Top 5 Google Ads Metrics To Track When Starting Out

Picture of Phil Hughes
Phil Hughes

Google Ads is by far and away one of the biggest and most in-depth ad platforms on the planet. There are 5.6 BILLION searches on the platform each day. Using the Google Ads platform to display your website at the top of the search rankings is one of the best ways to get visitors to your website.

So, you have your business website up and running. It looks great and works well. It’s very easy for potential customers to buy from you and get in touch. But instead of the sounds of a cash register, you are hearing crickets.

Regardless of what product or service you are offering, you need customers. You need a way to promote your business and gain the attention of potential customers.

It can be tough and takes a long time for you to start ranking high in Google’s search results. Luckily Google has provided a way for you to get to the top of these rankings. As well as other ways to promote your website and business, using their Ads platform.

Oh, before we get started. If you want to know how data from Google Ads, sits within a larger data-driven marketing approach? Check out this guide I’ve put together called What Is Marketing Analytics And Data-Driven Marketing.

Google Ads – Reaching Your Audience

You have created an amazing website. It’s a great way to introduce your products or services to customers. Trying to get visitors to your website can be a challenge. If you are willing to spend money and have a budget. Then running a Google Ads campaign is a great way to get your website in front of the right people.

There is a variety of different ads that you can run using the Google Ads platform. I won’t go into detail about the type of ads in this post. I’m going to focus on the Google Ads metrics that you can review, no matter what sorts of ads you’re running.

Regardless of what product or service you are offering, you need customers. You need a way to promote your business and gain the attention of potential customers. Google Ads solves this problem for you, but how do you know if your ad campaign is working or not?

This is where Elementary Analytics comes in. You need to focus on the key overarching metrics. Helping you see which ads are driving the most traffic and getting conversions. So you can optimize these ads and test your messaging. In turn, increasing sales from your website.

Top 5 Google Ads Metrics To Track

Your website has been up and running for a good few months now. You have a number of products and services that you want to promote. You have created a marketing plan, identified who your customers are, and what problems you can solve for them. Then tailor your message to show people how you can help them.

“How do I know if my marketing plan and messaging are going to work?”

I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve turned to Google Ads to get a website, landing page, products page, and eCommerce store in front of people.

For example, I know people are searching for the key phrase “how to create a marketing report”. I could create a specific landing page on Elementary Analytics explaining how we can help people generate marketing reports. I can then create a Google Ads campaign that would show an ad every time someone Googled that phrase.

Here are the 5 metrics I would look at when reviewing Google Ads campaign insights. To see if the ads are working and if my landing page and messaging engage people. Finally to see if people then convert by signing up to our 14-day free trial.


Impressions relate to how many people see your ad. Regardless of whether they interacted with the ad, scrolled past it, or ignored it completely.

This insight is an interesting one for me. you can see how your ad(s) is performing by reviewing this stat.

If you planned your ad campaign correctly and researched what keywords or sites to display ads on. Your impressions number should be relatively high. It is a very quick way to see if your ad strategy is getting in front of people.


Google Ad’s clicks metric shows you how many times your ad was clicked after it has been displayed to someone.

For me, this is the most important stat from the Google Ads metrics. This means someone found your ads interesting and wanted to read more. They clicked the link, image, or video and went to your website.

If you click numbers are high. This should improve the Page Views metrics in your Google Analytics stats too.

Click Through Rate – CTR

The ‘click through rate’, shortened to ‘CTR’ is also another interesting stat. It’s represented by Google’s Ads platform as a percentage. A percentage of what though?

To calculate the CTR: divide the number of clicks by the number of impressions. Then times it by 100.

So let’s say you are getting 23 clicks and 491 impressions. Divide 23 by 491 and multiply by 100, this gives you 4.68%. Almost 5 per cent of people saw or clicked to view the content. Not bad, not bad at all.

At the time of writing this post, the average CTR across the whole of Google’s search results was 3.17%. That is low, very low.

If an ad is getting a lot of impressions, my rule of thumb is to try and get a 5-10% click-through rate. If you’re hitting this number, or even higher, then you know you are doing something right.

But what if you aren’t even getting the 3% average? What if, like me, you have some ads that have had a 0.50% click-through rate? What can do you?

First, check your ad(s). Is the title intriguing? Does the image/video stop the scroll? Does it make people want to click the link? Does the description also want to make people click? Is it providing enough information? The right information? Are people scrolling past it and ignoring it?

Second, are you targeting the correct keyword(s) or appearing on the best websites? If you’ve had about generating marketing reports. But the ads are appearing in results for financial reporting. Then you will need to review the ad campaign and make sure your keyword strategy is right.

If all else fails, you may need to go back to the drawing board and review what audience you are trying to reach.


Tracking conversion on your website can be difficult to set up, but it is well worth the effort.

First, you need to decide what the single goal of the ad campaign is to be. Do you want to track purchases on an eCommerce store? Do you want to track sign-ups on your website? Do you want to see if someone downloaded your free report?

Once this has been configured for your ad campaign, you can easily monitor this using Elementary Analytics. This Google Ads metric is a great way to instantly see if your ad campaign is working.

If you’re an eCommerce store selling t-shirts (one of the many businesses I’ve dabbled in over the years). Your conversion could be a purchase, if the number is zero then you’re spending money with nothing coming back in return.

But let’s say you are spending £10 on ads, and you need to sell 3 t-shirts to be profitable, you can easily see if you’re ads are working as you would like.


This sounds simple but you need to know how much you are spending.

I’ve spoken to so many business owners and marketers who have run Google Ads campaigns and haven’t watched what they were spending.

Then, at the end of the month, they get an invoice for thousands of pounds from Google. But, they have made little or no sales from an ad campaign. It can be disheartening.

So tracking the amount you are spending on each campaign over a period of time. Combined with your conversion count it is the best way to see if you are running a successful ad campaign or not.

Viewing Your Top 5 Google Ads Metrics

It can be a pain viewing all these metrics using the Google Ads dashboard. Even more so, if, like me, you have a couple of ad campaigns that you are running side by side. To see what the conversion numbers are, and how much you are spending per campaign.

This was one of the reasons I started building Elementary Analytics. I wanted a cut-down and very specific view of my Google Ads stats. In turn, that affected my Google Analytics stats, impacting my sales and profit margins.

“Elementary” Or Simplified View Of Your Google Ads Insights

With our dashboard, you can view your top 4 metrics on a single widget. Create as many widgets as you need for Google Ad campaigns as you would like to review.

Below is a screenshot of the last 30 days’ stats for Elementary Analytics.

Here you can see our Google Ads 30 day widget inside Elementary Analytics

The widget gives a total of 4 metrics over the past thirty days. These metrics are clicks, impressions, average click-through rate (CTR), and conversions.

There is also an indicator that highlights if a metric has gone up or down compared to the previous thirty days. As well as showing you by what percentage the metrics as gone up or down.

A graph breaks down the 4 key metrics by day. There is also a more detailed view if you click the ‘View more detail’ link within the widget.

You can see a more detailed breakdown of your Google ads metrics using Elementary Analytics.

The graph displayed is the same as the previous widget. Here though, you can change the period of the graph, ranging from the last 7 days, up to the last 90 days.

Our dashboard also gives a breakdown for not only the last seven days. But stats for this month, last month, and the last ninety days. As well as any KPIs that have been set.

So you can see how your Google Ads campaign is performing.

There you have it. Elementary Analytics’ guide to the Top 5 Google Ads metrics to track. A great way to monitor and stay on track in the early days after you have launched a website and trying to promote your business.

I would love to hear your thoughts on which metrics to track and if you found this post useful.

Regards, Phil.

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Thanks for reading.

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