Public Relations


How to know if your PPC campaign is working

January 2023

Reading time: 3 minute(s).

Advertising platforms have exploded in recent years offering low-cost options that are available to all businesses, regardless of size.

It’s not so long ago that advertising was restricted to newspapers and – if you could afford it – radio and TV. While the audiences for printed ads were bigger than they are now, there was still the problem of knowing how many people had looked at your ad or decided to make an enquiry on the back of it.

Online advertising has changed all that. The brilliant thing about PPC campaigns is that the results are so easily accessible and there’s so much data to analyse. But what should you be looking for if you want to check an ad is performing well for you?

Here are some key metrics we look out for when analysing performance

Quality score

Quality score is the rating that shows how well your ad quality compares to other advertisers – the higher, the better.

Click Through Rate (CTR)

Click Through Rate is a great metric to understand how your adverts are being received by users. The CTR is the number of clicks that your advert receives divided by the number of times your ad is shown. Average CTR varies across every industry but overall, the average for search is four to six per cent.

Cost Per Click (CPC)

Cost Per Click is how much you pay for each click on an ad. You can set a maximum CPC bid and when someone clicks on your ad, it won’t cost you more than the bid you have set. The average CPC across all industries is £2.70.

Time on site

Time on site is an interesting indicator of how a user is engaging with your website. If you’re worried that your time on site figure is low, set a timer and go and visit a new website for the first time. You will probably realise that two to three minutes on a website is longer than you first thought

Conversion rate

Conversion rates are calculated by taking the number of conversions – the number of viewers who become a paying customer – and dividing that by the number of total ad clicks. A good conversion rate on Google Ads is between two and five per cent, with the average conversion rate in 2022 being 4.40 per cent.

Setting KPIs for your campaigns

Setting KPIs is really important before you start a new campaign. Based on previous performance, what will success look like? Is an increase in conversions the priority? If so, what conversion rate do you want to see? Always set KPIs for your campaigns before you start so you’ve got a comparison when analysing performance. Did you achieve your KPIs or was there a shortfall? These figures can be used for reporting and they are also helpful if you want to look back and see the impact the campaign has made.


The key to the success of a campaign can depend on the optimisation, which is looking at the data and metrics of your campaign and making changes and tweaks to help your campaigns perform better than before. Changes you can consider include:

Negative keywords

Negative keywords are an important way to help tailor your PPC campaign. Negative keywords lets you exclude irrelevant search terms and ensures your ads only show against relevant queries. This can help increase Click Through Rate as you’re only showing your ads to the appropriate audience.

Updating ad copy

Updating exhausted ad copy is vital to help keep your campaign performing as its best.

Extensions and assets

Extensions and assets are a valuable way to help boost your campaign and get it to the top of the Search Engine Results Pages (SERP). Use Sitelink, Callout, Image and Call extensions to give your ads the best chance of being clicked.

Bid adjustments

Bid adjustments are a very important optimisation tactic. If you can see that more users are using desktop to search for your ads, then you can increase the bids on desktop users. This will guarantee that you’re spending the ad spend efficiently and in the right places.

A/B testing

A/B testing is an interesting way to see which ads are performing better. This could be using slightly different headlines or descriptions in one advert compared with another. But it is key to see what advert or keywords perform better.


Google Ads is ever changing and it can be tough to keep up with what is working and what isn’t. Be sure to keep abreast of the latest trends as it could affect your campaigns.

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January 2023 | Harrison Wong