What to track based on your advertising goals
Google AdWords is all about results. From the first time you create an ad, it's important to know what you want to gain from your campaign and how you're going to measure your success. Want to increase traffic to your website? Or increase sales, conversions, or ROI? Raise brand awareness? Like snowflakes, no two advertising campaigns are exactly alike, but many do share similar goals. Choose your goals below, and we'll show you the best data to track.
Remember, it's important to clearly identify and prioritize the specific goals you want to achieve with your AdWords ads, and then manage your campaigns based on those goals. Setting goals will help you make smart changes to improve performance.
What's your goal?Increase traffic to my website
Campaigns that are focused on increasing traffic might be created by an organization that wants to promote a new fundraising drive, or a business that would like to increase sales of a new product.Focus on: clicks, clickthrough rate, keyword performance, search terms
Increase clicks and CTR
If you want to use AdWords to increase traffic to your site, try to focus on increasing your clicks and clickthrough rate (CTR). You can achieve this by creating great ad text, organizing your ad groups by common theme, product, or goal, and creating smaller lists (20-30 terms long, for example) of tightly themed keywords to ensure that your ads are highly relevant and very compelling to your customers. Then it's important to monitor your performance closely. Get lots of other tips for creating successful text ads.
Maintain a good keyword list
You'll also want to keep an eye on the performance of your keywords, and remove and replace those that aren't working for you. As a general rule of thumb, a CTR of 1% or higher and a Quality Score of 5 and above indicates keywords that are performing well. However, this can vary between accounts, so it is up to you to decide whether or not the keyword is creating high-quality traffic.
Review your search terms
Search terms are another important thing to consider. AdWords lets you see a list of customer searches that have triggered your ad, and then add them as new keywords. Or, if you notice search terms that are irrelevant to your business, you can add them as negative keywords. The search terms report can help you distinguish between general traffic to your ads, and truly relevant traffic (in other words, the type of people you'd like to turn into customers).
Learn more about the best data to track when you want to increase traffic, and where to find it in your account.
Campaigns that are focused on increasing sales and conversions might be created by a company that wants to sell a lot of a particular product, or a non-profit organization that wants to encourage visitors to sign a petition for an important cause.Focus on: conversion data, landing pages
An AdWords conversion occurs when someone clicks on your ad and takes an action on your website that you think is valuable, whether it's a purchase, a newsletter sign-up, or a request to receive more information about your organization. The most important step you can take to increase your sales and other conversions is -- you guessed it -- to start paying close attention to your conversion data and updating your campaigns based on what you find out.
For example, after tracking your conversions, you might notice that a certain keyword leads to many conversions, while another one doesn't. You could choose to spend more of your budget on the keyword that produces more conversions.
Choose relevant landing pages
In addition to keeping track of conversions, you should also make sure that the landing page you use for each ad directs customers to the most relevant page within your website. Ideally, that webpage will be dedicated to the specific product or service that's highlighted in your ad.
Learn which types of data to track when you want to increase sales, and where to find the data in your account.
Campaigns that are focused on brand awareness might be created by a car company that wants to create buzz for a new model, or a film company that wants to promote a new movie by offering visitors a sneak-peek.Focus on: impressions, customer engagement, reach and frequency
If your advertising goal is branding, your main reason for advertising online is to raise awareness and visibility of your product, service, or cause. Your goals might include increasing traffic to your website, and encouraging customers to interact with or learn more about your brand. To achieve this, you'll want to drive impressions to try to show your ads to as many people as possible within your target audience.
Drive customer engagement
While impressions represent how many customers laid eyes on your ad, customer engagement represents how interesting your customers find your ads. Do they actually click on the ad or view a video? That means they're engaged. You can use CTR for Search Network campaigns, and conversions for the Display Network campaigns to measure engagement. Use reach and frequency numbers to learn how many people are exposed to your ad, and how often they see it.
Learn more about what defines a branding campaign, which data to track, and where to find it in your account.
You can use an ROI calculation to compare two advertising campaigns against each other to see how much money you've made from each one. For example, a ceramics manufacturer might be able to determine that a less expensive blue vase that sells more briskly in one campaign is actually generating more profits than a more expensive green vase in a different campaign.Focus on: conversions
ROI is the ratio of your costs to your profits. It's typically the most important measurement for advertisers because it's based on your specific advertising goals and shows the financial impact your advertising efforts have on your business. To improve your ROI, you first need to start measuring conversions. Once you've accomplished that, you can evaluate your ROI to see how well the dollars you spend on advertising are turning into profits for your business.
Learn more about how to calculate ROI and use conversions to track ROI.