Measuring the success of search campaigns

Every business wants to see its website land at the top of tabulated search results. One way to secure a coveted high-ranking spot is to purchase an ad. Organizations can purchase ads that appear when consumers search specific keywords through paid search campaigns. The ads show up on top of, or on the right side of, search results.

That kind of digital marketing has many perks, including high-traffic rates and the ability to track the success of a campaign.

While an ad is running, organizations have access to a wealth of data. By using that data, managers can make real-time decisions to improve a campaign’s reach and success.

Data are crucial to evaluating a campaign’s progress, but the sheer amount of available statistics can be daunting. To help decipher some of the numbers, here is a short list of important statistics to watch:

Quality score

One of the best metrics to watch in paid search is the quality score. It shows how well an ad is performing. Think of it as an overall test score. If the score is high, the ad is on target. If the test score is low, the ad needs remedial work.

There are a lot of factors that go into the quality score, such as the relevance of keywords and the quality of the landing page. The score is used to determine ad rankings and how much each click costs, and so it’s important to achieve a fairly high score.

Click-through rates

Click-through rates tell organizations how many viewers have clicked on an ad. This is the number of people who saw the ad and took action. A high click-through rate means the selected keywords are relevant to viewers and the ad itself is resonating with consumers.

Conversion rates

A conversion rate shows how many consumers followed through with the desired action. Whether the action is to make a purchase or download a white paper, this statistic provides the number of people who saw the ad, clicked on it and completed the transaction.

Cost per conversion

How much was spent to get each consumer to carry out the desired action? The cost-per-conversion statistic provides the answer. Organizations can use this number to judge the return on investment and decide whether the paid search was an effective tool.

Using the data

There are additional statistics that can help gauge a campaign’s success, but these four data points are “starter stats” meant to provide key information at a glance.

The statistics help organizations make decisions to improve an ad. For example, if click-through rates are low, an organization might decide to change the call to action to see if rates improve. If click-through rates are high but conversion rates are low, an organization might optimize the landing page the ad leads to.

Paid search gives an organization access to an unprecedented amount of data that provides additional control over an ad. By changing components, an organization can improve an ad’s reach and reaction, all while staying on budget.