I get this question a lot; “What should a good PPC campaign look like?”

To be fair, a good campaign is going to look different to me than it will to other people. It also depends on what your goals are for that campaign (to get leads, eCommerce sales, email addresses, etc).

However, when I’m running a campaign for my clients I always want to know two things above all.

First, I want to know how many leads they are getting from their pay per click campaign.

Second, I want to know how much they are paying per lead.

Now with our service business clients, we have two types of leads (typically). We have those leads who fill out one of the forms on a landing page and we have those leads who actually call in. We consider both of these a lead.

So every month on our reports that we give to our clients we have a spreadsheet (a lot of our clients don’t understand or even want to understand the spreadsheet,), but it has all of the relevant information to them about their account. Clicks, Cost Per Click (CPC), Web Leads, Calls, Total Leads, Total Cost and Cost Per Lead.

But the one thing that they do like is a chart like this one below (which is an actual PPC client).

What A PPC Campaign Shoud Look Like

The reason that they like this chart is because it shows them EXACTLY what they want and NEED to see. They get to see a timeline of the number of leads that they are receiving and the cost per lead.

As you can see, we started working with this company in January of 2016. Since that time, the leads have gone up and the cost per lead has gone down. We see the blue line go up… up… up… and the orange line go down… down… down.

That’s the true gauge that my clients like to see. It give them a measuring stick for what’s happening over time, how it’s affecting their business, and how we as a provider are performing.

Sure, there are times when there is a spike where the leads drop and the cost per lead goes up. That can happen at any time. But as long as it corrects itself the next month, we are not usually too concerned. Of course when we see that spike, we check the campaign settings to make sure that everything is running correctly and that there weren’t any major changes to the account that could cause that negative effect. Here’s an example of a spike (actual client account):

Client Cost Per Lead Spike

Now you can see from #1 that there was a slight drop in leads (only 1) from the previous month. This didn’t really bother us. However, the Cost Per Lead jumped more than 21%. Our solution was to go back and review our keyword bids as some lower performing keywords were becoming very expensive and started to contribute to the higher lead cost.

In #2 it happened again, but this time the leads just dropped for the month but the cost per lead stayed relatively flat. That’s OK as long as it’s just one month (which is this case it was). The client was out of town for the 4th of July holiday week and we paused his account for that entire week.

As you can see, it can help you look at the success of your campaign in a whole new light.

Now there can be seasonal changes with your advertising clients as well (retail is obviously going to see a huge upswing in business over the holiday season) and/or buying cycles (February is typically slow for a lot of businesses because of the holiday season being over, tax season is ramping up and people are seeing their credit card bills with the holiday purchases that they made in December).

But that’s what we want to see each and every month, the total leads and the cost per lead (among others as well but those are the first two that I personally look at). If I saw just those two stats on a calendar, going in the direction that I wanted them to, I would be happy. Cost per leads down and total leads up.

Now it’s not always that simple, but you get the idea of the most important information for us to see in our Pay Per Click accounts. Of course we will follow up with other videos to show you how we go about getting those numbers, but I just wanted you to see how we begin to look at our accounts each and every month to determine the account success.

That’s what we think a “Good PPC Campaign Should Look Like“.

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