What Do Your PPC Results Tell You?

Written by - 06/01/2016

While it may seem like there is already a lifetime’s worth of statistics and data in the back end of your Adwords account, this only tells half the story. To fully understand the successes (and failings) of your PPC campaign, you need to get Google Analytics involved.

Before you go diving into charts and graphs and drowning in the numbers, it’s important you set goals and be realistic with your expectations. Goals should always be driven by a return on investment, regardless of whether that’s online sales for a eCommerce website, or leads and enquiries for a B2B company. Be conservative to begin with, work out your spend and ultimately what you need back in order for it to be successful, once that’s sorted and your account is rolling, it’s time to start analysing the data.

Ensure your Adwords and Analytics accounts are connected by visiting the ‘Linked accounts’ page (it’s hiding behind the cog in the top right) and then selecting Google Analytics in the left sidebar.

Navigating and understanding the Adwords data in Analytics is no different to analysing your website traffic. The most important metrics to look at initially, and information you won’t find elsewhere, is bounce rate and pages per session. These are great indicators of not only the quality of your ads and keywords, but your website as a whole.

What does a high bounce rate mean for my PPC campaigns?

You’ve enticed a user into clicking on your ad and they’ve landed on your website, great! But, analytics is showing a majority of that traffic is bouncing straight back off, not good. The worst thing to do in this situation is immediately blame your landing page. There could be a few things at fault;

  • Is your ad copy accurately reflecting your landing page? If a visitor lands and doesn’t find what they were expecting, they won’t go looking for it, they’ll leave.
  • Are you targeting the right keywords? If somebody is looking for reviews of a certain product and you take them straight to a page to buy it on with no reviews, expect them to bounce straight off.
  • Is your website broken, outdated or poorly designed? First impressions matter! A tired or suspicious looking website will drive visitors away.

Don’t start celebrating high pages per session too soon!

As a general rule, a campaign with a high number of pages per session would suggest a user is engaged with your content. However, consider the goal of your campaign. If you’re driving visitors to a product page, but instead of checking out they look at 5 different pages and then leave, while you’ll record a high pages per session, you’ve not converted! Don’t forget the overarching goal of PPC, conversions. Whether this comes after a user has visited 1 page or 10, if you’re not converting, your campaign is failing.

There’s no shame in second place

One of the easiest traps to fall into when analysing the success of a PPC campaign is getting hung up on average position. While ‘being the top of Google’ may be every website owner’s dream, this number means nothing in the grand scheme of things. It’s possible to convert visitors from positions two and three, in fact it can often be cheaper to do so. If you are regularly seeing conversions in position two, weigh up the increased costs of pushing for position one and how much of an impact this is likely to have on conversions. You may find at the end of the day you’re better off where you are.

The biggest failing of a PPC account is setting it up and forgetting about it. Campaigns need constant monitoring and optimisations, take the data available and improve because of it. If you are interested in seeing if Google Adwords could work for your business, or you’re not sure you’re seeing the best results possible, get in touch to find out what we can do for you.