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  1. Gads account organization
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  2. Search ads
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  3. Display Ads
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Lesson 5, Topic 6
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Google Ads metrics

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Google Analytics is a powerful and accessible (free) tool that lets marketers track more than 200 metrics that span the entire funnel—from acquisition to conversion. But now you can learn about 5 of the most most common metrics.

1. Impressions

The impressions metric is about how many times your ad has been displayed or seen. 

To increase this metric, you may want to increase your campaign budget, as your budget controls how often your ad is shown. Alternatively, increasing your bid or improving your ad quality are both effective ways to raise the number of impressions.

2. Clicks 

What kind of pay-per-click marketing would that be if clicks weren’t taken into account?

This metric shows how many times your ad was clicked. 

In general, you shouldn’t make any decisions on this metric alone, as the number of clicks out of context doesn’t actually show the effectiveness of your ad. The number of clicks is used in a different metric, namely the click-through rate, which we will examine a little later.

3. Cost

The ‘cost’ metric in Google Ads has the same meaning as in real life. It equals the amount of money you are paying. There are two main types of costs in Google Ads.

Cost per click (CPC)

Every time a user clicks on your ad, you pay Google a certain amount of money. This is known as cost per click or CPC. CPC is an interesting metric because a well-optimized campaign should lead to a declining cost per click over time.

Your average cost per click is calculated by dividing the cost of your clicks by the number of clicks. Here’s the CPC formula:

Average cost per click = Total spend / # of clicks

For example, if you spend $100 and get 500 clicks, then your average CPC is $0.2.

But what defines the cost per click? Three main parameters define the CPC of your ads:

  • Maximum bid. A bid that you set that represents the most you are willing to pay for every click on your ad
  • Quality score. An estimate of the quality of your ads, keywords, and landing pages. It’s reported on a 1-10 scale.
  • Ad rank. The value that Google Ads uses to determine an ad’s position on the SERPs.

Also, keep in mind that much like any cost, the average cost per click changes around the world. US businesses are currently paying the highest cost, coming second only to the United Arab Emirates.

Furthermore, CPC gets higher the more competitive the industry is.

Average cost per action (CPA)

Also known as cost per acquisition, the CPA metric measures how much money you need to convert a user. 

Cost per action = Total spend / # of actions

So what counts as an action? An action is any desired goal you set. For example, an action for an eCommerce store can be when a visitor makes a purchase. Likewise, an action for a business that offers B2B services can be when a visitor completes a certain sign-up form.

As you probably guessed, the CPA is usually higher than the CPC. You first need to make the user click on your ad and then make them act.

In our CPC example, of all the 500 people that clicked on the Google Ad and visited your website, not each one of them took any action. Many of them just clicked the ad, spent a few seconds on your site, and then left (known as a bounce). 

Remember that we had spent $100 and got 500 clicks, with a CPC of $0.2?

Now, let’s say that 50 out of the 500 clicks actually made an action.

According to the formula, your CPA is $2.0.

4. Conversions

As with actions, a conversion is not a fixed metric. You define what counts as a conversion and then you can count said conversions.

To measure your conversion rate effectively, Google Ads has a simple function to do this job, called conversion tracking.

As an advertiser, you want to track all the conversions that your AdWords campaigns drive, including those that begin on one device or browser and end on another. By using the “Include cross-device conversions” setting, you can include these conversions in your “Conversions” column and factor them into any automated bid strategy that you’ve set up.

Cross-device conversion is a part of “All Conversion”. People learn about your business across multiple devices and screens. All conversions help you attribute your conversions — online, in-store visits, or over the phone — to the right campaign or ad group.

To measure cross-device conversion statistics, part of “All conversions,” Google uses aggregated and anonymized data from users who have previously signed into Google services. This allows Google to provide advertisers with highly accurate and granular reporting on cross-device behavior without compromising user privacy. Google only showes cross-device conversions when there’s enough data to make a highly accurate calculation. That means that to report this data, Google must have at least 95% confidence that the calculation is within 10% of the actual value.

5. Click-through rate (CTR)

This Google Ads metric counts the effectiveness and relevance of your ad. Accordingly, the click-through rate shows how often users click on your ad.

To calculate the CTR of an ad, you divide the number of clicks by the number of impressions. Since we’re talking about a rate, you then have to multiply that number by 100. Here’s the formula:

Click-through rate = # of clicks / # of impressions X100

For example, if your ad appeared 200 times and 15 people clicked on it, then your CTR is 7.5%.

So what is considered to be a good click-through rate? It’s said that the average CTR across all industries is 5%.

Average CTR by industry, source: instapage.com

Is there anything you can do to increase the CTR of your Google Ads? Yes, there is!

One of the best ways to increase the CTR of any of your ads is to write a better ad copy. When it comes to Google Ads copywriting, using emotional triggers, aiming at local audiences, and sounding natural are some of the best practices.

CTR by ad groups

An ad group in Google Ads is defined as the group of ads that are targeting a shared set of keywords. The Click-through rate by ad group is simply the click-through rate of each of your ad groups.

CTR by campaigns

A Google Ads campaign is a set of one or more ad groups. The click-through rate by campaigns is the CTR of any of these campaigns and tracks their effectiveness.

NB! You can compare two metrics using the drop-down menus just above the graph on the left. Click each drop-down menu and select the metric you’re interested in. For example, if you wanted to gauge the effectiveness of a particular keyword, you could choose to view impressions and clicks at the same time.

Top of page rate tells you how often your ad (or the ad of another participant, depending on which row you’re viewing) was shown at the top of the page, above the unpaid search results. The Auction insights report lets you compare your performance with other advertisers who are participating in the same auctions that you are. This information can help you make strategic decisions about bidding and budgeting choices by showing you where you’re succeeding and where you may be missing opportunities for improved performance. The Auction insights report is available for both Search and Shopping campaigns.