The Pay Per Click metrics you need to watch

Author: Dan The Marketeer
Date: May 4, 2020

Pay Per Click (PPC) Ads come in many shapes and forms — There’s Facebook, Google, Twitter, Linkedin, Youtube and so on. They more or less all work the same, with certain platforms coming with additional features.

Youtube, for example, allows the running of ads on other peoples channels — i.e. competitors, if their settings at not switched to stop this.

Google can also be used to advertise on searches made specifically for your competitors — so your ads show above their own website!

Anyway, that’s not the point of today’s post.

Today I want to talk about stats and KPI’s. If you’re running ANY marketing, you need to have a good grasp of your stats and measure them often. I have a 3 step system which I use for all of my clients' marketing, to ensure they get the best results at the minimum cost:

Test: Testing different ads, audiences, images, videos, offers, landing pages, etc.

Measure: Measuring all of the results and specifically certain stats which I’m going to share today.

Optimize: Learn from the results, and use only the best tests and constantly improve.

It’s not enough however to simply know you need to measure your marketing. General stats, such as spend, return on investment etc are a good start but you need to go deeper.

The problem I often find however is uses of PPC ads get confused — and to be fair to a first time user, trying to create an ad never mind understand it’s statistics can seem an impossible task.

It’s not helped by the fact that all PPC platforms give access to an absolute tonne of data. Don’t get me wrong, it’s good to be transparent and all stats have their usage.

However it often just adds to the confusion. That’s why I thought it would be a good idea to share the main stats of all PPC ads that need to be measured the most.


Probably the most obvious, PPC ad cost needs to be controlled and measured. Each PPC platform has multiple levels of ads. Facebook for example has the Campaign tier, Ad Set tier and then finally Ad tier. So costs can come at all levels, and tell you different information at each tier.

At a minimum, you need to know your daily spend, the budget you have and ensure you’re only spending what you want to. It’s also important to make sure you’re spending enough.

Badly optimized or mis-configured ads can lead to ad budget not being spent or anywhere near — so watch out for that!


All PPC ads include different levels of interaction — there are things like Reach which is the amount of people an ad has been shown to. Other platforms make it clearer with Views. These stats are important, but the main interaction you want to look out for are Clicks.

Clicking is the first action you want anybody looking at your ads to do — they’ve read your ad, watched a vid, seen an image — and are interested enough to click through to your website/landing page.

Knowing precisely which ads get you the most Clicks is crucial.

Cost Per Click (CPC)

Having both Cost & Clicks mean you now know the Cost Per Click. Again, this is essential to optimizing any and all PPC ads. An ad may look like it’s doing great because it has 100 clicks, but if the cost per click is too high it may be better to put more budget into other ads.


This is where things get a little more complicated. Cost & Clicks are simple, they are what they’re called. Conversion, however, is a wider term for an action. Depending on what your ad is advertising, people can take different actions after they have clicked your Ad. The most common forms of conversions are:

Registering — for a webinar, event, email newsletter, etc.

Opt In — submitted their email to download a free lead magnet (guide, checklist, ebook etc.)

Purchased — bought something.

All PPC ads can be programmed so it’s easy to measure the number of conversions each ad achieved. Facebook, for example, has its pixel that can go on websites/funnels and be used to track actions. All others have their own ways too.

Conversion is again so critical — it wouldn’t be on my little list if it wasn’t. You could have the best ad in the world, getting you thousands of clicks at a tiny cost — but if that ad is not converting, i.e. leading to people taking the action you want then it’s not actually performing.

Equally, ads with a poor cost per click may seem bad but if it has a high conversion rate it’s actually doing great.

Cost Per Conversion

Again, we now need to link the stat of Conversion with Cost. An ad might bring in the majority of the conversions, but if the cost per conversion is above the price you’re willing to pay then it may need shutting off.

This leads to another important stat, which is more generic to marketing as a whole so I haven’t specifically included here. The stat is the target cost per conversion — what you’re willing to spend to get that one action. This is impacted by so many other stats — such as profit on an action, cash flow and so many other things. It goes beyond Marketing.

Conversion Rate

Lastly, and this is a biggy. Conversion rate. Another confusing stat, but one that is paramount. A conversion rate is the % of people who took action.

Specifically for PPC, it’s the % of Clicks that Converted. For example, a campaign generated 1,000 clicks and lead to 100 conversions.

That’s a conversion rate of 10%.

The conversion rate tells many stories, in particular how the landing page/website performs towards getting that conversion. But it also reveals something that is often neglected too.

It reveals how well a particular audience likes the offer. Multiple audiences and groups of people should be tested on PPC ads, and some will lead to higher conversion rates than others.

Whilst these are the main stats I’d suggest everybody measure from their PPC ads, measurement should not stop there. People are going onto websites/landing pages, perhaps through several other stages of actions. Each need to be measured, working out conversion rates. This will allow these steps to be optimized and so on.

Optimization should never, ever, ever stop. It’s a constant process, without which all marketing is doomed to fail. Even the best marketing campaign in the world will eventually falter — it’s inevitable, people change and their preferences do too.

Constantly test, measure and optimize all PPC ads and all marketing — and constantly keep on top and in charge.

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