There is so much data available to those managing pay-per-click (PPC) campaigns that it may seem overwhelming. You may struggle to determine the most important metrics to measure. Consider three basic areas that should be monitored in your paid search strategy.

1. Quality Score

It’s impossible to analyze all PPC metrics that are available. In trying to decide which data is most important to monitor, it can be easy to overlook the quality score. This metric takes into account the ad’s landing page quality, as well as how users’ search needs are being met by your ad text and keywords. It also factors the overall click-through rate of your account. Quality scores, along with bid amount, impact your ad position, so it is one of the first things you should look at.

2. Click Information

This covers a lot of ground, including clicks, cost per click (CPC) and click-through rate. There are advantages to looking at these three data points. Clicks are important on their own, especially if site awareness is your primary objective. However, it’s equally important to consider CPC as well. Keywords that are more competitive are likely to result in CPCs that continue to increase. Using long-tailed keywords that are more targeted may prove more beneficial, especially if you are limited in your ad spend budget. Click-through rates should also be monitored regularly. They change often, depending on the hour, day, week or even the month. Analyzing this metric will help you maintain a reasonable bid strategy.

3. Conversion Data

Two key PPC metrics are conversion rate and cost per conversion. Sales, leads, newsletter sign-ups, event registration and other actionable items could be possible conversations. The rates can fluctuate depending on various factors, including changing business trends and seasonality. There are a number of factors that can cause a decrease in conversion rates. These include outdated pricing information and expired deals. Non-functioning tracking codes, inactive landing pages and disapproved ads and keywords can also cause a decrease in these rates. What it costs to get leads, sales or some other desired transaction is also an important figure to review.

There are many other PPC metrics that can be analyzed. Every company will have different measurements that are important to their business. Determining the most important analytics to report on can be dependent on many different factors such as your primary audience and desired outcomes. The areas considered provide a good starting point for setting your strategy.