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What metrics are most important in managing PPC, what metrics do clients care about the most, and in experts’ opinion, what is the most overrated PPC metric, these were some of the questions which were answered during this week’s PPCChat session. Here is the screencap of this entire session which was hosted by Julie F Bacchini.

Q1: What are the metrics that you think are most important in managing and evaluating PPC in 2022?

Conversions, obvs. But based on a LOT of consumer behavior changes, I’m keeping a pretty close eye on click volume. Zero clicks is here in the form of voice answers and TikTok videos. So shaping traffic has become very interesting. @JuliaVyse

As a newbie to PPC, I’d assume the same as organic. Cost per genuine lead. How that is calculated may differ by definition of lead. In general, I see cost per click but rarely is a keyword “spend/rate” correlated with what it’s worth to a business. @DomKent

Ecomm wise ROAS remains super important, particularly with the impending recession in the UK. Re-reading @PPCKirk book the other day and reminded of the importance of context with Attribution so love specific GA behavioural metrics at the mo. @PPC_Fraser

Conversions, of course. The cost per conversion is always something I’m watching. CPCs have also been requiring closer attention lately. @NeptuneMoon

For conversion-focused campaigns, CPA & conversion rate. For awareness or engagement-focused campaigns, CPM & CTR. I also think impression share metrics are really important to understand how competitive your ads actually are.  @adclarke10

Just got off a call so a little late, but Conversions are what drive revenue and keep the lights on and people employed at companies so that is the top metric by far. Cost to get conversions, CPCs and volume are also important metrics to be tracking (B2B and B2C) @lchasse

I think as privacy changes make actual path attribution even more difficult (attribution has arguably always been difficult), engagement metrics will increase in importance. It’s just going to be harder to get accurate conversion metrics, even modeled. @PPCKirk

I don’t think this has changed a whole bunch over the years: (1) Net Present Profit (or Contribution Margin) (2) MER / Quick Ratio / AOV or PPL / CAC / CVR (3) In-Platform Metrics (ROAS, CPC, CTR, CPM) All of which are evaluated relative to forecast. @DigitalSamIAm

Conversion Value. Even in leads feeding back different values for qualification is way more important than raw numbers. @armondhammer

Good questions…. when I think ecom and DTC, lots you can look at. In platform: CPA, ROAS, and conversion rate. Outside platform: store revenue, and product sales/sell through. @duanebrown

The best metrics are always end-level KPIs, tracked across all sources, and doing Media Mix Modeling to do attribution. Single-channel costs per KPI are murky at best. @ferkungamaboobo

Sweet only 37 mins late this week. Metrics vary. The bread and butter/foot in the door goes CTR and CPC for the surface level. But I will ignore CTR any day for revenue, sales/leads, and CPA. CPC I can’t ignore, even when I should. @JonKagan

eCommerce: Profit per Click, Lead Gen: Cost per Lead. @ppcClickShark

Q2: Have the metrics that you track and/or rely on changed in the past 2 years? If so, how?

Yes and no. The fundamentals are still there, we’re just agreeing that our standard KPIs aren’t as knife-edge as we’d like. My restaurant clients need to sell once I get them to the door. My public sector clients need to offer services people need no matter what. @JuliaVyse

I would not say they have changed as much as how you get to them has changed. As a B2B or B2C marketer, revenue is the big goal. Our advertising needs to be driving revenue whether through leads, foot traffic, ecom sales, etc… @lchasse

For paid social, a lot more people look at Media Efficiency Ratio (MER). It’s a nice thing to look at. However, if I don’t see any Google Analytics sales but someone is just talking about MER. I call their bluff. If Facebook ads are so good… GA sales will show. @duanebrown

Other than the direct amount of data available around search queries which has and will forever be something I’ll fight Google for, I find myself questioning impression share more and relying on multiple auction insight points e.g @spyfu @PPC_Fraser

For the life of me, I couldn’t find ‘search impression share’ a few days ago. Looked everywhere. That was annoying – it was called something else I don’t remember, had to Google it. @timmhalloran

Not as much on Search. But on Social, we have a heavier emphasis on CPM, CTR, CPC, and engagement (shares, likes, etc.) now because of the iOS update last year and have less insight into conversions. @adclarke10

I’m doing a lot more post-click work now than I used to. Linear attribution models that take into account the multiple visits that I can see. I also monitor for things that look too good (25% ctr on non-brand!) @armondhammer

I think there’s some “history doesn’t repeat itself, but it certainly does rhyme” action going on — but there’s also more accessibility, availability + optionality for marketers in measuring effectiveness than ever before. @DigitalSamIAm

The metrics that indicate competitiveness have gotten more important. The digital ad landscape has gotten CROWDED. It takes more than just deciding you want to play on Platform X to find success there. @NeptuneMoon

I’m also finding that external tools are becoming more important to monitor (even with their limitations) for some of the data we’ve lost or can’t see. @armondhammer

The biggest thing has been a rejection of single-channel attribution. I feel like digital marketing went deep down a path of single-channel attribution and using “big data” to make decisions, where the better answer has been staring us in the face the whole time. @ferkungamaboobo

At the beginning of the pandemic, we saw CPC’s bottom out, so I focused on them less, but since April of this year, they went through the roof, so now I am paying more and more attention to CPC, even over CPA at this point, since it is a trickle down effect. @JonKagan

With the advent of PMax, reach/unique impressions have changed significantly. In many cases, brand lift has also changed for me. @ScottOmiller

More of a focus on assisted conversions to use content in building multi-platform campaigns. @ppcClickShark

Q3: What metrics do clients or stakeholders care about or ask about the most?

It’s really about clicks and traffic. So much of what I do is post-visit, repeat visits, and measuring awareness media that we really talk about traffic and behavior more than anything else. @JuliaVyse

CAC, CPA, Cost-Per-MQL, ROAS @timmhalloran

Where I’m in-house, I refer to management as my “client”. ROAS, CAC/CPA, MQLs, SQLs, Brand Lift, and change in CTR, Imp. Share, CPC. @ScottOmiller

REVENUE – interestingly though in a number of cases we’ve seen clients’ ROAS targets drop to more ‘profitability’ levels rather than dream ROAS goals (technical term) – likely again as a result of the downturn in the economy. @PPC_Fraser

Revenue, Leads, and Calls are the ones they ask about the most. That being said, the questions after those are about how we can improve those, and that is where the work is. Landing page conversion, ad CTRs, and other metrics that are incredibly important as well. @lchasse

Conversion rate and cost per conversion are big ones. Base traffic levels too – impressions and clicks. @NeptuneMoon

Same as in answer 1. Some ask about traffic and we try to explain why that is not a metric.… @duanebrown

CPA is a big one, as well as clicks & impressions. We also get a lot of indirect questions related to impression share, like “how much room does this campaign have to grow if we added budget” or “what is our presence like in this region” @adclarke10

Digital marketers have finally trained client-side folks to think about all those silly metrics like CTR, CPC, etc. — all these things that are metrics, but obviously not key metrics. But they’re what people ask about because they don’t want to seem out of touch. @ferkungamaboobo

None of the ones they really should care about. It’s all “Jon, what’s my ROAS, and what’s my CPA?” and never “Jon, what is my inflection point investment, and how did you get your hair to have so much volume?” @JonKagan

It depends. some clients only care about results. Others care about the process [mostly care about what we say matters]. @ppcClickShark

Q4: What is the most overrated PPC metric, in your opinion, in 2022?

Impression Share. Shut UP! hitting an IS% is not a realistic KPI for a program. it’s a perfectly good budgeting tool, and an acceptable view of the market, but that’s for planning. not a target IMO. @JuliaVyse

Optimization Score. Lol. @adclarke10

Probably impression share with the changes to match types especially. Not everyone who searches for something is a good potential lead/customer. Quality matters more than volume. @lchasse

Quality Score and Optimization Score are just awful metrics for 99% of brands out there. @duanebrown

Optimization Score Ad Strength CTR/CPC ROAS There’s plenty of others that *can be* useful, but at the end of the day, Goodhart’s Law applies: when a metric becomes a target, it ceases to be a good metric. @DigitalSamIAm

Overall spend. It’s a vanity metric. That’s all. There. I said it. @ScottOmiller

For lead generation, I think CPL is important but overrated. if lead quality stinks, the quantity of leads does not matter. Need systems in place for quality control. @ppcClickShark

Q5: What is the most underrated PPC metric, in your opinion, in 2022?

For ecom and DTC brands. Conversions rate post click. You can not fix a problem if you don’t know where it is. @duanebrown

Personally, I really like Impr. (Abs. Top) % and Impr. (Top) % in Google Ads. Not necessarily something that we optimize towards, but it’s helpful to know how high up on the page our ads are showing, and if it might be contributing to an increase in CTR, clicks, etc. @adclarke10

I don’t know about underrated, but Conversion Rate. Whether foot traffic or site engagement, we want the traffic we drive to be as high-quality as possible. @JuliaVyse

Auction Insights. I am a huge believer in having a sense of what a potential customer is likely to see in their searching journey. Auction Insights lets me know who to visit and monitor so I can see what they offer, how positioned, etc. @NeptuneMoon

If you’re running a lot of YouTube, view rate is underrated. @jessesem

CPV, CPM, Exact Match Conv. Rate (EMCR), Phrase Match Conv. Rate (PMCR), Broad Match Conv. Rate (BMCR). Existing User Brand Search Rate (EUBSR). Okay, that last one was just superfluously made up, but it’s an interesting metric. @ScottOmiller

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