Google Ads metrics and what they mean

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Do you know how old Google Ads is? Go on, take a guess. Seven? Ten?

No way. This September, Google Ads will be 23 years old. If it were a person, it would have a full-time job and its own YouTube channel. 

Instead, Google Ads has become the biggest PPC marketing platform, with an advertising revenue of over $235 billion in 2020. Now that’s way more impressive than a few followers on YouTube.

To help businesses measure the success of their ads, Google Ads has created a ton of metrics. And if you’re new to the game, these metrics can be overwhelming and confusing. 

So what are the different Google Ads metrics, and what do they mean? We go through the most important ones and explain what they do. 

Chapter 1

What are Google Ads?

If you fancy yourself as a modern go-getter, chances are you’re using Google for almost every aspect of your life - Gmail, Google Contacts, Google Calendar,
Google Meet and everything in between.

You can also promote your business on Google. These are called Google Ads. 

Google Ads is an online advertising platform where marketers and advertisers make bids to show ads, service offerings, product listings or videos to web users. It runs on a pay-per-click (PPC) system - meaning that you have to pay every time a user clicks on your ad.

And unlike other advertising platforms, Google Ads can promote ads in both its search pages and non-search websites, mobile apps and videos.
Chapter 2

What are Google Ad metrics?

If it’s your first time navigating the world of Google Ads, you’re going to need to know all about metrics. 

In the digital marketing world, a metric is a measurable value used to demonstrate the effectiveness of your Google Ads strategy. 

Some examples of Google Ad metrics are Impressions, Cost, Clicks, Cost per Acquisition (CPA) and Cost per Lead  (CPL).
Google Ads metrics and what they mean 5
Chapter 3

Why should I track my Google Ad metrics?  

Ever shot an arrow into the dark? Of course not. That’s insane. But using Google Ads without tracking your metrics is just like that - taking a random shot in the dark, without knowing where your arrow is going or where it’s landed.

If you’re going to spend your hard-earned cash on Google Ads, you want to know what’s working, what isn’t, and how you can improve. This is where Google Ads metrics come in.

Tracking your Google Ad metrics makes it easy to determine your targets and goals. It also allows you to measure your ads performance based on those metrics. And at the end, you’re left with clean, undisputed data that show the direct results of your campaign and where you can grow.
Chapter 4


Any time your ad is shown on a search result page via Google or the Google Network, it counts as one ‘impression’ in Google Ads. Basically, this metric tells you how many times your ad has been displayed or seen. 

Of course, we use the term ‘seen’ loosely in this context. Just because your ad appeared on a search result page doesn’t mean that the user actually saw it. So don’t use the Impression metric to test how effective your ads are. 
Google Ads metrics and what they mean 4

What does it mean?

Impressions are important because it shows you how often your ads were eligible for a keyword search in Google. This can indicate how effective – or not – your campaign is and how many opportunities you’re missing out on with each Google search.

Is your Impression share low? There are ways to fix that. Try the following tips:

  • Focus on Ad quality – better quality ads get more engagement
  • Rethink your keywords. Aim for a good balance of board, match type keywords and phrase matches.
  • Increase your keyword bids. You’ll win more auctions this way.
Chapter 5


Cost is perhaps the best metric that will tell you HOW your ads are performing. After all, you need to know that your money is going towards something that works - and not to a campaign that isn’t.

What does it mean?

Google Ads allows you to set up a campaign budget per day. But beware – this doesn’t mean that your budget will be capped at this amount every day. No sirree.  

Instead, Google allows your campaigns to spend up to two times your daily budget when search volume unexpectedly increases. It also spends less than your daily budget on slow days. This means that your daily budget is an average over a 30.4 day period rather than a daily cap. 

Keep your eye on your cost metric. Adjust your budget to adapt to the market’s demand and your spend targets. 

Read 5 Google Ad hacks that’ll increase ROI

Chapter 6


Clicks show the number of clicks on your ad. More specifically, how many times any blue, linked text in your ad was clicked. More clicks equal more traffic to your website. Simple. 

But remember to check that your website is up and running, with no issues. If someone clicks on your ad and can’t get through to your site - due to 404 errors, wifi issues, or anything else - their engagement will still be logged as a click. 
Google Ads metrics and what they mean 6

What does it mean?

Not sure if your Google Ads is engaging enough? The clicks metric will tell you. The higher your click share is, the more appealing your ad is. If your score is low, then you need to make some serious changes to your campaign.

Improve your clicks score by:

  • Testing different ad formats and types
  • Adding call and sitelink extensions to your ads
  • Revisit your copy, and make it more compelling.

The world of digital marketing and online advertising can be a scary, daunting place – if you don’t have someone to guide you through it, that is. Have some questions about using Google Ads for your business? You’ve come to the right people! Digital marketing is our thing. Schedule a complimentary one-hour meeting here with our team to learn more.

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