Is Your Pay-Per-Click Advertising Working? Here’s How to Know

Oct 25, 2021

Pay-per-click (PPC) ads can be an essential part of any Internet marketing plan – but also one of the most fretful. 

It’s not difficult to understand why. You are putting an investment into PPC advertising, hoping it pays off in the form of more of the leads you are looking for. Of course, you want to be able to tell whether you’re receiving good returns! 

At Marketing 2nGage, we never treat PPC advertising as a “set and forget” strategy, and you shouldn’t either. Knowing where your ads are exceeding and where they’re coming up short can help you adjust for optimal results in an ever-changing landscape.

But how do you know your PPC advertising is working? Where do you look?

Don’t worry. We’ll point out a few of the metrics you should be taking note of, and we’ll always be more than happy to discuss an ads strategy and what you should expect out of one as well. Simply contact us to schedule a consultation.

Measuring the Metrics of a PPC Campaign

While we may provide some general figures for how “success” looks in many regards, it’s worth noting that not all ad campaigns are the same. Depending on what you’re trying to sell, your results might vary for a variety of reasons.

Because of this, it’s always a good idea to establish a baseline for comparison. Ideally, this should happen before you start a campaign, but there’s no better time than right now if you haven’t! Grab your current numbers for:

  • Website traffic, and especially the pages your ads will be directing to.
  • Leads, including form completions, calls, emails, and any other type that can be measured. If you can categorize them by what a customer is looking for, even better.
  • Sales. What are you currently making on what you are trying to sell through your ads?

Having these numbers now can be a big help in tracking the effectiveness of your PPC campaign over time.

Once you have a baseline, you can start digging through the data and look for the good stuff.

Impressions, Clicks, and Click Through Rate (CTR)

Google AdWords and Facebook Ads accounts should provide you straight data on these figures, each of which is important in a slightly different way.

  • Impressions is how many people have seen your ad. The more people who see your ad, the better (usually). If not a lot of people are seeing your ad, it may mean the keywords and parameters for when the ad will be shown need to be adjusted.
  • Clicks, as you might expect, is how many people actually click on the ad. Remember that you pay every time someone clicks, so you want to make sure the right people are doing so. More on this later – but for now, remember that you shouldn’t click on your own ads.
  • Click-Through Rate (CTR) is the number of clicks divided by the number of overall impressions. 

Naturally, having a higher CTR is more favorable – but you likely should not be disappointed if you don’t see figures in the double digits. Not everyone runs out and buys whatever is being advertised on most ads they see, after all. A CTR of around 2% or higher is generally favorable.

PPC - Pay Per Click concept Businessman working concept ppc


Seeing a good CTR on your ads is often better than not, but it’s also not the ultimate measure of success, either. 

You also need to know whether the people who are clicking your ads are actually following through in becoming leads. If not enough of the clicks you’re paying for are transforming into cash in your pocket, something needs to change fast.

If you are using Google AdWords, you may be able to set up the ability to track when a lead has filled out a form or clicked to call you after responding to your ad. We set these up for our clients all the time, as it’s one of the most direct ways to know whether you’re seeing results.

If you don’t have such indicators set up, you can still get somewhat of a sense of conversions by comparing to your baseline figures: 

  • Are you receiving more calls, emails, and other forms of contact about the items or services you are trying to sell through your ad? 
  • Do you have a form on your webpage that is targeted by the ad? If a unique “Thank You” page is set up for users to go to automatically go to when completing that form, increased traffic to that location can be a good sign that your ads are bringing in conversions.

Your Bottom Line – Sales!

It’s worth considering all factors and potential stops on a lead’s journey to becoming your customer. 

As we noted before, a click does not necessarily mean action will be taken. However, just because you haven’t seen any immediate indicator of a click following through does not necessarily mean they won’t, either.

It’s common nature for folks to shop around a bit. They may be enticed by your ad, head off to shop around a bit, and then return if they choose you. And when they do return, there’s a relatively good chance they won’t go through the same channels they did when clicking on your ad, and just go to your business or call you directly instead.

So never neglect the actual sales of the item or service you are promoting when taking stock of your advertisings’ effects! In short, are you making more money than you were before on your advertised items or services? 

Compare the change in sales to your Cost per Conversion, if you have this data. This is how much you are essentially paying for each person that has been determined to become a lead through your advertising. Google will have this for you if set up fully.

If your Cost per Conversion is overwhelming or taking a big chunk out of your revenue increase, then a change of plan is necessary.

Business and growth concept.

What to Do with What You Know

Depending on your findings, perhaps your PPC ads are doing great and need no adjustment at this time. That’s great!

If things are not going as well as you expect, however, then an adjustment may be necessary. A number of adjustments can be made to an ad campaign, including:

  • Increasing or decreasing the spending cap on your campaign. You might want to increase it if you’re finding people are responding to your ads well, but they get shut down early because your spending limit is reached.
  • Changing the keywords used to distribute the ads. Perhaps the best leads are not searching for the keywords you have provided. Be aware, however, that more popular keywords often come with higher costs.
  • Refining a lead’s route to becoming a customer. When someone clicks your ad, is the page you are directing them to providing them what they are looking for? Is there a clear call to action and a simple, obvious way for those leads to contact you in a beneficial way? If not, your ads may be working fine but your website might be the kink where potential sales are getting blocked.

There is a lot to take in and process when it comes to running a successful PPC campaign. That’s why we’re always glad to provide expert services to do the work for you. We can provide you with the solid information you need to determine whether your ads are bringing the results you want, as well as recommendations for how to adjust your campaigns to keep them optimal. What you choose to do with your ads, of course, is always up to you.

Schedule a consultation with us by giving us a call or filling out our online contact form. Let’s help make your ads – and the other elements of your internet marketing – pay off for you!