Undervalued PPC Metrics: CPI, BR, Estimated columns

Reading Time: 5 minutes
As a classicaly PPC trained monkey I learned to have my first basic set of columns.
Clicks, Impressions, CTR, Cost, Avg position, Avg CPC, Conversions, Conv.rate, CPA, Impr.share.
Well we all were in a way. That’s the way how we and our colleagues did it, and how we see it from the famous PPC blogs. However it’s a good base versions of the statistics overview, sometimes it can be blinding to be open to  slightly unconventional metrics, that are in fact useful to have more insightful information.


CPI is an abbreviation that I often see applied differently. Most often I see it as “cost per impression” which is also a good application.  However the way I use it is “conversions per impression”. Why is it awesome?

CPI = conversions / impressions

While people look at CTR (click-through-rate) and CVR (conversion rate) to evaluate many things, CPI is primarily useful for evaluating ads on a quick glance. When you’re testing  one landing page against another, you don’t care that much about statistically insignificant difference in CTR, but you care about how that landing leads to conversions. Hence, conversions-per-impressions in a way a final metric you want to focus on.

I like to  use this metric also for a quick overview on display campaigns effectivity, or the absence of such.

How to make such column:

custom column conversion per impression
Personally, I also find this useful to calculate Conversion Value / Impression for extra information.


Super important and super neglected. Bounce rate is something marketers primarily associate with Google Analytics, but somehow not with Google Adwords. Well, “it converts, let’s be happy”.
No! Dumb!

Whether you have e-commerce website or B2B, bounce rate is awesome for so many reason, which is why I hate when clients from connect GA (Google Analytics) to Adwords. Why, God, why?!

Is you’re not sure what bounce rate is – here’s help. In my head I often refer to bounce rate as “how much visitors fucking hate my landing page”, because the lower bounce rate the better aka “oh, visitors started to fucking hate my landing page less – improvement”

So you open your AdWords (with connected Google Analytics) or look directly to GA to see you bounce rate. You see some %. Now what? Before analyzing visitors’ path and such it can give you some direction – people bounced because:
meme flip table1. was the price too high?
2. was the not enough benefits mentioned?
3. was product poorly described?
4. did page seem untrustworthy
5. was CTA (call-to-action) or “Buy button” unclear?
6. did UX/web/product team change the page to make is less appealing?
7. was there not enough material?
8. was navigation of website too confusing? (the case where lower bounce rate might not be a good sign, people were just lost clicking around)
and sooooooo many more questions.

While in retail or simple B2C service, conversion rate will already be your prime source of information that the visitors are not thrilled about landing page, in B2B where you’re sometimes flying blind, bounce rate is your best friend to analyse initial interest of the customer and guide the leads.


Oh, the dessert!
I loooove estimated columns. Ok, too much excitement..

Well, it’s kinda self explanatory – it’s a column with estimated value. When do we need one? When there’s no clear metric, for example because of the conversion lag. In some businesses it’s close to non-existing, in others it can be few months. Some AdWords automated strategies actually can’t handle long delays and prefer to have 20 days tops conversion lag to be able to adjust auto-bidding strategy.

Do I have conversion lag? Check you Google Analytics:

time lag in google analytics
While automated strategies can take into account conversion lag, for a normal ppc specialist it can be off-putting having to have in mind some approximate calculation during regular optimization. For example:

If my goal ROAS (return on ad spend) is 1000%, but I don’t see all converted value for last 7 days, I might see in account current ROAS of 800% and think I’m under-performing and make related changes while actually doing good. Not knowing this information I could focus on lowering cost and “kill off” the campaign accidentally. Oops!

For this reason I use estimated ACOS (advertising cost of sales, aka reversed ROAS) in my dashboard for freelance clients and in-house team.

ppc dashboard estimated values examples

But I wrote columns. So you don’t NEED a dashboard. You can make is directly in adwords interface if you know your conversion delay.

Let’s say in last 7 days you only see 90% of all conversion value, then this would be your formula for seeing all revenue:

making a custom column with estimated conversion value
Important notes:

1. With estimated columns you have to have the same time frame selected in adwords as you have delay for estimated column. So if my column is “est. value 7 days”, I need to selected data in adwords “Last 7 days”. Sadly it’s annoying, hence I made in into a dashboard value.
2. If you have multiple conversions in your account (for ex. “reached basket”, “purchased”, “signed up for newsletter”, adwords or google analytics, whatever) make sure to segment the right type of conversion.

making a custom column with estimated conversion value segment
With the same logic you can make estimated ROAS and whatever else your heart desires.

making a custom column with estimated roas

That’s all, folks

How amazing are those metrics, huh? Which ones are you already using in your accounts? Would you try the estimated columns? Leave a comment!

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