If you’re the kind of person who loves working with math and statistics, then you’re bound to enjoy pay-per-click advertising. Once the campaign planning and creative work is done, the whole thing is driven by numbers, and specifically ways to improve them.

On the other hand, if you think math was best left back in your school days, then it might be easy for you to overlook a handful of important performance indicators that tell you how your ads are doing. Fortunately, you won’t have to dig into your old calculus book to assess the health of your PPC campaigns. Instead, you just need to keep an eye on five key metrics…

#1 Click Through Rate

Your click through rate gives you an instant sense of how well your target market is responding to the ads you have produced. If lots of searchers are clicking on them, you probably have a winning message that’s resonating with potential buyers. If not, maybe you need to rethink your offer, or target a different set of search terms altogether.

#2 Keyword Quality Scores

This is tied in with your click through rate, but also incorporates things like the relevance of your landing page and overall user experience. Given that the quality scores associated with the search terms you target will determine the rates you pay on the positions of your ads, you should consider making adjustments to any that have a 7/10 rating or lower after the first couple of weeks.

#3 Conversions

Pay-per-click advertising isn’t about getting clicks, it’s about generating results. If you have a huge number of visits to your website but no sales or leads to show for your efforts, then you’re spending a lot of money to make nothing happen. Ensure that you have your conversion goals set up properly, and then watch the results carefully to see which keywords or campaigns are working the way they are supposed to.

#4 Bounce Rates

On the other side of the coin from conversions are bounces. These are visits to your website that resulted in no activity at all – a searcher clicks to your ad, arrives at your page, and leaves without clicking on anything. High bounce rates can be a result of poor keyword selection, misleading ads, or an underwhelming user experience. Use split testing to figure out what’s wrong with your pages and correct the problem.

#5 Expenditures and ROI

Of course, you’ll always want to ensure that you’re making more from your PPC campaigns then you are spending to keep them online. So, keep a close eye on your budget, watch the bottom line results that are being generated, and make decisions based on finished sales rather than the number of clicks you are receiving.

If you’re not watching your pay-per-click metrics closely, then you might be missing the big picture with your ad budget – not to mention opportunities to win more customers. If you’re hesitant to dig into the numbers, remember that none of these statistics is complicated or hard to understand. And once you get a firm grasp on them, you’ll have a much easier time steering your campaigns in the right direction.