Gear yourself with the necessary knowledge in interpreting your paid search account. Keep an eye and understand the flow of traffic, conversions, and sales data.

Picture this:

If a customer visits your store, you would not know if they’re there because they saw a TV commercial or billboard ad of your business, right? There’s no way to trace that– unless you’d ask them how they know your store, and that would be awkward!

Table of Contents

Image 1 - Google Ad Basics

But, that’s a different story when it comes to paid search ads. When a potential customer visits your website, you know where they came from to get to your site.

One of the best benefits of paid search is that you have the opportunity to monitor everything. Yes, EVERYTHING. You would know which ad they saw, what copy they responded, and what search term they used to trigger your ad.

The search paid accounts to give so much data that it becomes difficult to understand what it means or become confused about what to do with it. You juggle from cost-per-clicks, clickthrough rates, impression counts, and the like– how do you sort through it all? How can you use the search metrics to help you in your decisions?

I mean, what’s the use of having all the search metrics if you do not have an idea what to do with it?

Worse, some of the data are hard to interpret correctly. Even experienced online marketers get the wrong conclusions from their data or focus on the incorrect metrics.

If you are here trying to find answers on what to do for your paid search account, then this article is best for you.

Like most online marketers, you have several ad campaigns running with over a hundred keywords to track– and that could be confusing.

Each of the campaigns, ads, ad groups, and keywords will give you hundreds of information about your audience and how effective your advertising campaigns are. But, only if you know how to use the information.

Unlike before, paid search became competitive. It is not enough to set up Google Analytics and monitor the cost-per-click. You have to know how to interpret each aspect of your paid search data and optimize your account’s performance.

Do not worry, it only sounds challenging, but you can easily segment the information in your paid search account. You can break the metrics into three manageable pieces: traffic, conversions, and sales.

Let’s understand these types of data and how you can interpret the trend on your paid search account.

Traffic Data: How Many Clicks Do You Get?

Most marketers tend to focus on traffic-related metrics when it comes to paid search advertising. But, we cannot blame them though, it’s the main reason you have a paid search campaign, right? To drive more traffic to your website.

Impressions, click-through-rate (CTR), and cost-per-click (CPC) are commonly traffic-related metrics monitored. As expected, Google Ads are full of traffic-related data, and it supplies data that can be easily monitored– which most of their users are interested.

What things do you need to learn about traffic data?

Traffic data is quite helpful if you know how to use it. It gives you information about the performance of your campaigns.

If no one is clicking your ads, there’s a chance that your ad copy needs some work, or you are targeting the wrong keywords. Meanwhile, if your cost-per-click is too high, you might want to adjust your bidding strategy. Also, if your best campaign does not get enough impressions, then you have to consider modifying budget.

Let’s say, for example, you are running a paid search ad for a local house company. On average, they make $3,200 for a new client and spends about $1,200 to take care of them.

As you made a review of their recent campaign, you had the following data:

Image 2 - Google Ads Basic

As you observe the given data above, you would know easily which campaign is generating the best results. Among the 5 campaigns, Campaign 3 has the least cost-per-click, while Campaign 4 has the least clicks yet you spent twice for it.

In full understanding, you have to put a halt on Campaign 4, and place the budget into a better campaign. But, you may also invest some time to figure out the low performance of Campaign 4.

Before we further discuss how you should make a wise decision, we should talk about the other two types of data. After all, you do not make money from clicks. You make money from the leads and none of the data tells you whether the clicks were converted into leads.

Conversion Data: Is Your Traffic Converting?

With that, we have to talk about conversion data. Google Ads cannot directly identify the conversion of your website, it has to do extra work to set up the conversion monitoring for your site. As a result, almost half of the paid search advertisers do not track their campaigns beyond traffic data. Do you know how important understanding conversion data is?

Without conversion data, you cannot move forward of your paid search campaigns. There are two critical points conversion data provides.

Website or Landing Page is Suitable for Audience

How would you know if your traffic and landing page are compatible? Remember, paid search marketing is intent-based marketing. When an audience types in a keyword on Google and clicks on your ad, they are actively looking for a solution to a problem. They think that your services or products could help them.

Their click is an act of faith in your business, and hopefully, your landing page will satisfy their actions. But, if your landing page does not meet their expectation, they would not result in a conversion. Ensure that your website or landing page will satisfy their needs to gain a decent percentage of your audience that will convert.

If your conversion rate is high, then it is given that your landing page or website is a good fit for your audience. If your conversion rate is low, it means there is something wrong with your landing page or website.

When you find your target audience is not satisfied with your landing page, you need to work hard and modify it. Make it closer to the expectations of your traffic.

Audience is Suitable for the Landing Page or Website

Of course, it’s vice versa– if your landing page does not convert traffic, maybe you are sending your ad campaigns to the wrong audience.

If people will click on your ads because they want to rent a house, but you buy and sell a house, would they convert? The wrong audience will never convert, regardless of how right your landing page is. It is not what they need, and you are not offering what they are looking for.

That’s why it is good to look at the search terms people are using to find your ads. Rework advertising strategy to target the right audience.

What things do you need to learn about conversion data?

Once you have set up your conversion traffic, you look beyond the traffic data and see how your campaigns are performing in terms of conversion.

Image 3 - Google Ads Basic

As you can see on the data, Campaign 3 does not have a reasonable conversion rate. It only stands at 8%. But, it has the best cost-per-lead (CPL). Campaign 4 is still a lost cause. It has a low conversion rate and a high cost-per-click, which leads to a higher cost-per-lead.

The 8% conversion rate does not show whether the campaigns target the wrong traffic. But, they could have benefit more from optimizing on their landing pages.

As the data paints a clearer, you still do not get enough from leads. You have to reach out to new clients. So, to have that information, you have to look at your sales data.

Sales Data: Are You Making Sales?

Traffic and conversion data are helpful, but they are still not enough to tell you whether your campaigns generate money. If your ad campaigns are not making any money, what’s the purpose of running them?

Unfortunately, tracking sales data can be tricky. Although you can tell that e-commerce is straightforward, once you go beyond that, it can be hard to deeply understand your actual sales data and relate it to your campaign performance. You have to use CRM software to figure out how to connect all the dots.

But, is it worth to get a CRM software? Definitely! Let’s take a look at the sales data of the local house company.

Image 4 - Google Ads Basic

As you can observe, Campaign 4 became from zero to hero. It did not perform well on the CPC and conversion rate, but its return-on-ad-spend (ROAS) is almost twice as the others.

What does this mean? It means that Campaign 4 appeals to people who are much more likely to buy than any other campaign. Campaign 3 might have a lot of traffic, but it is less likely not to convert on sales.

So, does that mean Campaign 3 is losing money? Yes, you are spending more on ads, and it is clear that it has the lowest ROAS. But, you do not have to clear cut it. You need to understand more the data to see if there is a way to make it into a potential.

You may have to filter out people who are not interested in becoming clients or change the landing page and make it more appealing to clients. Perhaps, you need some ideas on the best practices of paid ads.

Without sales data, it would have been easy to assume and stop Campaign 4. It was a completely lost cause, but after judging it with the three metrics, it was the exact opposite. That’s why it is essential to have all three metrics. Traffic and conversion data gives you information about your campaigns, but only the sales data can determine whether your ads are making money.

Final Thought

Paid search accounts hold valuable information, but turning all of the data into actionable information can be overwhelming. So, the trick here is to have access and a basic understanding of the right search metrics.

Now that you know how to interpret your data, start digging through your paid search metrics.

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