A lot of money could potentially be wasted if a PPC campaign is not set up and managed correctly, but when done right they can be extremely lucrative.

Here are 9 ways to work out whether or not PPC is working for your business:

1. Impressions and clicks

Firstly one way to see if your campaigns are working at all is to see if they are getting impressions and clicks, and a good level of impressions and clicks.

Obviously budget is going to have some bearing on the amount of clicks and impressions your ads can receive but if you are not seeing the levels that you would want for your chosen budget, ie. you are spending a lot less than you wanted to, then there could be scope to add additional keywords and increase traffic levels and customers to your site.

2. CTR

It is also important to have a good ratio of clicks to impressions, or click through rate (CTR). This is something Google looks at to determine the quality score of your keywords so it’s important to get this as high as possible.

Depending on the type of campaign, display or search, a ‘good’ CTR will vary, but anything over 0.5% for a display campaign and around 3-5% for a search campaign is something to aim for.

3. Average position

To get your ads noticed in the search results they really need to be appearing in the top 3 positions on the page, otherwise they are at risk of getting lost within the noise of the rest of the page.

If your ads have a low CTR then it may be due to the average position so consider increasing bids where appropriate to achieve those top of page slots and you should hopefully see your CTR improve.

4. Conversion rate

The main reason most businesses use Google AdWords is to get more customers, so achieving a high conversion rate is important.

You can use Google’s conversion code to track things like sales or completions of an on-site enquiry form to relate those conversions back to keywords and ads to see which ones are working and which ones are not. You should be aiming for as high a conversion rate as possible, because that means that a high proportion of people coming to your site are carrying out your desired action whilst they’re there.

Conversions can be softer than actual sales or leads. You could set up a conversion for an email sign up or pull in engagement goals from Analytics to gauge the quality of the traffic coming via PPC.

5. Sales / leads

It should all boil down to getting more sales and leads! If you own an ecommerce website and your ads are not generating sales then there’s something wrong with your campaigns and/or site.

You also need to factor in ROI. If sales are coming in, are enough coming through to ensure you are seeing a return on your investment?

6. Bounce rate

Another softer metric you can look at to try and establish the quality of traffic coming from PPC ads is bounce rate. This can be done in AdWords itself or within Google Analytics.

If the majority of traffic coming to your site is bouncing straight off the landing page, then think about whether your keywords are right, if your ad conveys the right message and if the landing page is strong enough to then convert them into a customer.

7. Average session duration

Average session duration is something else to look at to see how long people are spending on the site when getting there via PPC. Is it above or below the overall site average? Does it show that the user is showing interest in the site and engaging with it?

8. Assisted conversions

Most products / services are usually shopped around for before a purchase is made or an enquiry is sent so look at assisted conversions in Analytics too. You may find that lots of people come to your site via PPC and then come back at a later date – via another channel – to complete your goal.

9. Increased brand searches/awareness

PPC ads can potentially get your brand in front of customers for search terms your site may not currently rank organically for. This means that even if a user doesn’t convert on that particular visit, they have still seen your site and your brand has registered with them. They are now another person that knows about you and may search for your brand in the future when looking for the products / services you offer.


There are many different metrics to consider when looking at how successful a PPC campaign is being and it’s important to have different campaigns for different products / services / areas of your site, as you may find that some work better than others. If you’d like to know more about successful PPC Management, get in touch!