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Paid Search Metrics

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Digital Marketing - Study Notes:

Okay, so we’ve a large range of metrics available to us to optimize in paid search campaigns for either performance of the campaign or for conversions.

  • Impressions: The number of times an ad is served to audiences
  • Clicks: How often an ad is clicked
  • Cost-Per-Click (CPC): The actual price paid for each click in a PPC campaign
  • Click-Through-Rate (CTR): The % number of impressions that lead to a click
  • Cost-Per-Impression (CPM): The cost for serving a batch of 1,000 impressions (not a standard search metric, mostly associated with display)
  • Cost-Per-Acquisition (CPA): How much it costs in PPC advertising media spend to generate a sale/conversion
  • Average position: Where an ad is shown on a search result page
  • Conversion: An action an advertiser has defined as valuable on a website, such as purchase, or contact form completion
  • Conversion rate: The % number of clicks that turned into conversions
  • Cost per conversion: The total cost of generating traffic divided by the total number of conversions
  • Impression share: The number of impressions received divided by the estimated number of impressions that were available
  • Click-/impression-assisted conversions: The number of conversions that were assisted by a particular campaign, ad group, or keyword
  • Quality score: An estimate of how relevant your ads, keywords and landing page are to a person seeing your ad

Performance metrics in Google Ads

To see these metrics and Google Ads and likewise in Bing, we can use the columns filter, which is just below the graph. And then we’re presented with several different metric buckets, such as performance, visibility, conversions, competitive metrics, and things like that. And within each of those buckets, there are a number of metrics that we can choose to add to our columns. When we add these to our columns, we can save this suite of metrics. And when we download a report, these are the metrics that we’ll download.

We can save different types of metrics suites. So if we wanted to look at a purely performance cost-based metric suite, so we just have cost per click and a cost per conversion as our three metrics in there. We might call these costs or commercial. And then if we want to just focus on conversions, we might just have metrics that are just around conversions. And we can toggle very easily between our different column sets. We can also use filters to segment our data on the fly. So we can use the search bar to identify campaigns or to identify audiences or to identify areas, which is just below the graph.


We can use filters to see our data in a non-permanent way. And when we download that report, it will download with those filters. And we’re also able to add additional segments and custom segments to our reporting. So for example, when you download your report, you’re given a number of options around downloading as a CSV, or an Excel, or a PDF, or whatever it may be.


When you click the More Options feature, you’re able to add different segments, including day, months, quarter, time stuff, and other predefined options around how exactly you would like to segment that data. This is important in the identification piece. Remember, we have to see where are the high converters. If we can find out where are the high converters, we can then draw that insight. Once we draw that insight and understand where they are, we can apply the correct actions to our campaign to optimize and this is where the framework really fits into the segmentation process.

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Cathal Melinn

Cathal Melinn is a digital strategist, lecturer, and trainer. He has over 15 years’ experience in eCommerce, social media, affiliate marketing, data analytics, and all things digital. He worked at Yahoo! Search in 2005 as a Senior Search Strategist for the UK Financial Services vertical. He moved to the world of agency in 2010 as Head of Search and Online Media. Cathal’s previous clients include Apple, Vodafone, Expedia, Virgin, Universal Music Group, Amazon, Compare the Market, and HSBC.

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    Paid Search
    Cathal Melinn
    Skills Expert

    This module begins with the key concepts of paid search and demonstrates how to set up a Google Ads account and create a paid search campaign. It explains how to manage a paid search campaign budget effectively and outlines the different methods that can be used to optimize your paid search campaign. It also covers how to measure and report on the success of a paid search campaign.