Google Ad Metrics

Social Metrics

Google Ad Metrics

Lies, Damn Lies, and Statistics

You have probably heard the quote, commonly attributed to former British prime minister Benjamin Disraeli, although that attribution may itself be untrue, that “there are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics.” I don’t agree because I don’t think statistics lie. Statistics may be misused through incorrect utilization, improper application, or an outright deliberate attempt to deceive. When utilized correctly, I believe statistics rather than listen to someone’s gut-feelings.


To make my point, I’ll use Google Ad metrics. Visibility or engagement metrics, like impressions and CTRs, get a lot of attention and are used by many marketers to highlight how well their ads are resonating with audiences and their positive impact on company’s business. They may have a point that an uptick in these metrics can be indicative of better ad copy that is driving engagement but their boast about its impact on the bottom line is usually a stretch.

That being said, such engagement metrics have some value. First, they are easily available and good for self-preservation. If you need to show your boss in a hurry that your ads campaign is performing well, these metrics would show positive trends. Secondly, these metrics are a great way to determine performance of your content. You can perform A/B testing to improve your headlines, descriptions, CTAs, imagery, etc. However, these metrics only measure non-monetary, non-transactional, marketing variables like brand awareness and SOV. They do not measure revenue and profit.

Conversion Rate:

So how do you measure impact on business? It depends on how you define success. What do you want your website visitor to do that you will qualify as a successful outcome? If you have an e-commerce site, it might be clicking on the “Submit” button in the shopping cart. It could be asking for a demo, downloading a whitepaper, asking for a consultation, etc. One word of advice; the less established your business is, it is likely your prospects are higher up in the sales funnel. So your conversion metric should be appropriate to where they are in their buying journey. Let me explain:

High Funnel and Low Funnel Prospects:

The following sales funnel diagram should look familiar even though some words may be different.

If only your close friends and relatives know about your business, then building product awareness should be your goal, not making a sale or doing a demonstration. It takes time for people to become prospects and prospects to become customers. So, it would be wise to set an upper-funnel-oriented goal that measures an increase in brand awareness like website visits or click-through rates at this stage. If the goal is too lofty too soon, such as measuring clicks on the submit button of the shopping cart, when people don’t know much about you, you are likely setting yourself up for failure.

Many marketers find setting up conversion tracking a bit daunting because it entails generating HTML code which is added to the webpage that customers see right after they complete a conversion. Here is the basic set-up on Google ads:

  1. Click on the Tools and Analysis tab in Google Ads
  2. Select Conversions from the drop-down menu which loads All Conversions page.
  3. Click on the Conversions tab, then click the +Conversion button to create your first conversion.
  4. You will be prompted to fill out a form for Google Ads to generate HTML code to be pasted into your webpage.
  5. Next, select the source of the conversion. Your choices are webpage, call on-site, or app download.

If you need some assistance from a developer, you can call us.

Linking Google Ads to Google Analytics:

When you link your Google Ads account to your Google Analytics, you are able to see more detailed information about visitor behavior and how they interacted with your ad copy. You will discover which pages they visited on your website, duration of the session, pages/session, etc. to when they decided to leave. You will learn if you were able to hold their interest and achieved your goals, i.e., succeeded in getting a conversion.

To link Google Ads to Google Analytics, follow these steps:

  1. Sign in to Google Analytics.
  2. Click Admin
  3. In the PROPERTY column, click Google Ads Linking.
  4. Click + NEW LINK GROUP
  5. Select the Google Ads accounts you want to link, then click Continue
  6. Turn linking ON for each view in you want to see Google Ads data.
  7. If you want, you can also select Enable Google Display Network Impression Reporting to also include that data in each view.
  8. If you’ve already enabled auto-tagging in your Google Ads accounts, or if you want to let the linking process automatically enable auto-tagging in your Google Ads accounts, click Link Accounts. However, if you want to manually tag your Google Ads links, click Advanced settings > Leave my auto-tagging settings as they are and then click Link accounts.

Paying attention to the right metrics for the right reasons will ensure that you are studying the effectiveness of your marketing efforts appropriately and getting deserved credit for your work. There is nothing more maddening when you are doing everything you can but the needle refuses to move because you are watching the wrong needle.