KPIs to Track for SEARCH

Fernando PeralesOnline advertising, Search Monetization, Traffic Acquisition, Traffic QualityLeave a Comment

When a campaign is launched for Search Engine Monetization, the massive data you have at hand to analyze might be challenging from time to time. According to your campaign objectives and strategy, the key performance indicators you need to focus may vary. It is vital though, and it is the number one rule to make sure that you know what you want to achieve with your campaign. Although you need to consider and carefully select the metrics that are the most aligned with your campaign and business goals, we gathered together some key performance indicators we track in our PPC campaigns for Search Optimization.

1 – CTR “Click Through Rate”

Before formulating CTR, let’s start with this; do we all agree that unless you get clicks for your campaigns, there will be no data worth to analyze? Unfortunately, this is a fact and it also simply explains why Click Through Rate is so important as an indicator.

The click through rate of a search campaign is measured by dividing the total number of clicks your campaign received in the period you have chosen to report by the total of impressions. It gives us the ratio between the number of times your ads were shown and the number of clicks your ads received.

Please note that there is no certain and stable CTR rate in Search, it changes according to the business’ industry and other variables. While the average CTR is around 2.7% in the E-commerce industry, it is around 6% in Dating & Personals industry. Also, bear in mind that Google rewards the advertisers using Ad Extensions, ad extensions play an important role in CTR-boosting. Besides, ad extensions such as callout extensions, sitelink extensions, price extensions etc. let you give more information to users at once. When your ad offers more information, a user is more likely to click on your ad.

Below you may see examples for Ad and Ad Extensions for the same search term in both Google and Bing platforms.


2 – CR “Conversion Rate”

Conversion Rate is basically the success rate your business gets and you can decide what defines success for your search campaigns. While for a news website, this could be the number of people who read a certain article you published; for a downloading website, it could be the number of programs that were downloaded after the click you received for your campaign. If you are in e-commerce, then this could either be the number of people that registered their email on your website or the number of people who purchased a product.

Bing Ads, as a search engine with billions of monthly searches per month, offers its advertisers a valuable intelligence tool called “Auction Insights Report” in which you can see your key performance statistics as well as your competitors. Using this report, you can see how you compare to the competition and have an understanding of how to increase your conversion rate. As an advertiser the best approach would be to use both Bing Ads and Google AdWords in your Search Campaigns. Keep in mind that Bing Ads reach around 63 million searchers that aren’t reached with Google AdWords and we do not think that you would want to miss this great opportunity.

Conversion rate is measured by dividing the number of conversions your campaign received by the total clicks. It is a significant indicator for optimization. When you see your CR at keyword level, you can even optimize your campaigns more deeply and use this to your advantage to avoid unnecessary campaign costs.


3 – “Budget to Run Campaigns”

Undoubtedly the budget you will attain for your campaigns depends on the amount of money you would like to invest in digital marketing. Remember, your goal is to maximize the results you will get with the bid you enter in the market and this market has ongoing fluctuations all the time. In this non-stop PPC auction, you want to get the most out of your budget. In AdWords, you have two options to select your campaign budget in Search. Either you can use a shared budget for a few campaigns at the same time or you can set an individual budget for each campaign you have.

Please think over the daily budget you will set for your campaigns to avoid over-spending at the end of the month. Although budget attainment is underestimated by a lot of marketers, it is a KPI in Search Engine Optimization.

At JOT Internet Media, while buying highly qualified traffic, as a result of our company’s performance-driven focus, we only work with our partners on a profit or revenue share basis. We convert the way of working from “you lose, but we always win” to the “win-win” attitude.


4 – “Average Position”

You launched your campaign and are ready to see the results, but at which position your ad is shown in most of the time? On Google or Bing’s Search Engine Results Page (SERP), your ad might be shown in the 1st position or this might be 3rd, 4th etc. Ad rank is determined by your quality score and max bid. So just bidding high does not mean that you will have a high average position.

Take into account that being in 1st position does not always mean that you will get the best out of your advertisement. You may have more results by being in 3rd position of 1st. Being 2nd or 4th is not being a loser, in fact, sometimes you will see an increase in your Conversion Rate when average position drops. Here is an example from one of our partners:

As you can see here, the first one with an average position of 2.9 has a lower position than the second campaign, but it is more successful than the second one, because it has a lower cost per conversion and its conversion rate is more than double.



5 – CPC “Cost Per Click”

As an advertiser, you can manually select your bid for your ads, remember though it is a PPC auction land and the cost will be determined according to other competitors in the market. Your campaign cost is basically your “cost per click” x “number of clicks your campaign received”. If you want to lower your CPCs without losing traffic, make sure that you use relevant keywords and ads for the landing page you send traffic to. Bear in mind that Google crawlers want to see relevancy when they reach your landing page through your keywords and ads.

You can also use AdWords’ Search Term Report and Keyword Planner Tool to obtain relevant keywords. Both tools help advertisers identify new keywords with high potential and most importantly keywords that will trigger the ads for the right audience.

We are sure you do not want to lower your bids at the risk of losing volume. Although we recommend you not to spend the budget of your campaigns on keywords not converting profitably, you should be careful in the analysis of top-performing keywords. Always consider if it is worth saving 20% on CPC if your traffic decreases by 40%; the answer is No.


6 – QS “Quality Score”

Remember: Quality Score, a numerical scale of 1-10, is the key indicator for your Ad Rank, ad eligibility, and CPC. You can consider your AdWords Quality Score as high when it is between 6-10. If your expected CTR in Google’s perspective is low, ad relevance or landing page experience is poor, it is inevitable to get low Quality Score. In other words, you are competing with a lot of other advertisers, probably using the same keywords and Google has to decide Ad Rank for each ad and Quality Score has an impact on this.


Here you see the advertisers competing for the same keyword.

In most cases using negative keywords can be useful to avoid wasting money and clicks on irrelevant queries. This way, you can also prevent your Quality Score from dropping. It is always useful to keep an eye on the keywords that got high impressions, but very low clicks. It is also recommended to use Quality Score and Conversion Rate at the same time while optimizing your Search campaigns.


7 – ROI “Return on Investment”

At the end of the day what matters is achieving the best return on investment with a satisfactory amount of traffic to your website. You should optimize your campaigns as a combination of other key performance indicators and ROI for success.

In summary, all marketers should keep an eye on key performance indicators. Although we have mentioned just a few and very critical ones here, there are many other metrics that also matter.


Hope this article helped clear a few things out. And remember, if you need any help or support, you know where to find us!


Sinem Afsin, Account Manager

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.