The Metric System: A Quick Guide to Understanding PPC MetricsThe Number System
For many, there’s nothing more painful than numbers. The worst break-up scenario and the biggest vacation disaster can often seem like a mild life hiccup compared to what may seem like a mess of dreadful digits. Think about it: those failing test scores in high school, pain-in-the-neck income tax statements, and those bank book updates that you were sure solidified the bank as robbers.
In this day and age, numbers are everywhere. They are involved in every aspect of your life. In a sense, this exposure and availability of numbers can be beneficial to you. No matter how painful dealing with numbers can be, the numerical information that you can now access and use to manage your affairs can be exactly what leads you to business success.
With online business, this has never been so apparent. Not only do you get to see your advertising numbers but you also get to monitor them to make the necessary changes that will help better your business activities. Certain online business practices fall into this category, and pay-per-click advertising, or PPC online, is just one of these many practices.
There are a lot of PPC tips out there, but keeping ahead of PPC numbers is the most important. These numbers are called metrics. Keeping a watch on your metrics can show you exactly how well your PPC is working for you and what you can do to improve on it.
Terms of Endearment
PPC metrics have all kinds of short forms and acronyms, and these terms are worth knowing. Once they are familiar to you, you can check them out for yourself.
One that comes immediately to mind is CPA, or cost-per-action. This metric shows you how much you are paying for your PPC actions online (i.e. submissions, payments, etc.). CTR, or click-through rates, let you see how well your PPC optimization and PPC strategy through web copy and keyword usage work to have people clicking on your ads. Then there’s CPL, or cost-per-lead. This metric shows you how much you are paying for your leads through PPC online.
Tired of “C”-based short forms? To expand, there are conversion rates and average positions, two other popular metrics, as well. Conversion rates show you who is actually clicking and buying your materials through PPC, while average positions show your position online. Combined, these metrics can give you an idea of how well you are developing your position through PPC online.
Whew—it’s a lot to know, right? Well, don’t get too intimidated; the good news is that you can access most of these metrics through your Google AdWords account and see, with the help of charts and stats, just how good your business performance is through PPC. What’s more, you can begin to make changes or get slick PPC management services involved to help you make the changes in your PPC optimization or other areas to improve your PPC performance online.
Difference of Opinion
To be honest, there is some controversy as to what metrics are more important than others. Some PPC pros give PPC tips that say that conversion rates or CTR are more important. Others suggest that quality scores and conversion rates are paramount. Depending on what sources you follow, there are strong differences of opinion here.
What can help is to really study all metrics right off the bat. Once you get your PPC campaign up and running, you can determine which metrics are more important than others. PPC metrics are a bit of a struggle to get down; but once you’re comfortable with all those numbers, that’s when you can really start to learn from them and improve upon your PPC to achieve online business success.
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