Three Secondary Metrics

These three stats are easy to manipulate:

1. CPM (Cost Per 1,000 Impressions)
2. CTR (Click-Thru Rate)
3. Cost Per Click

The Problem with CPM

A low CPM is easily attainable if that’s all you care about. Target the cheapest countries so you don’t need to compete with advertisers in countries like the US. While you’re there, use the broadest audience possible. And abandon conversions for top-of-funnel optimization actions only.

The Problem with CTR

Want a high CTR? No problem. Optimize for link clicks or landing page views. Your ads will be shown to the ideal audience to get you the finest bots, accidental clicks, and clicks from people who click on everything.

Link Clicks and Landing Page Views

The Problem with Cost Per Click

And if you want a low Cost Per Click, it’s a bit of both. Optimize for link clicks or landing page views and you’ll get plenty of cheap clicks. Keep those costs down by only targeting the broadest audiences in the cheapest countries. And make sure to use Advantage+ Placements to take advantage of certain placements that are prone to extra cheap clicks (like Audience Network).

Advantage+ Placements

Secondary Metrics and Context

Of course, none of these tricks will get you higher-quality results (wait, you wanted that?). And I hope it sounds ridiculous that you might do any of these things.

But too many advertisers look at their results and they’re thinking just that.

“How can I get my CPM down?”
“How can I get my CTR up?”
“How can I get my Cost Per Click down?”

The only methods you should consider are related to improvements in your copy and creative. If your ads aren’t converting because no one is clicking your ads, you should improve your ad to invite that action. Otherwise, the tricks I mentioned won’t help you get more conversions.

That’s why stats like CPM, CTR, and Cost Per Click are all secondary metrics. It doesn’t mean they don’t matter at all, but they should never be your primary concern. They help tell the overall story.

Focus on your Cost Per Optimized Action, which should typically be a conversion of some kind. If your costs are too high, these three stats may provide insight.

But improving them won’t necessarily solve your problem. In fact, it may just make your problems worse.