Measuring traffic to your website

If your main advertising goal is to increase traffic to your site, try focusing on increasing your clicks and clickthrough rate (CTR). Start by creating great ad text and strong keywords to make ads that are highly relevant and very compelling to your customers, then closely monitor your clicks, CTR, keywords, and search terms.

Why worry about the relationship between ad text and keywords? Think of a rowboat and an oar, and the way that they work together to reach a destination. Good keywords can steer a tightly connected ad towards the right customers, boosting your clicks and CTR.

What to measure

Here are some important things you can measure to help you track and improve a campaign that's focused on traffic:

  • Clicks and clickthrough rate (CTR): These two metrics help you understand how many people found your ad compelling enough to actually click on it and visit your website. You can measure clicks and CTR at all levels of your account. For example, you can see how many clicks an entire campaign, ad group, or ad received, or you can see how many clicks individual keywords have generated after triggering your ads. On the Search Network, a good CTR is generally considered to be 1% or higher.
  • Keywords: Keep a close eye on keyword performance with these strategies:
    • Update your keyword lists regularly. Pause or remove the words that aren't working well for you (for example, if they have CTRs below 1%, or low Quality Scores) and add new ones. Add columns and segments to your statistics table on your Keywords tab for an overview of your keywords' clicks, CTR, Quality Scores, and more.
    • Use the four keyword matching options to help control who sees your ads. Add the Match type column to the statistics table on your Keywords tab to see how the different keyword matching options perform for you. With some options, you'll enjoy more ad impressions, clicks, and conversions. With others, you'll get fewer impressions and more narrow targeting.
    • For a comprehensive view of keyword quality, run a keyword diagnosis. It gives you information about your keywords' Quality Scores and whether they're triggering your ads. A Quality Score of 5 or higher is generally considered good.
  • Search terms: When you use broad-match keywords (the default setting), your ads can appear when someone searches for a variation of your keyword, like a similar phrase or related word. To see a list of searches that have triggered your ad, go to the Keywords tab of your account, click Keyword details, then select All. You can use this report to identify relevant terms that are driving traffic to your website, and then add them as new keywords. Or, if any of the keywords are irrelevant to your business, you can add them as negative keywords so they won't trigger your ads.

Tip

If a keyword has a green "Added" box next to it, then it means you already have that exact search term in your keyword list.

Example

If your campaign has the keyword digital cameras on broad match, the report may show that your ads appeared for the search query "digital cameras London." If your business sells to people in London, you could add this phrase as a keyword in your account. If you don't serve London, you could add London as a negative keyword to make sure your ad stops appearing on that search. By adding irrelevant search terms as negative keywords, you can help improve your clickthrough rate.

Next steps