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Analyzing Google Ads KPIs 101

By: Abdi Morrison

You’re a digital marketer who's been managing a Google Ads account for an extended period. After a month of running ads on the Google search network, you decide to take a bird’s eye view of the account to analyze the overall health of its campaign(s). You look at the numbers in Google Ads and/or in Optmyzr, and you see data on all the performance metrics in the account. What performance metrics should you look for? Which metrics provide an accurate and relevant account of the performance of your campaigns, and which metrics should be ignored? The key performance indicators (KPI) that you should look out for are different for lead generation and E-commerce businesses.

Analyzing E-Commerce Business Data

E-commerce KPIs are ones that are related to return on ad spend (ROAS). E-commerce businesses are primarily concerned with making sure that they generate more money in revenue than they spend in advertising, so the most important KPI for them is conversion value. If the data in the “conv val'' column in Google Ads is greater than the number in the “cost” column, then you have gotten a positive return on your ad spend.

If for example, you have a target ROAS of 2x and your campaign has a conversion value of 3.5x, then you can consider experimenting with slightly increasing your target ROAS to take advantage of your campaign’s good performance. Raising the target ROAS can be a good way to make sure that Google consistently maintains a high ROAS for your campaign but there are tradeoffs, including potential declines in impressions.  

Analyzing Lead Generation Business Data

Lead gen KPIs are based on getting as many leads as possible, for as little a cost per acquisition (CPA) as possible. The KPIs that matter here are the total number of conversions you accumulated over a period, and the average cost of those conversions (cost per conversion). The “cost/conv” column in Google Ads will tell you how much money your campaign spends on average to get a lead. You’d like this number to be as small as possible because that will increase the total amount of leads that you can potentially get within your budget. 

A good rule of thumb to follow when analyzing your CPA data is to look at it over a 30-day time span and see if your cost/conv is significantly less than your target CPA. If that’s the case, then you can experiment with lowering your target CPA in order to get more leads at a lower cost.

Clicks and Impressions Are Not the Be All End All

Unless your advertising goals are related to brand exposure and brand awareness, you should not be overly concerned with how many clicks and impressions your campaign(s) gets. Those metrics are an indicator of the strength of your keywords and of how often users interact with your ads, but they shouldn’t be the main area of focus when you’re trying to analyze performance data. You can have a ton of impressions and clicks with great click through rates (CTRs), but if users are not purchasing your product or giving you their email, then the only thing you’ve succeeded in is bringing users to your website or landing page.


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