What are the goals for your ad campaign and how can you measure its success?

Google AdWords is all about results. From the first time you create an ad, it's important to know what you want to gain from your campaign and how you're going to measure your success. Do you want to increase traffic to your website? Or increase sales, conversions, or ROI? Or perhaps raise brand awareness? Choose your goals carefully and learn how to measure them.

Increase website traffic Campaigns that are focused on increasing traffic might be created by an organization that wants to promote a new fundraising drive, or a business that would like to increase sales of a new product.

Focus on: clicks, clickthrough rate, keyword performance, search terms

Increase clicks and CTR If you want to use AdWords to increase traffic to your site, try to focus on increasing your clicks and clickthrough rate (CTR). You can achieve this by creating great ad text, organizing your ad groups by common theme, product, or goal, and creating smaller lists (20-30 terms long, for example) of tightly themed keywords to ensure that your ads are highly relevant and very compelling to your customers. Then it's important to monitor your performance closely. Under most circumstances, it's very valuable to optimize the cost per click and thus the number of clicks from your budget.

Increase sales or other types of conversions Campaigns that are focused on increasing sales and or other types of conversions might be created by a company that wants to sell a lot of a particular product, or a non-profit organization that wants to encourage visitors to sign a petition for an important cause. Also, a conversion could be a website lead (someone who calls you, or who fills out a contact form).

Focus on: conversion data, landing pages Increase conversions An AdWords conversion occurs when someone clicks on your ad and behaves the way you want the visitor to, this could be a purchase, a newsletter sign-up, or a request to receive more information about your organization. The most important step you can take to increase your sales and other conversions is to start paying close attention to your conversion data and updating your campaigns based on what you find out.

For example, after tracking your conversions, you might notice that a certain keyword has led to many conversions, while another one didn't. You could choose to spend more of your budget on the keyword that produces more conversions.

Choose relevant landing pages In addition to keeping track of conversions, you should also make sure that the landing page you use for each ad directs customers to the most relevant page within your website. Ideally, that webpage will be dedicated to the specific product or service that's highlighted in your ad.

Raise brand awareness Campaigns that are focused on brand awareness might be created by a car company that wants to create buzz for a new model, or a film company that wants to promote a new movie by offering visitors a sneak-peek.

Focus on: impressions, customer engagement, reach and frequency

Increase impressions If your advertising goal is branding, your main reason for advertising online is to raise awareness and visibility of your product, service, or cause. Your goals might include increasing traffic to your website, and encouraging customers to interact with or learn more about your brand. To achieve this, you'll want to drive impressions to try to show your ads to as many people as possible within your target audience.

Drive customer engagement While impressions represent how many customers laid eyes on your ad, customer engagement represents how interesting your customers find your ads. Do they actually click on the ad or view a video? That means they're engaged. You can use CTR for Search Network campaigns, and conversions for the Display Network campaigns to measure engagement. Use reach and frequency numbers to learn how many people are exposed to your ad, and how often they see it.

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