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Google Ads 101: Evaluating Performance

You’ve made it through the set-up process and launched your Google Ads – congrats! Once your ads have been running for a few weeks (I recommend waiting 3-4 weeks), it’s time to do a check-up. When you log into Google Ads, you’ll see charts and graphs and lots of numbers – whoa. So how do you interpret that info and figure out how your ads are really performing? That, my friend, is the question I’m here to answer.

Why You Need to Track Ad Performance

Tracking your ads’ performance is the only way to keep your ads up-to-date and effective. Tracking your metrics will give you insight into which ads are working and which need to be tweaked or scrapped entirely. You can easily determine whether or not your ads are helping you meet your goals and grow your business!

Insights from analyzing your metrics will give you an idea of where you stand in ad rankings and what ads are most effective. Learning which ads appeal to your potential customers will give you the information you need to make more successful campaigns in the future and optimize your existing ads. When your ads perform better, you will have a higher CTR and more sales – who doesn’t want a more successful business?

What You Should Monitor

The metrics that affect how successful your ads are will vary depending on what your goal is, what your target audience is, what field you are in, etc. However, there are some metrics that every user should track because they will give you insight into your overall Google Ads performance. I suggest that everyone analyze clicks, impressions, CTR, and conversions (if they are set up and connected through Google Analytics) – all of these will help you diagnose what is going wrong and what is working with your ads. First, I’m going to give you some more details on the metrics everybody should consider. Then I’ll elaborate on goal-specific metrics. Action items are in bold and italics.

Metrics Everyone Should Consider

You should also keep an eye on your Ad Relevance because it tells you the relationship between your ads and their keywords. By tracking this metric, you will be able to find out if your ads and keywords are specific enough to appeal to a potential customer. It also impacts your Ad Rank, which will determine if your ad will show up in searches. Continuously monitor your Ad Relevance – when it begins to drop, you’ll know that it’s time to update.

Keywords are an important part of Google Ads, as you know from the entire post about choosing the right keywords! Tracking the metrics on your keywords are just as important as choosing them because they determine when your ad has an opportunity to appear. Check your keyword status often because it will tell you which keywords are not eligible for your ad. Remove any keywords that aren’t helping you get clicks!

Many things affect your Quality Score, so you’ll want to track this for each ad. You need to know if the changes you made are positively affecting your ad’s performance or not over a period of time. Also, make sure to pay attention to the search terms that push users to your ads, because these can offer insight into keywords or viewpoints that you may be missing in your advertising.

Also keep an eye on which devices are being used to search for you the most, and what keywords are working for specific devices. Keeping an eye on this will allow you to optimize your mobile ads even further and make sure you’re not missing out on loads of potential customers!

Goal Specific Metrics

The top 3 common goals among Google Ads users: increasing traffic, increasing sales and conversions, and raising brand awareness. Since I am giving you an overview of which metrics are important to track, I will only be giving a brief overview of what to look for, but Google offers detailed information on what to measure for each of these goals and I have included links to the pages.

  • Increasing Traffic – Choosing this goal means you want to convince potential customers to click through to your website – your focus here should be to look at your CTR, keywords, and search terms. You should try and boost your Ad Relevance by making your ad copy and keywords clear and specific. You’re going to want to constantly replace outdated keywords and use the search terms to incorporate new keywords. The average CTR for Google Ads across industries is around 2%, so anything better than that would be considered above average. If your CTR is lower than 2%, it’s time to make changes.
  • Increasing Sales and Conversions – This goal aims to have potential customers turn into buyers quickly and easily. You should pay attention to your conversion rates and landing page reports (found under Predefined Reports). To effectively track your conversion rate, you need to have Google Analytics connected and have conversion tracking turned on. Use these metrics to strengthen the connection between your ad copy and the landing page to increase the likelihood of a conversion. Compare your cost per conversion to your increase in sales – consider the lifetime value of a customer. As long as you break even (or if you make a profit!), then you’re doing ok. The goal is to gain new customers from cold traffic that then become repeat customers through your CRM!
  • Raising Brand Awareness – You are looking to connect with your potential customers and increase your reach so that more people know about your brand when you choose this goal. Here the most important metrics are engagements and impressions because they will show how many people are being exposed to and interacting with your brand. In this case, you’re still looking for a number around 2% or higher.

How to Monitor Your Metrics

There are a few ways to track your performance – statistics tables and predefined reports are simple reports that Google has already generated, and custom reports are more detailed reports that you must create. I recommend using the statistics tables and predefined reports when you are first starting, and moving on to custom reports later if you need to analyze very specific metrics. Here is a brief overview of each report type.

Statistics Tables

This report type does not require you to select the metrics for each table because it automatically generates charts that are shown at the top of each page. For example, if you go to the keywords tab, there will be a chart at the top of the page with information about your keywords automatically provided for you. You can change what is shown in the table and chart by using the Filter, Segment, and Columns buttons, along with the drop-down menus in the top right corner. These charts can be easily customized directly in that section, or saved and exported to the Report Editor for further customization. You can also download these reports and schedule them to be emailed to you on a set timeframe. Statistics tables are great for a basic overview of your performance, but predefined reports offer a little more insight into your ad’s performance.

Predefined Reports

These are similar to statistics tables in that Google generates these premade reports, but they are more detailed. You can find these under the reporting icon at the top right of your Google Ads homepage. There are many options to choose from so find which work best for you. Predefined reports are awesome because they offer varying degrees of detail and are time-saving tools for analyzing your metrics. Just like statistics tables, they can be downloaded, scheduled, and saved to be customized further.

Custom Reports

These reports have to be made from scratch using the Report Editor. To create these you click on the reports icon and select reports from the menu. Once on the reports page, you can see all of your saved reports and create a new report by clicking the + to the left of the page. Select what type of chart or table you want, then you can drag and drop whatever metrics you want into the editor. You can get very specific details from these reports if you take the time to make them, but it is easier to customize a predefined report to get the information you need (except in cases where there isn’t a predefined report).

Dashboards – Your Ultimate Performance Resource

Dashboards are a fantastic tool to compile all of your performance data, tables, and charts in one, easy-to-access place. You can get to your dashboards by clicking on the reporting icon, then selecting Dashboards. From here you can create a new dashboard by clicking the blue + icon on the left side of the page. Add items to your dashboard by clicking on the + icon again and choosing a reporting option. You can add saved reports or create a report right from your dashboard. Scorecards (basic overviews of metrics you select) are also available to be added to dashboards, so use them to your advantage to keep track of metrics that are important for your business. Your dashboard, just like all other reports, can be downloaded and sent to your email on a set schedule. Your dashboards can be the ultimate performance tracking tools once you get them set up, and since you can have multiple, you can organize the reports however you see fit.

Now that you have learned how to gauge your ad’s performance, make sure to check in on it regularly! To be honest, I usually stop by my dashboards once a day just to take a peek at performance. Use the information you gather to improve your ads and you should see a rise in your return-on-investment (ROI). When I make changes, I wait 2-3 weeks before comparing numbers to see if things have improved. Analyzing these metrics and tweaking your ads for optimal performance will ensure that your Google Ads work for the long term.

There you have it – now you’re a Google Ads Master! You now have the tools and information you need to launch and maintain a successful Google Ads Campaign. If you need help with ad copy, landing pages, or Google Ads management along the way, don’t hesitate to reach out to the LETSDEVELOP.TV. You’ve got a lot on your plate and this process can be time-consuming! We’re here to help take your online presence to the next level – all you have to do is contact us.

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