Even experienced marketing agencies can suffer from analysis paralysis. Google Ads is a complex advertising platform with a lot of metrics to dig into, so instead of trying to look at every available data point, you'll need to maintain clarity and focus.
There are some key Google Ads metrics that your agency needs to keep an eye on daily to optimize your client campaigns and improve ROI. And keeping a watchful eye on one of the largest advertising platforms in the world is critical. Despite shifts in the market, Google Ads is still the 800-pound gorilla in the PPC advertising space, accounting for 44.3% of global digital ad spending.
To capitalize on this channel, we will review the 11 most important Google Ads metrics that you need to monitor within your PPC reporting tool daily.
What Are Google Ads Metrics?
Google Ads has a variety of metrics, ranging from impressions to conversions and practically everything in between. Some of these metrics, such as CPCs, CPAs, and Quality Score, are useful for optimizing Google ad campaigns and improving ROI. In contrast, others, such as Impression Share or Budget Limits, exist primarily to convince your agency that your client needs to spend more on Google Ads (even when sometimes, you don’t).
The most critical Google Ads metrics fall into three categories:
Keep reading to learn more about each of these Google Ads metrics and why they’re critical for your success on the Google Ads platform, including:
Google Campaign and Ad Quality Metrics
Ad quality and keyword relevance are essential because they directly impact your ad position and how much you need to spend to achieve that position. It can be a tricky metric to impact, as the algorithm that generates that score is hidden far behind Google’s curtain.
But the key areas that Google seems to monitor for these scores include ad relevance to the keyword, click-through rates compared to the average, and the landing page experience. Your ad would earn more quality score points for each of these metrics that come in above average. The more points your ad earns, the higher your total quality score.
How Do You Measure Campaign or Ad Quality?
One of the easiest ways is to use Google's Quality Score rating, which shows how Google perceives the relevance of both your keywords and ads. Because the quality score is tied directly to how relevant your campaign is to that keyword, you can find your Quality Score in the Keywords tab of your Google Ads account. If it is not showing by default, you can add that column.
This metric is important because it influences your cost-per-click (CPC) and impacts your ad rank in the Google Ads auction.
A high Quality Score means that your keywords and ads are relevant to your customers, which leads to a lower CPC and higher ad position. A low Quality Score will result in a higher CPC and lower ad position.
Although part of the overall quality score metric, another way to directly measure campaign quality is to look at the Google Ads Click-Through rates. If a particular ad has a low CTR, it often means one of two things:
The keyword is not relevant to the searcher's intent. You may think that you're bidding on the correct keywords for your client, but a low CTR can often indicate that a particular ad does not match what that audience was looking for.
The Google Ads copy is not engaging enough. If the keyword intent is a perfect match and you're still seeing low CTRs, it could be that the ad copy is not catching the searcher's attention and enticing them to click.
Lastly, another valuable metric is the landing page bounce rate. If the ad generates a high CTR, but too many users are bouncing from the page as soon as they land there, that could also mean a disconnect between the keyword search intent and the landing page content.
Like the above, this usually means that the user did not find what they were initially searching for on the page. Or it could mean that the page design, copy, and CTAs were not strong enough to keep the searcher's attention once they landed there.
Agency Tip: Always remember that you have less than 5 seconds to catch a user's attention and keep them on the page. Make sure that you connect the dots between what they searched for and what your client offers as soon as possible.
For example, try to bring the user as close to the final product search as possible. If the user searched for Men's Yellow Tennis Shoes, don’t just link them to the Shoe category page or even just the Men’s Shoes category page. Try linking them to Men’s Yellow Shoes or–even better–Men’s Yellow Tennis Shoes.
And don't be afraid to use the Dog Whistle approach in your landing page copy. Dog whistles only attract the attention of dogs but humans can't hear them at all. Use that same approach to attract your ideal customer, by clearly connecting "this is what you were looking for" as soon as they land on the page. You can also use this approach to repel people who are not appropriate for your business, such as tire-kickers who cannot afford your client's services.
For example, the AgencyAnalytics homepage makes it very clear that our platform was built for Marketing Agencies who need help with their client reporting. That is an excellent example of putting Dog Whistle copy into play.
How Do You Improve Google Ad Campaign Quality?
Here are a few things that improve your Quality Score:
Creating relevant and targeted ad groups.
Consider creating Single Theme Ad Groups (STAGs) that group similar keywords together and link the user to a relevant page for that theme (see the Men's Yellow Shoes example above).
Constantly test new ads that are relevant to your keywords. Your goal is to try to outperform the current best ad.
Build dedicated landing pages that are relevant to your keywords and ads.
Use phrase and exact match keywords to avoid erroneous broad keyword mismatches that are not as relevant as they should be.
What Are the Most Important Google Ads Engagement & Conversion Rate Metrics?
Engagement rates measure how often people who see your ad interact with it. Google calculates engagement rate by taking the number of clicks on your ad divided by the number of times your ad was shown (impressions).
Conversion rates measure how often people who click on your ad go on to complete the desired action, such as making a purchase or signing up for a newsletter. Google calculates conversion rate by taking the number of conversions divided by the number of clicks on your ad. Simple enough, right? But there is so much more that goes into understanding why.
You can find both engagement and conversion rates in nearly all of your Google Ads account tabs, including campaign, ad group, ads, and keywords.
Why Are Engagement & Conversion Rates important?
Beyond the quality score impacts noted above, engagement and conversion rates are significant because they show how effective your ads are at reaching and engaging with the right potential customers.
If the engagement rate is low, it can indicate that your ad is not relevant to your target audience or that your ad is not getting in front of your target audience.
If your conversion rate is low, it can either mean that your ad is not relevant to your target audience or that there’s a problem with your landing page.
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How Do You Improve Your Engagement And Conversion Rates?
Interestingly, many of the things you can do to improve both engagement and conversion rates are similar to those you would do to improve the quality score. That's because Google takes the likelihood of engagement and conversion into account when calculating the Quality score. These ideas include:
Create relevant and targeted ad groups
Write ads that are relevant to your keywords
Landing users on pages that are highly relevant to your keywords and ads
Test different ad copy and landing pages
What Are the Most Important Cost per Acquisition & Return on Ad Spend Metrics
Cost-per-acquisition, or CPA, is the amount you spend on Google Ads divided by the number of conversions you get. It's that simple of a metric, but it digs right to the core of how well these campaigns are driving customers for your clients.
You can find your CPA (listed in Google Ads as Cost / conv.) associated with practically all levels of a Google Ad campaign, including the campaigns, ad groups, ads, and keywords.
Return on ad spend (ROAS) takes that a step further and looks at the dollar value of those sales. This not only helps identify the number of transactions that your campaign is delivering but also the value of those transactions. But to see this metric in Google Ads, you need to have dynamic revenue tracking enabled.
ROAS calculations are especially important if your client offers products or services at various price points. Knowing the number of transactions is far less useful as a metric if there's a broad range of order values. Simply put:
OPTION A: 100 Transactions x $10 = $1,000 in Revenue
OPTION B: 10 Transactions at $1,000 = $10,000 in Revenue
OPTION C: 1000 Transactions at $100 = $100,000 in Revenue
It should be pretty obvious which one is better for your client (and, therefore, your agency), but that determination is almost impossible without the revenue metric.
However, if your client only has a few products or services available and they all cost roughly the same amount, revenue (and Return on Ad Spend) becomes less relevant - at least within the platform.
Agency Tip: Although ROAS and ROI are often used interchangeably, they are not the same thing. ROAS is the direct attribution between gross revenue and ad spend. ROI takes into account net profit, which would include product costs. If you know the margins associated with each of your client's products, focusing on ROI can get your agency one step further down the path to driving profitability for your clients.
Why Are Google Ads CPA & ROAS Metrics Important to Track Daily?
CPA is vital because it tells you how much you’re spending to acquire each customer. If your CPA is too high, it could mean that you’re not getting a good return on investment (ROAS) from Google Ads.
This is something you want to watch daily so that any unusual shifts can be adjusted for.
For example, if the CPA suddenly doubles, it could be a fluke, or it might mean that something has gone wrong with the campaigns. Perhaps your CPC has increased too much, or your conversion rate has dipped unexpectedly.
Conversely, if your CPA suddenly decreases, it might mean that your optimization efforts are working well, and additional investment in that campaign is warranted.
Agency Tip: Always remember that a single day does not make a trend. Even if you notice CPA increasing or decreasing on a particular day, don't panic or celebrate quite yet. However, if that increase in CPA holds in the following days, you need to take action to avoid wasted spend. And if that CPA decrease also remains steady, this is something worth highlighting in your client reports.
It's also very important to have a clear understanding with your client about the acceptable CPAs to target. This will be driven by many factors, including revenue, profitability, and the expected lifetime value of new customers. If you're not aligned with your client on CPA targets, that can lead to difficult conversations down the road.
How Do You Lower CPA & Increase ROAS?
There are a few things you can do to lower your CPA, which will usually lead to an increase in ROAS, including:
Reducing bids so that your agency pays less for each click. This will also reduce traffic levels but can be a great way to spend a limited budget more efficiently.
Review demographic targeting. Not all customers convert at equal levels, so dig into the campaign data to see if there are some demographic segments that should be removed from the campaign or have their bids adjusted.
Review geographic targeting. Similar to the above, dig into locations to prioritize high converting countries, states, cities, etc., and deprioritize those with a higher CPA and lower ROAS.
Schedule ads for the best-performing days of the week and times of the day. Typically, you'll find that these align with your client's business hours (but that is not always the case).
Focus on higher AOV (average order value) campaigns. If you have one client campaign driving an AOV of $10 and another driving an AOV of $100, and all other metrics are relatively equal, it should be rather obvious which should get most of the time, attention, and budget.
Tap into automated bidding strategies. If the account has enough conversion data, experiment with automated bidding strategies such as Maximize Conversions with a Target CPA. You can run experiments without changing your original campaign. Running the two side by side for a few weeks & comparing results will help you decide if automated bidding works well for your client’s campaign.
Agency Tip: If you are running lead gen campaigns for your clients, don't just look at the Cost Per Lead, but also dig into their CRM data to find out which of those leads are converting to opportunities and sales.
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Breaking Down The Most Critical Google Ads Metrics
Now that we've reviewed the core metric groups, let's dig deeper into the individual marketing metrics that your agency will want to watch daily. This will help you determine how to set up your Google Ads Dashboard to be able to track and report on these metrics quickly and easily.
Use the pre-built Google Ads Dashboard to present your client’s data in an easy-to-understand, visually appealing format. Try it for yourself with the AgencyAnalytics 14-day free trial.
Here Are The 11 Most Important Google Ads Metrics To Track Daily:
Impressions - The number of times your ad has been shown to your client’s target audience.
Total Clicks - The number of clicks on your client's ads across all campaigns.
Clicks by Campaign - The same as the above, but broken down by each campaign so you can see gains and losses for each priority ad campaign.
Click-Through Rate (CTR) - The percentage of people who saw the ad that clicked on it.
Cost per Click (CPC) - The amount you're paying for each click on your client’s ad.
Cost - The total amount you've spent on behalf of your clients in their Google Ads account.
Conversions - The number of people who've completed the desired action on your client’s website after clicking the ad.
Conversion Rate - The percentage of people who clicked on an ad and then completed a desired action on the website.
Average Cost-Per-Conversion (CPA) - The average amount your client is paying for each conversion.
Return on Ad Spend (ROAS) - The amount of revenue you're generating for every client dollar that you're spending on Google Ads.
Quality Score - Google's rating of the quality and relevance of the keyword, ad, and landing page - which impacts the CPC and position in the paid search results.
Which Google Ads Metrics Should You Include in a Client Report?
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While all of the metrics above are important to monitor, not all of them need to be included in every client report. The most important Google Ads metrics to include in client reports will depend on who is receiving the report.
C-Suite Google Ads Metrics for Executives
For clients who are primarily interested in the big-picture, focus on high-level Google Ads metrics that give an overview of performance. This might include:
Google Ads Metrics for Marketing Managers
If you're reporting to a marketing manager, they'll be interested in seeing Google Ads metrics that show how the campaigns are performing and what changes should be made. This could include a wider range of metrics, such as:
Changes in keyword positions
Local Google Ads Metrics for Location-Based Businesses
For businesses that rely on local traffic, Google Ads metrics should focus on the location of their customers. This might include:
Clicks by campaign
Clicks by location
Conversions by location
Revenue by location
GLSA Ad Data
Importance of KPIs and Data-Driven Decision Making
Google Ads data is useless if you don't know what to do with it. That's where KPIs (key performance indicators) come in. A KPI is a metric that is used to measure progress towards a specific goal. KPIs and Metrics often go hand-in-hand but are not always the same thing.
Read More About the Different Between a KPI and a Metric.
For example, if your goal is to increase ROAS, then your KPI would be ROAS. By tracking this KPI over time, you can see if your campaigns are moving in the right direction and make adjustments as needed.
You can also use KPIs to compare performance across different campaigns or ad groups. For example, you might want to compare the ROAS of your Search Campaigns to your Display Campaigns. Or you might want to compare the ROAS of your Brand Campaigns vs. your Non-Brand Campaigns.
Comparing KPIs is a great way to identify areas of opportunity and make data-driven decisions about where to focus your time and resources.
So, what are the most important Google Ads KPIs? That will depend on the objective of the campaign. But here are just a few examples:
Google Ads KPI Examples
Clicks, Conversions, Conversion Rate, Cost, CPA, Revenue, and ROAS
Clicks, PQLs, Cost, and CPA
Local Services Client
Impressions, Leads, Cost, Cost Per Lead, Conversion Rate, and Revenue
Impressions, Impression Share, CTR, Clicks, and Cost
Clicks, Conversions, Revenue, CPA, Cost, and ROAS or ROI
Impressions, Clicks, Conversions, Revenue, Cost, and CPA
Agency Tip: Use your client onboarding questionnaire to identify which Google Ads metrics & KPIs are most important to your clients and then build your campaign dashboards and automated reports to provide that data consistently.
How To Create a Google Ads Metrics Monthly Report
As an agency, you'll want to include Google Ads metrics in your monthly report that show both the progress of individual campaigns as well as the agency's performance as a whole.
You'll want to include the Google Ads metrics that show not only how the campaigns are performing but also where there is room for improvement (so that you can highlight what your agency is doing to improve these metrics over time).
Learn more about Google Ads Reporting
If you want to go the extra mile and really impress your clients, include some insights via annotations and goals as well as a task list outlining how you will improve their Google Ads campaigns based on the data you're seeing.
To create a report using the AgencyAnalytics reporting platform, use the PPC report template to combine all of your agency’s Google Ads metrics with all of your other PPC activities into one report. Simply navigate to the client campaign, customize the report using our intuitive drag and drop editor, and then schedule it to send out at the end of each month automatically. No muss. No fuss.
Agency Tip: If you charge a percentage-based PPC management fee, automatically include your PPC Markup in your campaign reports so that your clients see the total cost of the campaign.
At the end of the day, the Google Ads metrics you include in your monthly report will depend on who is receiving the report and what their needs are. But rather than looking at this as a tedious task that must be completed once a month, these reports should be an opportunity to reinforce the value your agency brings to each and every one of its clients.
Summary & Key Takeaways
Google Ads has a ton of metrics, and it can be overwhelming to try to track them all. By focusing on the most important ones, you ensure that your client's campaigns are performing well and achieving the set goals.
By monitoring these 11 critical Google Ads metrics daily, your agency will be able to quickly adjust campaigns, bids, and ads to maximize their effectiveness and then report on your successes to clients quickly and easily.
Simply integrate the Google Ads Reporting Tool and use the pre-built Google Ads Dashboard to save countless hours of copying and pasting data and spend that time optimizing your client's campaigns. Run multiple PPC campaigns? Try the comprehensive PPC Dashboard instead to combine data from multiple PPC platforms into one seamless reporting interface.
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Paul Stainton is a digital marketing leader with extensive experience creating brand value through digital transformation, eCommerce strategies, brand strategy, and go-to-market execution.Read more posts by Paul Stainton ›