A “Key Performance Indicator” or KPI is a value that can be measured to determine how effective organizations are at achieving their business objectives. KPIs can be used at any level of business, from internal communications, to marketing, sales, human resources, finance, digital marketing and more. 

KPIs sound very general but in reality they can become some of the most important measurables your business tracks. In order to get the most out of your KPIs, make sure the objectives are tailored specific to your business and industry. Otherwise, you’ll be setting unrealistic and unattainable goals.

How to Define KPIs for Paid Search

There are countless KPIs to consider in digital marketing and it might feel overwhelming to sit down with your team and determine which will make the most sense to measure. When brainstorming, ask yourselves these questions to start:

  • What is our (or the client’s) desired outcome?
  • How much of our (or the client’s) budget will be allocated to achieve this outcome?
  • What analytics programs will we use to measure success outside of Google Analytics, if any?
  • How often will our team track the progress of the paid search campaign? Daily? Weekly? Monthly?
  • What specific steps must we take along the way to ensure PPC KPIs are on the right track for success?

Here’s a type of scenario you probably encounter quite often:

Your client comes to you for help in specifically increasing ecommerce sales. Great. This will be your ecommerce sales KPI. From the bulleted list above, the concise guideline to determining how to execute your KPI will look something like this:

  • The client wants to increase ecommerce sales by 35% by the end of 2021.
  • The client’s budget toward achieving this KPI is $50,000.
  • We will track the KPI’s progress through Google Analytics.
  • Two team members will be responsible for checking the paid search campaign daily.
  • The same two team members will report on the progress of the KPI every two weeks.
  • Before execution, the dedicated SEO team must review the client’s website and social media presence for best optimization. From their findings, the team must ensure all keywords, links, meta tags, and other such necessary items are in place.

Are you or your client unsure of what KPI to measure? We share some specific, actionable recommendations for ppc KPIs below!

If you’re outsourcing your digital marketing work, try asking these 10 Questions When Hiring an SEO Expert.

7 Paid Search KPIs You Should Be Tracking

1. Return on Investment (ROI)

It’s always important to take into consideration any costs outside of paid search spend, even if you or your client are focusing specifically on paid search. When other marketing costs are being allocated to efforts that ultimately assist the overall paid search campaign, it’s interesting to see how paid search benefits.

2. Return on Ad Spend (ROAS)

ROAS only takes into consideration paid search efforts and results. This metric is used to compare revenue to paid search ad spend and monitors whether your ad is driving enough traffic to make the campaign valuable.

Are you optimizing for local search? Check out our Do’s & Don’ts before you get started.

3. Average Click-Through-Rate (CTR)

A common paid search KPI is CTR, which measures the total number of clicks against impressions (amount of people who view your ad). Divide the number of clicks by impressions to get your CTR%.

4. Cost-Per-Click (CPC)

This is an important indicator to track because it shows how much of your budget is spent every time a user clicks on a paid search ad. This is a useful KPI for businesses with smaller budgets to keep an eye on their spend.

5. Google Quality Score

Google will always let you know how effective an ad will be before you publish it, but a high quality score (measured on a scale from 1 – 10) will be rewarded with ppc campaign discounts. High quality ads are relevant, lead you to a strong landing page, and have a consistent CTR.

6. Conversion Rate (CVR)

CVR might be the most surefire way to measure the success of a paid search campaign. Why? Because it tracks the number of users who viewed your ad, clicks on that ad, followed through with your call-to-action (CTA), and made a purchase. CVR is influenced by many factors that your digital marketing team must pay attention to, like ad copy, website copy, landing page optimization, and more.

7. Cost-Per-Acquisition (CPA)

Instead of measuring the cost of each click, CPA will measure the cost of a new customer and sale. How? Simply divide the total cost of the campaign by the number of generated conversions. 


It’s time to start measuring paid search KPIs more effectively. Remember to set actionable goals and have specific plans, processes, and personnel in place to achieve success!

The team at Logical Media Group can assist you with determining and measuring KPIs. Contact us today and we will follow up within 24 hours.