Measuring Google Ads Performance

How To Measure Your Google Ads Performance

So you’ve spent time putting together ad campaigns, be they Search, Shopping or Display — but are they working? We understand opening Google Ads and facing the array of metrics thrown at you can be daunting but thankfully this article will help you measure your Google Ads performance, show you which metrics are best to focus on, and what you should consider when optimising your accounts. Without further ado… let’s begin!

The First Step…

Before effectively analyzing the figures you must establish your goals: What do you want to get out of your campaign? Maybe your goal is to:

  1. Increase online sales
  2. Generate leads
  3. Increase brand awareness/general traffic


While goal 3 is simplest, goals 1 and 2 will pave the way to higher profits, they just require a few extra figures to evaluate. Read on to find out what these are.

Are Your Ads Converting?

For all Google Ads accounts, conversion tracking is a must. Conversions are ‘desired actions’ taken by customers on your site, but what could this ‘desired action’ look like to you?

  1. Lead Generation 
  2. If you’re looking to generate leads for your sales team, any action where a potential customer makes contact with you should count as a conversion — for example, a prospect ringing you or filling out an enquiry form.

  3. Ecommerce Businesses
  4. If online sales are what you value, then it’s simple — you want to track online orders. 

When these actions have been taken via an ad, it signifies the ad is bringing in quality traffic.

Carrying out a comparative analysis, not just of different ads but also of different products’ performance, can utilize conversion rate. It helps to show what is working and what requires work.

Keep Cost In Mind

As exciting as conversions are, success boils down to cost. In terms of the metric, Cost simply shows the total spent.

Whether you’re evaluating the total spend of a campaign, refining it down to an ad group or even better, a specific keyword, knowing what is costing you the most can indicate where you need to focus your attention. This brings us nicely onto the most important question…

Are You Making A Profit?

Profitability is the most stable indicator of campaign success, but what is it to you?

  1. If you care about leads, look to Cost/Conversion
  2. This figure shows how much you are paying for every conversion (internally, you will need to evaluate the quality of each action/lead and what they are worth to you).

  3. Ecommerce Businesses focus on ROAS
  4. Return On Ad Spend is the revenue an ad has generated, for every £1 you spent on it. E.g. If you made £3 for £1 spend, you’d have a ROAS of 3.

(Here is a link to a more detailed article about How to stop Google Ads from wasting money by Jonny Hyams, which will help you to work out your profitability metrics). 

Going Beyond The Figures…

While achieving a positive return on investment is crucial to a campaign’s success, it is important to consider other future factors when deciding on realistic ROAS or Cost/Conversion targets.

For example, what is a customer’s Lifetime Value to your business? Will they continue to benefit you in the future (e.g. subscriptions or returning clients)? 

Looking At The Context

Now that you have a strong overview of how your campaigns are performing, what’s next? Growth and improving campaigns go hand in hand with maximizing profitability. Additional metrics can help identify potential areas for improvement. 

Click-Through-Rate (CTR) shows how many people have clicked on your ad, as a percentage of those who have viewed it. But what does this actually mean?

If your CTR is low, yet impressions are high, your ads may be showing up in front of less relevant markets.

You should consider the location, language and time of day your ads show compared to the audiences you wish to reach.

Another consideration is keyword relevance — are you bidding on relevant terminology? Are there any words or terms you could negative as they are too broad or irrelevant to your business?

Quality Score can also indicate the relevancy and quality of your campaign, by scoring your keywords out of 10, based on their relevancy and landing page experience.

Google’s bidding process is affected by numerous factors regarding your ad and your competitors’ ads, determining the highest quality results for their searcher.

If you aren’t showing for your chosen keywords, examine how much they relate to your campaigns — are you using the same terms within ads?

Consider whether your landing page is sufficient. If sites are difficult to navigate, or loading times are slow Google may penalize you with higher CPC and lower search impression share.

And don’t forget… always factor in your budget. If individual bids are too low, could the budget be more efficiently spread amongst the most successful ads?


Be sure to take these metrics with a pinch of salt. Figures are always best understood within comparison and context.

Looking at sites such as Wordstream, which provides industry benchmarks, can help place your performance alongside similar competitors, facing the same external challenges.

Analyzing your own historical data is also a good way to acknowledge the impacts of changes you’ve made internally.

Finally, the most important metrics for you depend entirely on your business, your values, your budget and your overall goals. To reiterate, never get too hung up on one metric. Context is key, a bad CTR doesn’t mean those interacting aren’t making valuable conversions (and so on)!

We hope this has given you an accurate picture of how your ads are performing, but if you are still confused, or aren’t pleased with what you see, why not give us a message and book in a free account audit

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