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Paid Search Terms: What They Mean and Which Ones Matter for Your Insurance Agency

Circular infographic on a dark blue background, with a central white circle containing a graphic of a blue megaphone with orange sound waves emanating from it. Around this central image are four call-out bubbles with key paid search advertising terms: 'Cost Per Click', 'Click Through Rate', 'Cost Per Good Call', and 'Impressions'. Each term is highlighted in a white bubble with a connecting line to the megaphone, indicating that these terms are being 'announced' or emphasized. At the top, in a lighter blue banner, the text reads 'PAID SEARCH TERMS - What They Mean & Which Ones Matter' with a stylized orange and blue 'Blog' icon to the left of the text.

Do all marketing metrics create the same opportunities for my agency, and which ones should I care about? How do I know that the stats I’m hearing translate to more business written? If you’ve found yourself asking similar questions about running ads in your agency, that’s perfectly understandable (and we’re no strangers to questions about metrics and performance ourselves!).

This guide defines important paid search marketing terms, so you can make informed decisions to gain more leads.

The metrics that matter most:

Cost Per Quote Start (CPQS)

As you may have guessed, CPQS reflects how much it costs per quote lead created for your agency. This is calculated by taking your budget and dividing it by the total number of quotes started from your website leads.

Cost Per Good Phone Call (CPGC)

You may have heard the term “conversion,” which is a phone call that’s about a minute or longer. On average, a “good phone call” is about three minutes or more. To calculate the cost per good phone call, you divide your budget by the number of good calls that took place. 

We value these statistics because they are invaluable for your return-on-investment (ROI). Both CPQS and CPGC should aim to be as low as possible in your given market.

Secondary metrics:

These additional metrics are helpful to get a more complete picture of your ad campaigns, but on their own don’t equate to ROI. 



Impressions are the number of times your ad(s) appeared on a Google search results page or feed. Impressions also cannot guarantee each appearance was seen or read  by someone 100% of the time. One impression = one appearance in results. How often you are potentially appearing in front of your audience is a good base metric, but that’s exactly what impressions are as a gauge: a starting block.


Clicks are a more definitive indicator than impressions, since someone took initiative to take an action. Clicks can be attributed to the success (of lack thereof) of your keywords, ad copy, and other factors, but there may be more to your campaign’s full picture. For example, one search user can click on an ad multiple times. In this instance, each click will 'count' as a separate click. Someone can also click and then close your page before ever starting a quote, so while it shows you your ads are being noticed, it doesn’t always equal new leads. This is why it’s important to see how many leads were actually generated from your ad, not just clicks. 


Click-through-rate (CTR)%

CTR is the ratio of how often your ad was clicked on against how often it appeared in search (total clicks divided by impressions or views, then multiplied by 100 for a percentage). On average, CTRs are lower percentages due to the nature of digital campaigning. You’ll often have ad(s) shown to many more people than there will be clicking on them. Like a sales funnel, not everyone is ready to buy now or start a quote. Higher CTRs may mean you have some good keywords in place and/or your ad copy is performing well.

Cost-per-click (CPC)

CPC is the average cost you pay each time there’s a click on your ad. CPC is affected by multiple factors, including: how much you bid, what type of campaign you have, how competitive your market is, what keywords you use, etc. Boiled down, it’s what it costs to ‘win’ the click(s) in the auction for your keyword(s). Generally, a lower CPC is great to see, as you’d want to pay as little as possible for each keyword to obtain the click(s). However, CPC may, and sometimes even should, vary. For example, it is entirely possible to have very low cost-per-clicks for keywords which may not yield the most results. This is true if you paint with a broad brush of keywords that don’t fully reflect your campaign goals (i.e., bidding for "insurance customer service" keywords when you actually want quote starts).

At Direct Clicks Inc., our review calls and our exclusive campaigns hone in on what really matters for you and your agency: Cost Per Quote Start, Cost Per Good Phone Call, and policies written. Reach out with questions or for a second opinion on your campaign performance.


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