There are many reasons that small business owners love to use pay per click, or PPC advertising. One of the most powerful reasons is because PPC reports make it the easiest form of advertising to monitor and update instantly.
Tracking the performance of an advertising campaign is an extremely valuable resource to a small business. Larger companies may have an entire marketing division that is able to perform advertising tracking, but small business owners do not have this resource. However, using PPC reports can give small business owners the same advantages previously held by big corporations.
Of course, you need to know how to read, interpret, and respond to PPC reports. Here are a few important report sections you should know and what they tell you.
Campaign Level Reports
The campaign level report provided by search engines is the “overview” or the big picture of your campaign. For example, you can use campaign level reports to see how June results compare to July results. Or use this as a way to track and plot performance over a long period of a time, such as one year.
Account and Keyword Reports
These reports give you the nitty-gritty about a specific ad or keyword. Here are a few headings you will see in an account report:
Impressions – This will tell you how many times your ad appears through Google placement.
Clicks and Clickthrough Rate – You will be able to see the actual number of clicks on your ad. The search engine should also provide you with a clickthrough rate (CTR), which is the number of actual clicks divided by the number of impressions.
Cost per Click – You should also be able to tell the total cost for your account, as well as the cost per click (CPC). If your CPC is high, perhaps you need to consider alternative and less expensive keywords. If it is lower than your budget, consider upping your bid on that keyword to increase your placement.
Conversion and Conversion Rate – Here you can discern exactly how many clicks resulted or converted into a sale. If you are seeing a satisfactory conversion rate that meets your expectations, your campaign is on its way to success! However, if your conversions are low, this is where you start to “tweak” your ads, keyword choices, and landing pages to try and make it more successful.
Combining the instantaneous results of a PPC report with the conversion rates of your various landing pages translate into a powerful measuring stick for your ad campaigns.