How to Set and Measure Google Ads Goals

How to Set and Measure Google Ads Goals

Reading Time: 5 minutes

Online advertising has gained tremendous mindshare over the past few years thanks to the digitization of businesses and lifestyles. Over 90% of purchases today are due to the influence of ads. More people are also searching for information, products, or services, encountering paid advertisements along the way. PPC visitors are also 50% more likely to purchase than your organic leads.

Google Ads are an excellent source of leads for your business. The right strategies can lead you to great results and can help significantly increase revenue and conversions. Google ads have consistently increased in prominence over the years and now have  over 76% market share in the search marketing domain.  It’s a tried and tested, cost-effective medium that millions of businesses rely on. But there are ways to optimize your approach and drive further growth.

Google Ads aren’t a magic bullet for growth, however. If you don’t have a clear plan and approach,  you’ll end up with suboptimal results. While technical issues can have an impact,  the biggest strategic Google Ads challenge most businesses face is a lack of planning, not having clear goals, milestones, and ways to measure success.

If you’re running ads on Google, these are the questions you need to be asking: what are your strategic goals? How can you make your campaigns work more efficiently? And how do you define and measure success?

What’s Goal setting for Google Ads And Why is it Important?

Having smart, achievable, and measurable goals is critical to any business process, including your Google Ads campaign. Your campaign goals give you the necessary direction to make sounds decisions, and clarity of purpose to react quickly to changes.

When building your goals, remember to set step-by-step milestone to help you align progress, every step of the way. If you are not hitting your milestones, it means it’s likely that you will not hit your goals. If you are overachieving, it means you have space to be more ambitious with your goals.

Leaders have a very important role to play here. If you are a leader, you have to define clear goals and expectations from the campaign before setting out so that the team can assess and work towards this goal and ensure that the budgets are judiciously used.

What are the goals you can set for Google Ads campaigns?

It’s a good idea to have clear goals for each Google ad campaign you choose to run. Broadly, Google Ads offers 3 main goals you can choose for each campaign.

  1. Sales – Sales goals focus on driving actual customer sales through your online platforms. These campaigns help you create ads that drive bottom-of-the-funnel conversions from people who are most likely to make a purchase decision.
  2. Lead Generation – This goal is suitable when you want to drive your audience to express interest in a particular product or service you offer. These campaigns focus on audience targeting and bringing the right people to your platforms and creating interest.
  3. Web Traffic – This goal comes in handy when you are trying to boost your web traffic through Google Ads. Web traffic campaigns prioritize brand awareness and increasing your mindshare.

Apart from these, you can also set specific sub-goals that involve the cost of conversion, ROI, or any other metric which gives you a clearer understanding and direction for what you are trying to achieve.

KPIs and How The Help

Key Performance Indicators(KPIs) are critical to your goal tracking efforts. As the name suggests, KPIs are key, quantitative metrics that indicate how your campaign is currently going. You can pick your KPIs from a range of parameters, depending on your specific goals.

For instance, if your aim is to drive qualified leads while keeping costs in check, ROI or cost per qualified lead could be KPIs to consider.

These metrics also help to keep campaign costs and other parameters in check to ensure that the leads you are receiving through the search campaign are good, qualified leads.

KPIs can give you a snapshot of the health of a campaign at a particular point of time. This makes them a great tool for realignment in case you’re having trouble actually reaching your goals.

What Are Good KPIs To Set?

Let’s look at some of the important KPIs that every Google Ad campaign should ideally keep track of.

Cost-Per-Click (CPC): The average amount you are spending for one click on your ad. Lower, the better.

Click-Through-Rate(CTR): Number of clicks per view of the ad. This gives you a good understanding of how effective your ads are.

Cost-Per-Conversion: The amount you are spending on each goal action you have set (perhaps  filling a form, visiting your landing page, etc)

Cost-Per-Acquisition (CPA): The amount spent on each paying customer you’ve got through the campaign.

Return-On-Investment (ROI): How effective your campaign was in actual terms of money invested: how much money did each dollar invested generate?

These aren’t all the KPIs you can track. Every Google Ad campaign is a unique use case and you’ll want to monitor campaign-specific indicators, too. Suppose you’re tracking ads that lead clients to a free web consultation registration form. A campaign-specific performance indicator here would be the number of signups over a period of time.

Get your OKRs ready, too! 

It’s easy to get lost in the nitty-gritty of running a campaign, but remember that you also have responsibility for big-picture objectives. KPIs give you a good idea of where your Ads campaign is at. But how do you assess where it can go? This is where OKRs come into the picture.

The OKR framework helps you define bigger picture goals and some key indicative results that should happen as a build-up to the end objective. The difference between KPIs and OKRs is straightforward: KPIs are process-oriented, ground-level goals, while OKRs are high-level, covering your aims for the whole campaign.

Leaders initiate OKRs by setting ultimate campaign-wide objectives These can then cascade down to individual activity levels. When it comes to your Google Ads campaign, you’ll want to think about your long-term intentions when preparing OKRs. What is your campaign for? Suppose you’re a Shopify outlet running a conversion-oriented Ads campaign. A great high-level OKR would be “get 20 percent more people to check out a cart this quarter.”

This goal then gets broken down at each level and is interpreted to fit into each particular team’s goals as well. In the context of Google Ads, this would mean setting specific targets for each PPC as you create. KPIs and OKRs aren’t mutually exclusive. KPIs can actually help you measure your progress toward achieving OKRs.


While the day-to-day task of managing your Google Ads account is important, having a firm grip on the KPIs and big picture goals will ensure that even while being engaged in the smaller details, you don’t miss out on real aims.

For your Google Ads campaign to be successful, you need to ensure that the right planning and thought goes into it.  You’ll need to start by looking at your overall business objectives.

The OKR framework provides a good basis for big picture goals, and you can use it to set campaign-wide targets. At lower levels, you’ll want to set and measure KPIs to align your campaign as it runs.

Flying V Group has been creating and running highly successful search advertising campaigns for a variety of clients. If you’re looking for expert help with your Google Ads campaigns, reach out to us here!

Thank you so much for reading How to Set and Measure Google Ads Goals. We really appreciate it! If you have any questions about our article, or can suggest any other topics you think we should explore, feel free to let us know.

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Written by Robb Fahrion

Robb Fahrion is a Co-Founder and Partner of Flying V Group. Robb has helped over 350+ companies build their businesses online and is responsible for building Flying V Group into one of the premier marketing agencies in the United States. Robb and his team have managed over $10M in marketing budget and continue to accelerate the growth of clients' businesses. A love for business and competition is what fuels Robb to create dynamic marketing plans to help his clients grow exponentially.

December 21, 2020



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