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Google Ads 101: How to Know That Your Google Ads Are Working

Googe ads performance
Tracking the performance of Google Ads.

The third installment in our Google Ads Series is all about how to know if they’re working for you or not. By now, you should have your Google Ads up and running and be ready to analyze their performance. If not, be sure to check out our first two posts in this series, How to Set Up a Google Ads Account and How to Find Keywords.

When it comes to understanding whether your Google Ads are working, or how effectively they’re working, you want to tie your ad results as closely as you can to your real business results.

This means you’re taking a look at how much you spent and what you got out of that investment. If you don’t like what you see, what could you change to get a better ROI?

We’re going to focus primarily on the metrics, but it’s important to understand that those numbers alone won’t tell the full story about your success, or lack thereof—there are a number of factors at play.

In this article, we’re going to walk you through all of the most important metrics and data that you’ll need to analyze in order to understand if your ads are working and if they’re not, what you can do to change that.

Google Ads Metrics to Pay Attention to

Here are the primary metrics in your Google Ads account that we’re going to be analyzing to determine how well your ads are working for you:

  • Total Impressions
  • Clicks to Website/Click-Through Rate (CTR)
  • Number of Website Visits from Cost-Per-Click (CPC)
  • Leads from CPC (Conversions)

To make sure that you have access to the right information, be sure that you have the following platforms available to you:

Now that you know what you’re looking for and you have the right applications available, let’s take a look at some of the important metrics:

Total Impressions

Every time your dental marketing ad shows up at the top of a targeted search and someone sees it, that’s called an impression. Before anyone is able to find you and land on your site, they need to see you show up in the search results.

An impression won’t make you any money, but they are a good indicator of how much or how often your brand is showing up and being seen. A successful Google Ad will have a high number of impressions, although the number can vary based on how much you spent on your ad and the specific keywords and their corresponding search volumes.

Website Clicks or Click Through Rate (CTR)

Once you’ve verified that people are actually seeing your ads, you’ll want to see that your ads are enticing people enough to click them and check out your practice.

Again, the total number of clicks you have will vary based on your ad spend, your bid strategy, and the strength of your ad copy. What you want to see is a high number of clicks and a higher click-through rate. Every campaign is different and will see different results, so there really is no “benchmark” for CTR.

Google calculates CTR by dividing clicks by impressions. For example, if you had 10 clicks and 100 impressions, your CTR would be 10%.

Number of Website Visits from Cost-Per-Click (CPC) and Leads from CPC (Conversions)

So, you’ve determined that your ads are starting to generate impressions and clicks. Great! Now it’s time to see how many of those clicks are leading to leads and to do that you need to have conversion tracking installed so that you can see how many clicks are leading to sales.

Conversion tracking is a powerful tool located right in the Google Ads platform that will allow you to identify how well your campaign is generating leads, sales, email sign-ups, etc. From this data, you can identify which areas of your campaign are working and which ones aren’t. With this information, you can then optimize your bids, ad copy, and keywords accordingly.

Determine Your Top Performing Keywords and Ads

We already determined which keywords to target in our ‘How to Find Keywords’ article, so now it’s time to see how well those keywords are performing. You can track your targeted keywords in both your Google Ads and Google Analytics reports.

Understanding which keywords are generating the most traffic will benefit you in a number of ways. For one, once you identify your top-performing keywords, you can then focus your ads on those specific keywords or phrases to maximize your ROI. Also, once you recognize these successful search terms, you then have a better idea of what content to put on your site so that it becomes more relevant and ranks better organically.

This means that you’ll begin to see more traffic through SEO and can potentially start scaling back your ad spend once you have adequate organic traffic.

Simple Tips for Tracking Your Google Ads Campaign

The success of your Google Ads campaign will depend on how well you can analyze your stats. As your AdWord data accumulates over time, the easier it will be to track it. So, as you ramp up your campaign, increase the budget and take a more aggressive approach, you will gain more information regarding what’s working and what isn’t.

Start by exporting data from AdWords and organizing the key performance indicators we highlighted above into a spreadsheet. As you track data over time, patterns will start to emerge of how to best allocate your marketing dollars to maximize your clicks and increase conversions.

Once you have your data ready, here are two easy-to-follow tips to best track and manage your campaign:

Customize Your Columns

Customize your columns to include the “Competitive Metrics,” like Search Impression Share, Search Exact Match IS, Search Lost IS (Rank), and Search Lost IS (Budget).

These columns will show percentages that indicate how much of the total impression share your ads are getting. The higher the percentage under the Search Impression Share and Search Exact Match IS categories, the better because this means that your ads are getting viewed more often than not. For example, if you have a search impression share of 90% or above, this means that your ads are showing up most of the time for your targeted keywords—which is exactly what you want.

Also, take a look at the Search Lost IS (Rank) and Search Lost IS (Budget), if these percentages are low, it’s a good sign. A low percentage here means that you’re not missing out on people seeing your ads due to a low ad rank or low budget. On the other hand, if these numbers are high, you may need to improve your ads and increase your budget in order for them to be successful.

Track Your Important Stats Over Time

Record your ad campaign’s impressions, clicks, CTR, CPC, Cost, Average Position, and conversions to track progress over time. You can see your daily and weekly trends within AdWords. If you want to look at monthly comparisons, you can generate a report and export it into a spreadsheet where you can see the data changes across months.

Doing this will provide you with seasonal insight as well as variables like your competitors and budget, which can have a big influence on CPC and how many clicks you get.

Are Your Google Ads Working For Your Dental Practice?

If you’re running Google Ads, it’s important that they not only be set up correctly but that you take the time to make sure they’re optimized for conversion and ROI. You may have to do some trial and error, and that’s perfectly normal.

For example, you may have focused on a particular keyword only to analyze the data and realize that your dental marketing dollars could be better spent on a higher volume keyword.

If tracking and analyzing the metrics feel confusing, let us help. The team at Core Dental Solutions is here for you. We’re a full-service dental marketing company that’s dedicated to helping dental practices reach their goals quickly and efficiently.

Schedule your free consultation here to learn more about our dental marketing services and how we can take your dental practice to the next level this year!

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