Pay Per Click (or PPC) ads are one of the most effective ways to spend your digital marketing dollar. In addition to driving traffic, they also provide insight into who your customers are, where they’re coming from, and how long they visit your page. While it’s a nice problem to have, there are hundreds of metrics that can be tracked, and that can be overwhelming if you’re not a professional statistician. Here are the most important to focus on, regardless of your industry or product.

Clicks

Let’s start with traffic. Your clicks and impressions tell you how many people actively click on your PPC campaign, starting the sales process. You need to keep an eye out for trends in your traffic and react appropriately. If your number of clicks is spiking, you’re on a hot streak. If it’s diving, you need to rewrite your copy. If it’s inconsistent, people may be confused about your messaging.

Your click-through rate is the ratio of the number of times your ad is served vs. the number of clicks it receives. It varies a lot, so just look at this once a month. If you pull a daily report, it will drive you crazy.

Costs per click are important to monitor because the prices fluctuate for competitive keywords, and your budget may not go as far as you like. If the costs are higher than you want, use longer-tail keywords.

Conversions

Another important category to monitor PPC campaigns is conversions. Your cost per conversion is how much you spend to make a sale. Only you can determine what a sale is worth, but you should generally base it on your margins. Keep an eye on your conversion rate as well, looking for upward or downward trends.

Quality Score and Return on Ad Spend

Quality scores are numbers assigned by google that consider your CTR, the relevance of your keywords to your product, and the strength of your webpage. This number is important because along with your budget it determines how high your ad will place in search results. You can improve this by using keywords in the text of the add and sending visitors directly to a landing page for the specific product they’re searching for, as opposed to your home page.

Lastly, your return on ad spend is the PPC equivalent of return on investment. Divide your profit from a campaign vs. its cost to see if you’re using your money wisely.

Don’t get lost in a sea of data. Focus on these metrics and adjust accordingly!