What the numbers mean in performance reports

Here are several Microsoft Advertising performance report statistics to track on an ongoing basis. Together they'll give you actionable information for improving campaign, keyword, ad, and landing page performance.

Here's a list of several important performance statistics used in the performance snapshots found on the Campaigns page or by running performance reports. With the insights gained from tracking these statistics over time, you can make informed choices for optimizing your campaign's performance.

Click-through rate (CTR) expando image

What it is: The number of times an ad was clicked, divided by the number of times the ad was shown (impressions). For example, if your ads had 50 clicks out of 2,348 impressions, your CTR is 2.13%.

Why it's important: CTR is a good way to quickly judge the effectiveness of your ad copy. A good CTR is around 2%. If it's below 1%, consider making some changes, such as improving your ad copy by describing what sets your product apart from that of your competitors'.

Average ad position (Avg. pos.) expando image

What it is: The average position of the ad on a webpage.

Why it's important: If your average ad position is somewhere on page 3 or lower, customers are far less likely to see it. To boost ad position, try increasing your keyword bids, for example, and targeting customers with bid adjustments.

Average cost per click (Avg. CPC) expando image

What it is: The total cost of all clicks on an ad divided by the number of clicks. This is the average amount you're actually charged each time your ad is clicked. For example, if you paid a total of $48.35 for 300 clicks, your average CPC is $0.16.

Why it's important: Average CPC can help you determine if you're getting a good return on investment (ROI). How you define a reasonable CPC can depend in part of what you consider to be an acceptable ROI. The average CPC for Microsoft Advertising is around $0.84, though yours could be significantly higher or lower based on your business type and ROI goals.

Your budget is closely connected to an acceptable CPC. For example, you need to lower your CPC if it's depleting your budget too quickly. If you often have budget left over, you might have room for a higher CPC.

If CPC isn't what you want or expect, review your bid prices and CPC as compared to your average ad position, and adjust your keyword bids as needed

Conversions expando image

What it is: A conversion is the completion of an action by a customer after viewing your ad. The action could be purchasing your product, registering for your webinar, joining an organization - whatever you consider the best measure of the ad's success. Along with conversion rate, conversions are available when you turn on conversion tracking.

Why it's important: If your ad has a good CTR but few conversions, you are paying for ads that aren't bringing you revenue. Try improving your landing page by making the content easy to read and putting your purchase offer near the top of the page.

Conversion rate (%) expando image

What it is: The number of conversions, divided by the total number of clicks. For example, if the ads in your campaign got 300 clicks and four conversions, the conversion rate is 1.33%. Along with conversions, conversion rate is available when you turn on conversion tracking.

Why it's important: The higher your conversion rate, the better your campaign and its ads are performing. A good conversion rate is generally between 2% and 3%. If it's consistently lower than this, consider improving your landing page by making sure it's well-organized, interesting, easy to use, and relevant to what your customers searched for.

Impressions (And impression share) expando image

What it is: Impressions are the number of times an ad has been displayed on search results pages. Impression share is the number of times your ad is shown as a percentage of the total available impressions in the market you were targeting.

Why it's important: Without impressions there are no clicks or conversions. You should monitor and adjust impressions in the context of the preceding statistics. For example, if your CTR is low, it could be because of low impressions.

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