Track advertising performance

Business Benefits

Optimize advertising and increase ROI.


Define your goals, and determine the most important 2-3 KPIs on which to focus.

Choose the KPIs that are most linked to your success. While there likely will be other KPIs that play a part in the marketing journey, focusing and improving on 2-3 will ensure your objective stays clear.

Each KPI goal should be measurable and attainable in the time period your company has allotted. Some of the most common advertising KPIs include:

  • ROAS: Return on ad spend.
  • Clicks: Number of people who click on your ad.
  • CPC: Cost per click.
  • CPL: Cost per lead.
  • Conversions: Number of times you achieve a conversion, or, the action a user takes to be considered a conversion.
  • CPA: Cost per conversion or cost per acquisition.
  • CTR: Click through rate.
  • Impressions: Number of times your ad is seen.
  • CPM: Cost per 1,000 impressions.
  • Reach: Number of unique people who see your ad.

Cascade provides help on how to write your KPIs if you aren’t sure where to begin.

Compile the company data relevant to the success of your KPIs, using a marketing analytics tracking platform.

Depending on your specific KPIs, your business, and the spots in which you advertise, there are many platforms and software types that can compile your data. Google Ads, Google Analytics, and each social media platform’s Business Manager or Ads Manager are popular platforms to track advertising metrics with no extra cost. You can find other paid marketing analytics tools in TrustRadius’ review.

Set up high level dashboards to monitor trends and any major changes in your performance.

Dashboards are an important tool to monitor daily, weekly, and monthly data. For example, Google Analytics dashboards can be set up to run ongoing reports on your KPIs, budget, and any other performance data. These can be shared with executives or team leaders who want to know the success of a campaign on a recurring basis.

Setting up dashboards is different in each tracking platform, but Google provides a guide to creating a dashboard if you choose to integrate with the free Google Ads and Analytics option.

For example, if you notice an unexpected decrease in clicks, something within your campaign may have changed, and you may need to make an adjustment.

Monitor your campaign and identify when the initial data stabilizes after the launch period to begin analyzing the most accurate performance data.

Algorithms showing your ads will take some time to learn the best practices of each campaign, so performance will likely be skewed in the first few days up to the first few weeks of your campaign. Each campaign timeline will be different, but you can tell that the campaign is settling into a cadence once you see your data begin to stabilize and produce a recurring trend. This is the time that you should begin assessing the performance and factors of your campaign you might want to change.

Adjust factors of a campaign or an ad, based on the results of well-performing and under-performing ads.

Look into your advertising more granularly and determine which ads are successful based on CTR, CPL, CPC, and any of your other KPIs. Determine how to change under-performing ads. Consider these questions:

  • Are my keywords showing my ad to the right demographic?
  • Is the copy accurate and compelling?
  • Is my budget set at a realistic and competitive level?
  • Are my images appealing?
  • Are my links taking users where they want to go when clicking?

Change one factor of an under-performing ad to a factor used in a well-performing ad to hone in on what could be driving specific results. It will take a few rounds of monitoring, assessing, changing, and re-analyzing an ad’s performance over a few weeks to determine which variation performs best.

Note external factors like holidays and current events that could be skewing your data.

When monitoring your data regularly, there may be times that you notice a sudden spike or drop in performance. For example, if it’s a holiday weekend, your website traffic or ad clicks may decrease as people go on vacations or spend time away from computers.

These external factors and temporary shifts should not be used to judge your overall campaign success or to make any sudden changes to your campaign.

Revisit and update KPIs regularly against your business objectives to track performance and optimize your results in future campaigns.

For example, if your goal was to increase website traffic by 50%, and you have achieved this increase, but you are not seeing an increase in resulting conversions, that could indicate a problem you have not yet identified that you may want to look into further.

Perform audits of your campaign performance with your KPIs in mind to ensure you are tracking the best data points. If necessary, recalibrate your KPIs so that they better align with your company goals.