13 Metrics Every PPC Report Should Have

Metrics, whether for PPC or email, can be tied back to four basic lifecycle stages: attracting, engaging, converting, and renewing. In an ongoing effort of consistency in multi-channel marketing, we'll take a look at how these same stages can apply to your PPC efforts, as reflected in your reports.

Attract Engage Convert Renew

Depending on the frequency of your reporting, here are 13 suggested metrics to include:

14 PPC Report Metrics

Stage 1: Attract

  • Impressions

I follow a simple list of three questions that keeps me on track every single time:

  • Is this the right message?
  • Is this the right audience?
  • Is this the right time?

In PPC terms, this would translate to techniques like keyword choice, targeting, and bidding. But these techniques should be informed by an overarching goal of delivering the right message to the right audience at the right time.

Stage 2: Engage

  • Clicks
  • CTR

Perhaps my favorite stage in the cycle, engaging brings out true creativity. An instant shift from left brain to right brain that allows you to write compelling ad copy that merits a click. Here are five ad writing tips to get you in a creative mindset.

Stage 3: Convert

  • Conversion
  • Cost
  • Cost Per Conversion
  • Conversion Rate
  • Revenue Per Conversion
  • ROI
  • Average Position
  • Average CPC

We often tend to think of ROI in terms of sales, singling out websites that don't sell online. ROI doesn't need to be tied to a dollar amount generated by the ad clicker or site visitor. It can be the value of your pageviews, leads, etc.

You'll need to start by properly installing Conversion Tracking and Analytics tools. This will help you keep a pulse on important numbers like total revenue, total cost, and advertising cost.

Tracking, reporting on, and analyzing these metrics will help you:

  • Make smarter bidding decisions.
  • Focus on your most profitable ads and keywords.

Stage 4: Renew

  • Returning Visitors
  • Returning Visitors Revenue

One of two things can happen in Stage 3. Either the visitor converts by achieving your goals, or they don't. In either case, they are still valuable to you.

  • If they converted: You have infinite opportunities to build loyalty through repeat purchases, incentives, and promotions.
  • If they didn't convert: The opportunity is equally valuable. Go after them with smart and targeted remarketing campaigns, and analyze their path to determine why the conversion didn't occur. 
    • Was it a technical problem with your site? 
    • Did they not find what they were looking for? 
    • Were your prices too high? 
    Regardless of the reasons for not converting, there's valuable insight to be inferred from the analytics, or even site satisfaction surveys.

Learn & Repeat

It's important to remember that this process is repetitive. Learnings and insights from each step should dictate your strategy the next time around. Weaknesses identified in each stage of the cycle will reveal holes in your funnel where prospects are falling off, and potential areas of improvement and optimization.

More important than measuring and tracking is actually taking action. Make sure your metrics are actionable, not just reportable!

About the author

Named one of the top 20 most influential PPC experts by PPC Hero, Noran is a digital marketing consultant, columnist, speaker and instructor. She is a board member of the local Los Angeles chapter of SEMPO, as well as an Associate Instructor of the Master Certification in Conversion Optimization Course at Market Motive.

She specializes in analyzing the PPC customer journey, creating buyer momentum and optimizing their experience from click to conversion. Her passion for understanding today's customer is a key driver to her analysis of industry trends and keeping up with the latest in PPC, voice of customer, analytics, and conversion optimization.

In addition to writing for publications such as SES Magazine and ClickZ, Noran is also a frequent speaker at the SES conferences, the Internet Marketing Conference and the Online Marketing Summit.

When Noran is not online, she is either traveling or diving with sharks in the Red Sea.