5 Overlooked PPC Account Metrics

Overlooked PPC Metric Eric Featured
Eric Yarnik
December 10, 2014

As a PPC analyst, it seems we always encounter client accounts that hit a plateau at some point. We are no longer increasing account performance as rapidly as we once were, or perhaps it is a smaller client where keyword level optimizations are no longer significantly impacting performance.

Are you struggling to find ways to improve an account and show even more efficiency and return on ad spend? Be sure to pay attention to these (sometimes) overlooked metrics, as they can make the difference in PPC success.


1) Quality Score

Quality score is Google’s way of estimating the quality of ads for any given keyword, taking into account the expected clickthrough rate, ad relevance, and landing page. Google doesn’t provide any other specific details on what goes into calculating quality score, but as an advertiser this is a number that you can in fact control, and higher quality scores can make all the difference.

Be sure to note what your quality scores are for keywords across all your campaigns. If some of your keywords have scores from 1-6, you can try to improve upon that by changing your ad copy with a more relevant message pertaining to your account keywords, or change or edit the landing page, to provide a more relevant user experience.

Quality score is relative, and a keyword needs to gather a good amount of data in order for Google’s system to adjust quality score. Finding high spend keywords that have quality scores of 3 and improving them to 6 can decrease your average cost-per-click, thus giving you more clicks under your budget, likely followed by more conversions and increased efficiency overall.


2) Impression Share

Understanding impression share within your account can help you make the right optimizations in order to increase conversions. By looking at your search impression share, you can really understand where each campaign is falling short.

But what does it mean to have a low impression share? If it is low, you are missing out on a percentage of daily impressions and potential conversions. If you have a low impression share, analyze the lost impression share (IS) metrics by ad rank and budget. For example, if you have a high percentage of IS lost by budget, you can increase your budget to earn more impressions and hopefully conversions. If your IS lost by rank is very high, you need to increase ad rank by increasing CPC bids or quality score in order to gain more impressions.


3) Day and Hourly Metrics

Another easy way to increase account performance is to segment your account data by daily and hourly reports. Certain industries and clients may have different times in which users are more actively looking to convert. For example, one client might drive all their conversions during business hours. We could then take the action to make a negative bid adjustment through the night and early morning (or turn ads off altogether doing that time) in order to allocate more budget during our most successful time.

Also be mindful of any day trends. Segmenting the data by day can help you increase efficiency by allocating more spend during more competitive, higher converting days. For example, a B2B client might have a lot of wasted spend on the weekend, without many conversions, so you could put a negative bid adjustment for Saturday-Sunday and increase bids during the business week.


4) Location Metrics

If your client is targeting a wide geographic range, you should definitely keep tabs on which cities are using however much of the budget, and how conversion rates vary by city. Due to many factors, average CPCs can vary drastically for the same keyword in different locations, and you do not want to be allocating a lot of spend to an area that isn’t engaging and converting. This is another place where setting negative bid adjustments can allow for more budget to cities with higher conversion rates, further maximizing the efficiency of your budget.


5) Ad Extension Metrics

As a best practice, every account should utilize as many ad extensions as possible in order to provide a better ad experience for the user, and also to use more ad space than your competitors. Sitelink, call, callout, review, and location extensions are all valuable additions that can drive more phone calls and increase clickthrough rate. However, you can’t know for sure without actually analyzing this ad extension data.

In addition to the typical A/B testing in an account, testing which sitelink headlines, promotions, and third-party review source increases CTR or conversions can help attain a few more conversions even though you might feel the account performance has plateaued.

Become familiar with these metrics if you are not already, as they can effectively increase account performance. When optimizing for these metrics along with general keyword level optimizations, any account should continue to increase performance, and as a result, make clients happy.


Are there other metrics that you think are especially important to pay attention to? Comment below, email us at info@perfectsearchmedia.com, or tweet us @Perfect_Search!



Eric Yarnik
Director, Search & Social Advertising

Eric Yarnik is a Northwestern University Alum who considers writing the Perfect Search Ping Pong Power Rankings Column to be one of his favorite tasks at work. If he had to pick one fictional character to be friends with, it’d have to be the one who lives in a pineapple under the sea.

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