The PPC Metrics That Matter Most

December 5, 2011
Which PPC metrics matter most?

I spend a lot of time analyzing and explaining Pay-per-click metrics like impressions, clicks, and cost. These are important factors, but you need to dig deeper when determining a campaign’s success. Here’s the four metrics that really matter in PPC.

Bounce rate

Your ads may get thousands of clicks, but have you checked your bounce rate? If people are leaving your website without looking at any other page but the one on which they first landed, you’re losing potential business.

Pages per visit

If a visitor doesn’t bounce off your website, how many pages do they end up viewing? Is your content interesting enough—and your site’s design and navigation simple enough—to make it easy and enjoyable for users to click around and read more?

Time on site

How long does the average visitor stay on your site? Low time on site averages can be an indication that your content isn’t compelling to visitors; on the other hand, a visitor who spends a large amount of time on your website may be a more qualified business prospect.

Conversions

Finally—and in my opinion most importantly—are visitors to your site converting? Are they downloading content, commenting on blogs and videos, or asking for more information by filling out your contact form or giving you a call? You may have a low bounce rate, and your visitors may view lots of your pages and spend hours on your website — but if they’re not becoming leads and customers, how long do you think you’ll stay in business?

The secret to great PPC

The secret to lowering bounce rate and increasing time spent on site, pages viewed, and conversions is pretty simple: make it easy for visitors to find what they want.

  • Make sure your ads and website content match, and make your content compelling. Provide value by answering questions and solving the visitor’s problem.
  • Interlink your website’s pages. If you mention a price list on one of your services pages, link to your price list right there — make it easy for visitors to move from page to page.
  • Embed a conversion form at the bottom of your most-trafficked pages. Let people request a quote or fill out your contact form without having to click to a different page.
  • When in doubt, use A/B testing (this goes for your PPC ads as well as your page’s content).

Pay-per-click advertising does not have a “set it and forget it” option. The best way to succeed is to consistently be monitoring, testing, and adjusting your strategy, using as your guide the metrics discussed here.

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[Image: Valerie Everett]