The importance of conducting PPC analysis: A guide for marketers

PPC analysis goes beyond campaign launch. By consistently evaluating your campaigns, you gain a deep understanding of their strengths, weaknesses, and hidden opportunities. This guide dives into the importance of PPC analysis and presents tried and tested strategies to measure performance.

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Introduction to PPC Analysis

Running pay-per-click (PPC) campaigns can be a powerful tool to drive traffic to your website and generate leads or sales. But simply launching a campaign isn’t enough. To ensure your PPC efforts are paying off, you need to analyze their performance. This is where PPC analysis comes in.

What is PPC Analysis?

PPC analysis is the process of evaluating your PPC campaigns to understand how well they are performing. It involves examining key metrics such as impressions, clicks, click-through rate (CTR), cost per click (CPC), and conversion rate. By analyzing this data, you can gain valuable insights into:

  • Strengths and weaknesses: Identify areas where your campaigns are excelling and areas that need improvement.
  • Return on investment (ROI): Determine if your campaigns are generating a positive return on your ad spend.
  • Opportunities for optimization: Discover ways to improve your campaigns, such as refining your keyword targeting, writing more compelling ad copy, or adjusting your bids.

Benefits of PPC Analysis

Regular PPC analysis is essential for any business that wants to get the most out of its online advertising spend. Here are some of the key benefits:

  • Increased ROI: By optimizing your campaigns, you can ensure you’re getting the most out of your budget and maximizing your return.
  • Improved campaign performance: Make data-driven decisions to improve your click-through rates, conversion rates, and overall campaign effectiveness.
  • Competitive advantage: Gain insights into your competitors’ PPC strategies and use this knowledge to improve your own campaigns.
  • Better decision-making: Use data to inform future PPC strategies and ensure your campaigns are aligned with your overall business goals.

Determining your PPC bidding strategies

Before we dive any deeper, let’s firstly take a look at the different PPC bidding strategies. These determine how much you’re willing to pay for each click on your ad. Choosing the right one depends on your goals and budget. Here are some common options:

Manual Bidding:

  • Pros: Offers maximum control over your bids, allowing you to set them for each keyword based on your specific goals.
  • Cons: Time-consuming to manage, requires constant monitoring and adjustments. Not ideal for large campaigns.

Enhanced CPC (eCPC):

  • Pros: A good middle ground between manual and automated bidding. Google Ads automatically adjusts your bids based on your target CPC while still allowing for some manual control.
  • Cons: Less control than manual bidding, might not always optimize for your specific goals.

Automated bidding strategies:

  • These strategies rely on Google Ads algorithms to automatically set bids based on your goals:

Target CPA:

  • Pros: Ideal for campaigns focused on conversions (sales, leads). Aims to achieve your desired cost per acquisition.
  • Cons: Requires a good amount of conversion data for Google Ads to optimize effectively.

Target ROAS (Return On Ad Spend):

  • Pros: Focuses on maximizing return on investment for campaigns selling products online.
  • Cons: Requires historical conversion data and a clear understanding of your product margins.

Maximize clicks:

  • Pros: Aims to drive as much traffic as possible to your website within your budget.
  • Cons: Not ideal for conversion-focused campaigns, might not generate high-quality clicks.

Maximize conversions:

  • Pros: Aims to get as many conversions as possible within your budget.
  • Cons: May spend your budget quickly if not carefully monitored.

Choosing the right bidding strategy:

  • Consider your goals: Are you focused on clicks, conversions, or a specific return on investment?
  • Campaign size and budget: Manual bidding might not be sustainable for large campaigns.
  • Conversion tracking: Automated bidding strategies need conversion data to work effectively.

Remember: Don’t set it and forget it! Regularly monitor your campaign performance and adjust your chosen bidding strategy as needed.

Understanding the impact of Ad Text on PPC performance

The ad text you craft for your PPC campaigns has a significant impact on their performance. It’s essentially your first impression on potential customers, acting as a mini-billboard convincing them to click and learn more about your offering. Here’s how ad text can influence PPC performance:

Increased Click-Through Rates:

  • Compelling copy: Well-written ad text that speaks directly to your target audience’s needs and desires is more likely to grab their attention and prompt them to click.
  • Relevance to search queries: Including relevant keywords throughout your ad text, particularly in the headlines, ensures your ads show up for searches users are actually making.
  • Clear call to action (CTA): Tell users exactly what you want them to do, whether it’s “Shop Now,” “Learn More,” or “Download Today.” Strong CTAs encourage clicks.

Improved Quality Score:

  • Keyword relevance: Search engines like Google reward ads that closely match user search intent. By incorporating relevant keywords naturally in your ad text, you can improve your Quality Score, leading to lower costs and better ad placement.

Enhanced Conversion Rates:

  • Targeted messaging: Crafting ad copy that speaks to your ideal customer’s pain points and highlights how your product or service solves them can increase the likelihood of conversions once they click through.
  • Credibility and trust: Using clear and concise language that builds trust and positions you as an authority can encourage users to take action after clicking on your ad.

Overall Campaign Optimization:

  • A/B testing: Different ad variations can resonate with audiences in different ways. By A/B testing various headlines, descriptions, and CTAs, you can identify the ad text that performs best and optimize your campaigns for maximum impact.
  • Data-driven insights: Analyzing how users interact with your ad text based on clicks and conversions allows you to refine your messaging over time, leading to better overall campaign performance.

Understand your competitor's strategies

PPC competitor analysis equips you with valuable insights to optimize your campaigns and gain an edge. Here are some key methods to dissect your competitors’ PPC tactics:

  1. Identify your competitors:
  • Industry research: Look at established players and emerging brands in your niche.
  • Keyword research tools: Utilize platforms like Adthena Search Term Detail (below) to see which terms have the most competitors appearing on them, as well as the volume potential and estimated cost.
  • Utilize tools to identify competitors who share your target keywords.
  • Search engine results pages (SERPs): Conduct searches for your primary keywords and see who appears alongside you.
Adthena Search Term Detail lets you see which terms have the most competitors appearing on them, as well as the volume potential and estimated cost.
Adthena Search Term Detail lets you see which terms have the most competitors appearing on them, as well as the volume potential and estimated cost.

2. Analyze their PPC strategy:

  • Keyword research tools: Leverage competitor analysis features within these tools to uncover their keyword portfolio, estimated budgets, and ad spend.
  • Competitor ad analysis tools: Tools like Adthena Top Ads (below) show all adverts that have been shown by competitors for specific search terms. With Adthena Creative Insights, you can track the creative phrases your competitors are using across all of your search term groups.
  • Manual analysis: Search for your competitors’ brands and analyze their ad copy for messaging, CTAs, and keyword usage. Visit their landing pages to understand their value proposition and user experience.
Adthena Top Ads shows paid desktop and mobile adverts that have been shown by you and your competitors when searched for any of your search terms.
Adthena Top Ads shows paid desktop and mobile adverts that have been shown by you and your competitors when searched for any of your search terms.

3. Uncover their target audience:

  • Landing page analysis: Analyze the language, visuals, and overall tone of their landing pages to understand the type of customer they are targeting.
  • Social media presence: Look at their social media profiles and audience demographics to glean insights into their ideal customer.

4. Budget and performance estimation (tricky but insightful):

  • Industry benchmarks: Research average cost-per-click CPC for your industry keywords to estimate your competitors’ potential spend.
  • Landing page traffic analysis tools: These tools can provide estimates of a website’s overall traffic and potential PPC contribution.

Understand the factors affecting PPC conversion rate

A strong conversion rate in PPC advertising means more clicks turn into paying customers or take your desired action. Here’s a breakdown of key factors that affect your PPC conversion rate and how to optimize them:


  • Problem: Ads and landing pages don’t clearly address the searcher’s intent behind the keyword.
  • Solution: Ensure your ad copy and landing pages tightly align with the targeted keywords. Highlight the benefits that address the user’s search query.

Keyword targeting:

  • Problem: Targeting irrelevant or overly broad keywords attracts unqualified clicks.
  • Solution: Conduct thorough keyword research to target specific, relevant keywords with high conversion intent. Utilize negative keywords to exclude irrelevant searches.

Landing page quality:

  • Problem: Poor user experience, slow loading times, or confusing navigation on the landing page discourages conversions.
  • Solution: Design user-friendly landing pages with a clear call to action (CTA). Optimize for mobile responsiveness and fast loading speeds.

Offer & CTA:

  • Problem: Unattractive offer or unclear CTA fails to motivate users to convert.
  • Solution: Craft compelling offers that resonate with your target audience. Use strong CTAs that guide users towards the desired action.

Bidding strategy:

  • Problem: Insufficient bids might limit your ad visibility, leading to fewer clicks and conversions.
  • Solution: Consider using conversion-focused bidding strategies like Target CPA or Maximize Conversions within Google Ads. These strategies prioritize clicks with a higher likelihood of converting.

A step-by-step guide to PPC analysis

Dominating the paid search landscape requires constant analysis and optimization. Here’s a simple, nine step-by-step guide to conducting a thorough PPC analysis:

Step 1: Gather your data

  • Campaign data: Connect your PPC platforms (e.g., Google Ads) to your analysis tool. Gather data on impressions, clicks, conversions, CPC, and keyword performance.
  • Competitor data: Utilize competitor analysis tools to understand competitor strategies, ad copy, landing pages, and estimated spend.
  • Market data: Look for broader market trends like average CPCs, seasonality, and industry benchmarks using tools such as Adthena Market Trends
 Adthena Market Trends gives visibility into the trends and seasonality that really matter, such as average CPCs in the market and competitor spend distribution.
Adthena Market Trends gives visibility into the trends and seasonality that really matter, such as average CPCs in the market and competitor spend distribution.

Step 2: Define your KPIs 

  • Align your KPIs with your overall marketing goals. Are you focused on brand awareness, leads, or sales?
  • Common PPC KPIs include: Impressions, clicks, conversion rate, CPA, and ROAS.

Step 3: Segment your data

  • Break down your data by different segments like campaign type, device, location, keyword match type, and audience demographics.
  • This helps identify areas for improvement within specific segments.

Step 4: Analyze campaign performance

  • Compare your performance against your KPIs. Are you meeting your goals?
  • Identify top-performing campaigns, ad groups, and keywords.
  • Analyze low-performing elements and identify opportunities for optimization.

Step 5: Analyze keyword performance

  • Identify high-performing keywords with a good return on investment.
  • Find underperforming keywords with low CTRs or high costs.
  • Consider pausing or adding negative keywords to exclude irrelevant searches.

Step 6: Analyze landing page performance

  • Ensure your landing pages are relevant to your ad copy and offer a seamless user experience.
  • Track conversion rates on your landing pages and identify areas for improvement.

Step 7: Analyze competitor strategies

  • Understand competitor ad copy, keywords, and landing pages.
  • Identify opportunities to differentiate yourself and gain a competitive edge.

Step 8: Identify areas for optimization

  • Based on your analysis, determine areas for improvement in your campaigns. This could include:
    • Adjusting bids
    • Refining keyword targeting
    • Optimizing ad copy
    • Improving landing pages
    • Testing new ad variations

Step 9: Make adjustments and monitor progress

  • Implement your identified optimizations and track their impact on your campaign performance.
  • Schedule regular PPC analysis (weekly or monthly) to ensure your campaigns stay on track.

Bonus Tip: Leverage automation tools like Adthena to automate tasks like data collection and reporting, freeing up your time for strategic analysis.

Strategies to improve click rate

Here are some key strategies to improve your CTR in PPC campaigns:

Keyword targeting:

  • Relevance is key: Ensure your keywords closely match the search intent behind user queries. Tightly aligned ad copy and landing pages will resonate better with searchers, leading to more clicks.
  • Refine & expand: Regularly analyze your keyword performance. Refine poorly performing broad keywords and expand successful ones with relevant variations to capture a wider audience searching for your offerings.
  • Negative keywords are your friend: Utilize negative keywords to exclude irrelevant searches that won’t convert. This prevents wasted ad spend and improves the overall relevance of your campaigns.

Crafting compelling Ad Copy:

  • Headline magic: Write clear, concise headlines that grab attention and highlight your USP.
  • Benefit-driven descriptions: Focus on the benefits your product or service offers to the searcher. Address their pain points and showcase solutions.
  • Strong CTAs: Tell users what you want them to do with clear and compelling CTAs like “Shop Now,” “Learn More,” or “Get a Quote.”

Landing page optimization:

  • Seamless user experience: Design user-friendly landing pages that are visually appealing and easy to navigate. Ensure a clear path to conversion.
  • Mobile-first: Make sure your landing pages are optimized for mobile devices, as a significant portion of searches happen on smartphones.
  • Relevancy reigns supreme: Align your landing page content with the ad copy and targeted keywords. Don’t bait-and-switch users with irrelevant information.

Ad Extensions:

  • Boost visibility: Utilize ad extensions like sitelinks, callouts, and location extensions to provide users with more information and reasons to click on your ad.
  • Highlight unique selling points: Showcase your unique offerings and calls to action through extensions, increasing your ad real estate and grabbing attention.

Bidding strategies:

  • Consider conversion-focused bidding: If clicks and conversions are your goals, explore bidding strategies like Target CPA. This strategy prioritises clicks with a higher likelihood of converting.
  • Bid adjustments: Adjust your bids based on factors like device, location, and time of day to ensure your ads are shown to the most relevant audience at the right time.

A/B Testing:

  • Test and optimize: Don’t settle for assumptions! Continuously test different ad variations, headlines, descriptions, CTAs, and landing page elements to see what resonates best with your target audience.

Strategies to increase Impression Share

Here are key strategies to get your PPC ads seen by more potential customers:

  • Increase your budget: Allocate more resources to increase how often your ads are shown.
  • Bidding strategies: Use strategies like “Maximize Clicks” or “Target Impression Share” to prioritize appearing in search results.
  • Optimize keywords: Target relevant, high-volume keywords and refine existing ones. Utilize negative keywords strategically to free up budget for relevant searches.
  • Improve ad rank: Enhance your Quality Score with relevant keywords, strong ad copy, and optimized landing pages. Competitive bids might also be necessary.
  • Ad extensions: Leverage ad extensions like sitelinks and callouts to increase ad real estate and grab user attention.
  • Test creative variations: Experiment with different ad headlines and visuals to see what resonates best with your audience.

Remember, balance impression share with other goals like click-through rate and conversions for optimal campaign performance.

Tools and techniques for analyzing PPC data

Dominating the paid search landscape requires constant analysis and optimization. Here’s a breakdown of essential tools and techniques for dissecting your PPC data, along with a secret weapon to elevate your game: Adthena.

Ad click analysis:

  • Uncover click drivers: Analyze which keywords, ad variations, demographics, and devices generate the most clicks. This helps identify high-performing elements and areas for improvement.
  • Tools: Google Ads reporting, third-party analytics platforms.

Analyzing and optimizing Ad Groups for better performance:

  • Segment your data: Group campaigns and ad groups by theme, device, location, or other relevant factors. This reveals performance variations within your campaigns.
  • Identify underperformers: Pinpoint ad groups with low CTR or high costs. Analyze their keywords, ad copy, and landing pages to identify optimization opportunities.
  • Optimize budgets: Allocate budget strategically based on performance. Increase spending for high-performing ad groups and reduce it for those lagging behind.
  • Tools: Google Ads reporting, third-party analytics platforms.

Optimizing keyword ads:

  • Keyword performance analysis: Evaluate individual keyword performance using metrics like impressions, clicks, conversions, CPC, and ROAS.
  • Identify opportunities: Find low-performing keywords with high costs or low conversion rates. Consider pausing or adding negative keywords to exclude irrelevant searches.
  • Unleash long-tail power: Explore long-tail keywords with lower competition but potentially higher conversion rates.
  • Tools: Google Ads reporting, keyword research tools, Adthena Creative Insights.
Adthena Creative Insights can track the creative phrases your competitors are using across all of your search term groups.
Adthena Creative Insights can track the creative phrases your competitors are using across all of your search term groups.

Search term analysis:

  • Discover hidden gems: Uncover search terms that triggered your ads but aren’t explicitly included as keywords. This reveals user intent and potential new keyword opportunities.
  • Refine targeting: Identify irrelevant search terms that aren’t converting well and add them as negative keywords to prevent wasted ad spend.
  • The Adthena advantage: While most platforms offer basic search term analysis, Adthena excels. It provides deeper insights, including historical search volume trends and competitor keyword usage. This empowers you to make informed decisions about adding new keywords or adjusting bids.

Beyond the basics: Introducing Adthena

The tools mentioned above offer a solid foundation for PPC data analysis. However, Adthena takes it a step further. It utilizes advanced AI and market intelligence to provide unmatched insights:

  • Competitive intelligence: Unmask competitor strategies, including ad copy, estimated budgets, and historical trends.
  • Actionable alerts: Get real-time alerts for key market changes, allowing you to react quickly and seize opportunities or mitigate threats.
  • Market trend analysis: Identify broader market trends like seasonality and industry benchmarks to optimize your campaigns for maximum impact.
  • Effortless automation: Automate data collection and reporting, freeing up your time for strategic analysis and campaign optimization.

Reap the rewards of continuous PPC analysis

Regular PPC analysis is the cornerstone of successful pay-per-click advertising. By consistently evaluating your campaigns, you gain a deep understanding of their strengths, weaknesses, and hidden opportunities. This empowers you to make data-driven decisions that optimize your campaigns for maximum impact. The result? Increased ROI, improved conversion rates, and a competitive edge in the ever-evolving world of online advertising.

Remember, PPC analysis is an ongoing process. Don’t just set your campaigns and forget them. Embrace continuous monitoring and optimization to ensure your PPC efforts consistently deliver exceptional results.

See how Adthena can support your PPC analysis efforts in a personalised platform demo or take a self-guided interactive tour.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • How do I research keywords for PPC?

    PPC keyword research starts with your goals and target audience. Brainstorm core keywords, then use free or paid tools to find search volume, competition, and related terms. Refine your list with long-tail keywords and negatives, grouping them by theme. Consider competitor strategies and seasonal trends to stay ahead of the curve.


  • How do I identify and analyse target audiences for my PPC campaigns?

    Identifying your target audience for PPC campaigns is key. Look within your existing customer base and analytics to understand their demographics, interests, and online behavior. Research your competition to see who they target. Craft buyer personas to define your ideal customer. With this knowledge, you can tailor your PPC messaging and keywords to resonate with the right people, maximizing your campaign’s effectiveness.

  • How do I measure and analyse brand awareness in PPC?

    Measuring brand awareness in PPC isn’t straightforward, but several methods offer valuable insights. Track impressions to gauge ad visibility and CTR to see if your ad copy is grabbing attention. Monitor branded keyword searches and social media mentions to identify brand recognition. Analyze website traffic sources and social media engagement to see if your campaign is driving users to learn more about your brand organically. Remember, isolate PPC’s exact impact on brand awareness is difficult, but these methods provide a good starting point.

  • How do I optimise Ad Spend for better ROI?

    To optimize ad spend for ROI in PPC, focus on two areas: getting more clicks and targeting effectively.

    • Craft high-performing ads with relevant keywords and strong CTAs. A/B test ad variations to find what resonates best.
    • Design user-friendly landing pages aligned with your ads.
    • Use conversion-focused bidding strategies and adjust bids based on audience and time.
    • Regularly analyze campaigns and prioritize those with positive return on ad spend (ROAS).

    Target the right audience by defining buyer personas and leveraging audience targeting features. By combining these tactics, you’ll d

  • What is Quality Score analysis?

    Quality Score analysis is like taking a diagnostic test for your PPC keywords. It assigns a score (1-10) reflecting how relevant your keywords, ads, and landing pages are to potential customers. Higher scores translate to lower costs and better ad placement. Analyzing your Quality Score helps pinpoint areas for improvement, such as refining keywords to better match search intent or crafting more compelling ad copy. By addressing these weaknesses, you can optimize your campaigns for better performance and maximize your return on ad spend.

  • Why are landing pages important in PPC?

    Landing pages are crucial for PPC success. They’re the destination users reach after clicking your ad, and a poorly designed one can squander your entire campaign’s potential. Effective landing pages tightly connect with your ad copy, using relevant keywords and a clear call to action to guide users towards conversion. This focus ensures visitors understand exactly what you offer and compels them to take the desired action, maximizing your return on ad spend.

  • How do I identify competitor keywords?

    Spot your rivals’ keywords with PPC spy tools or by analyzing SERPs. Don’t just copy everything – pick relevant, high-volume keywords they’re missing. Use these insights to target these gaps and craft even stronger ad copy to outshine them. Remember, competitor analysis is a springboard, not a copy machine.

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