How to Track Key Performance Indicators (KPI) for SEO and PPC Lori Ballen

Hi everyone. This is Jordan from Ballen Brands, and today I’m going to show you how to establish and record different key performance indicators, or KPIs, for your PPC and SEO campaigns.

Key Performance Indicators (KPI)

So for PPC, whether that’s Google AdWords that you’re using or Facebook ads, there’s very similar KPIs that I like to track for my campaigns.

KPIs are important because you don’t just want to go into your Ads Manager, or go look at the search engine results, and wonder why the results are the way that they are.

You want to be able to look at the data, see some key metrics that are influencing your campaigns, that are impacting your conversion rate or your success for your campaigns, and make sure you’re on top of those, make sure you’re tracking those.

What I like to do is I like to create a spreadsheet, and I’ll talk about the specific metrics that I like to track for each.

But I like to come in here at least once a week, and usually that’s every Friday, and look at the last week of data, track all that data, and compare it to the weeks prior. Then usually after a few weeks, I’ll start to establish a baseline, or an average.

So that’s a good way for you to just get started and get tracking your KPIs, so that you can be on top of your data, and you can start to see some inconsistencies in your data that you can start to address.

So we’ll start by just by talking about PPC first, and this can be Google AdWords or Facebook ads.

But usually when people go into AdWords, if they haven’t set up their account or their dashboard to really show them some key data points, which I can talk about in another video, they usually just go in and they see this.

They see how much they’ve spent. They see how many clicks they’ve gotten, and maybe they see their cost per click. And maybe they even see their revenue or sales that they’ve gotten for the week.

But there’s a lot more data that you can actually go in and track. And there’s a lot of data that’s really, really important that you understand in your AdWords campaign or in your Facebook ads campaign to make sure you’re on the right track and that you have a successful and profitable campaign, that continues to be successful for you.

So again, this is usually what people start with, but … And I’ve entered some sample data in here. You can see I kind of go in every single week and enter the data for the week. But I like to go above and beyond what AdWords shows you initially, and I like to track a few more things.

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Clickthrough Rate (CTR)

So obviously, your clickthrough rate is important, and it’s very important for Facebook ads and Google AdWords. It’s a great indicator to tell how relevant your ads are, and how interesting they are to your potential users.

And that’s usually found just by dividing your clicks by your impressions.

So what percentage of the people who are seeing your ads are actually clicking them.

The higher, usually, the better, but if they’re unprofitable clicks, you want to lower that or reduce that as well.

If 90 percent of the people that are seeing your ads are clicking it, but they’re not buying, you’re going to have very, very high cost per conversion, which we’ll talk about in a little bit.

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Bounce Rate

Another metric that I like to track is the bounce rate. So how many people are landing on my page after clicking the ad, and then leaving right away? Again, this kind of tells me how relevant my ads are, and how relevant my audience is.

If there’s a really, really high bounce rate, like 80, 90 percent, that means that the ads I’m showing them are interesting, but when they get to the page, they’re not seeing what they’re expecting.

So the bounce rate should be low. People shouldn’t get to this page and then leave right away. Ideally, it would be zero, but that’s virtually impossible nowadays because of the short attention span, and just not always getting the right people clicking your ads.

So I certainly wouldn’t want to see above 60 or 70 percent for a bounce rate. Fifty percent all the way down to 30 percent would be a really good range.

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Conversion Rates

So again, this is another thing I like to track, just because … For example, if we’re going to start spending more in our budget, and start to get more clicks, and it was a lower cost per click, we’d look at this data and think we’re on the right track.

But if we see the conversion rates, and we see the conversion rate is starting to plummet, we again know that, okay, we’re spending money. We’re getting traction.

We’re getting traffic to the website, but it’s not the right traffic because they’re not converting.

So if you see your conversion rate go from 15 to 20 percent, probably down to one to three percent, you know you’re not getting good traffic to your website.

In all honesty, 15 percent conversion rate is pretty high.

This is only so high because it’s a certain type of campaign that we’re running right now. But if you see a big inconsistency or a big drop in your conversion rate, that means you’re not getting good traffic through your ads.

And then obviously, you want to track your conversion. That goes without saying. And then your revenue does get tracked, your AdWords, along with a lot of this other data. Conversion rate, usually you have to find through your analytics.

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Cost Per Aquisition

But another great metric that I like to track that makes life really, really easy is your cost per acquisition. So this takes a couple of these factors into account, and if you know your margins … For example, if you’re selling a product and you know you can comfortably get a $10 cost per purchase, or cost per acquisition, and that’s the goal, as long as you’re converting under that $10 per acquisition, we know we have a good campaign.

Now there’s certainly some indicators we can improve with the cost per click or clickthrough rate to try to make that cost per acquisition actually go down, but the cost per acquisition is really one of the most important, if you know your margins.


And then finally, return on ad spend. So you find that by taking your total revenue, subtracting the cost, and then dividing it by the cost, and then you know what your return on the ad spend is. And again, that’s just a great indicator of how well your campaign is performing.

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SEO Keywords

So now jump over to SEO here. That was, again, PPC. With SEO, I do like to track some other things as well. And a lot of SEO’s key performance indicators are really leading indicators.

They are good signs that show us that things are going well for our campaign, but there’s really only one way to tell if our campaign’s a success, and that’s if, hey, our website is number one on Google for our target keywords.

So I usually track the average position of my target keywords, and usually I do a few. I don’t want to do too many. But just track and make sure that position is getting higher, higher in the rankings for your target keywords. That usually tells you you’re doing the right things.

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You know what’s also important to look at? Your organic traffic movement. This is what people usually spend most of their time looking at. And they may also look at their target keyword, and Google it every day, and see if they’re in the top 10 results.

But there’s more data that you can track to see if you’re on the right track for a good campaign.

And a couple of things I like to track are your back links earned. So if you’re doing link building specifically, whether that’s through PR, your outreach, or manually going out and finding high quality, relevant websites that you try to earn links from, tracking how many back links you earned per week is a good indicator to show that you’re going to be moving up in the surfs.

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Site Score

Another one is your site score. So we like to use SEMrush. Here at Ballen Brands, per any website, we use the tool SEMrush. And they have great on-page scoring tests or analyses that they run on your website to see how good it is. And they give it a score, SE0-wise. And you want to see that score going up.

So you should be making changes on your website to improve the onsite optimization.

And you should, whether you’re using SEMrush or any other tool, you should see that site score moving up. And it might not be the same numbers or same name, but that’s what we use here is the SEMrush site score. So that should be moving up.

It should be getting back links each week, and more and more back links. The traffic should be increasing. And your position, you should be moving up in the surfs as well.

So that’s my thoughts on Key Performance Indicators and how you should track KPI’s or how I track them, and some of the key metrics that I like to track.

Jordan Rhodes graduated from the University of Wisconsin – Oshkosh in 2012 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration. An award winning professional in Business and SEO, Jordan specializes in streamlining processes in the digital landscape. He joined Ballen Brands in 2017.

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