6 Common Paid Search Key Performance Indicators

If there is one thing marketers understand, it is numbers. Numbers provide us with the information we need to measure the success and failure of our efforts. Among these numbers are what are called key performance indicators (KPIs), or the chosen value by which we measure the success of an initiative. Every online business has different KPIs based on their key business objectives. However, in any pay-per-click (PPC) campaign there are a number of common KPIs that we often use.

Below are six of the more common KPIs that can be used to measure the effectiveness of a paid search marketing campaign.


When used in conjunction with other KPIs, the allocated budget amount you have towards a PPC campaign or the total amount spent on your ads can tell a lot about how successful or unsuccessful a campaign actually is.


The total number of times a user clicks on an ad.  This measure can be used as a key indicator to determine whether or not users find your ad appealing.

Click Through Rate (CTR)

The number of times a user clicks on an ad divided by the number of times your ad is shown (impressions). Shown as a percentage, this measurement is an indicator of whether or not a user finds your ad helpful and relevant and ultimately determines whether or not your ad copy is effective.

Cost Per Click (CPC)

A measurement determining the price paid for each click on an ad. This value is determined by either Google AdWords or Bing Ads with a combination of factors such as Quality Score and Ad Rank.


A measurement determining the number of times your ads were seen by users. This is a good performance indicator for those organizations wanting to simply be seen and to spread awareness about its brand.

Conversion Rate

A percentage value of the number of conversions divided by the total converted ad clicks.  When used in conjunction with other KPIs, like CTR, this measurement can be a strong indicator about how successful your campaigns are or whether or not they need to be further optimized.

Again, keep in mind that although these are some of the most common KPIs you may find within a PPC campaign, every business is different and therefore may value certain KPIs more than others depending on business objectives.

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