate the effectiveness of your PPC campaigns against your competition, completely free of charge.
Stop wasting time and money on ineffective AdWords strategies. WordStream can help you take control of your paid search efforts and get on with what’s really important – taking care of your customers.