October 22, 2010
As you may have noticed, Google has slowly rearranged several of the reports in AdWords this summer. For those who are new to PPC, or are trying to catch up on all of the changes, I am going to rundown some of the common reports we use with information on where they are now located. But first, I want to start with a brief introduction to reporting with some general tips.
General Reporting Tips
- Most reports are now located on the Dimensions tab. If this tab hasn’t been added to your interface, click the drop-down arrow next to your last tab (usually Networks tab). Select the “Dimensions” checkbox and click ok.
- Filters are great when you want to eliminate things you don’t want or need. For instance, if you want to only look at ads with 5+ conversions, you can filter that before you even download. The only tab the filters won’t work on is the dimensions tab. When you create a filter, you have the option of checking the box to save it to make it easier to apply in the future. Once saved, it shows up when you hit the drop down to apply filters (this is particularly great for disapproved ads). You can also add multiple levels of filters to narrow down the data to exactly only what you want.
- The downward arrow with the bar underneath is what is used to download the report once you have everything set. To access a report later, you can pull them from the Control Panel and Library section (get to it from the control panel on the left of the screen). You can re-run a similar report or the exact same report by clicking on it.
Keyword Performance Report
Keyword reports can be found on the keywords tab by clicking the download icon next to the search box at the top. This report is best used to show which keywords are high performers (especially by looking at CTR, cost, CPC, clicks, and average position). If a keyword isn’t performing well, the keywords tab/reports is a good place to look for trends by first filtering by CTR, Cost, etc, and then by ad groups, campaigns, destination URL, etc. It’s also helpful in bid reports, especially because you can opt to have the estimated first page bid included in a downloaded report.
Placement Performance Report
If you’d like to review your performance on the content network, you’ll want to you a placement performance report. Placement reports are on the networks tab. Clicking the download icon will automatically download the “managed placements” results. If you’d like the automatic placements, you need to click the blue “show details” next to automatic placements, and then click the “download” button on the top bar of the report (this is also available for the managed placements).
Ad Performance Report
For an ad performance report, you’ll want go to the ads tab and click the download icon next to the search box. With additional segments, you can determine if ads are successfully leading to conversions and/or gaining clicks, as well as which ads are working for which ad groups/campaigns. You can also use the ad id column to match ads up with negative search queries, which is another way to determine if an ad should be paused.
URL Performance Report
For content network URLs, you’ll want to go to the networks tab then click on “show details” for either managed or automatic placements. Click on the “See URL list” button that appears at the top of the detail drop down, and chose either “all” or “selected” (which will only show the URLs for the boxes you’ve clicked). You can also show URL next to domains by choosing it within the “columns” menu on the networks tab. This report is most helpful in determining which sites to exclude because they are irrelevant or high spending, and which ones to manage because they produce conversions and clicks.
For destination URLs: Go to the ads, keywords, or networks tabs, and filter results by destination URL. This is somewhat limiting, but is helpful if you just want to see one destination URL compared to another. Make sure that you filter for destination URL in Ads, Networks, or Keywords tabs – the rest of the metrics are the same. This report can be used to see if one landing page is better than another, or to see which landing pages are turning people away from conversions.
Ad Group Performance Report
The Ad Group Performance Report is now on the ad group tab. This report is useful for understanding the account performance from more of a ‘birds eye’ view, as it is easier to see the larger impact an ad group has on an account versus the impact an individual keyword has.
Account Performance Report
This report is now located on the Dimensions tab and is very useful when wanting a snapshot of account performance. It’s also useful in understanding long-term account performance or identifying account trends such as seasonality.
Demographic & Geographic Performance Report
If you’re looking to really dig into your traffic, you might want to look at these two reports, both located under the Dimensions tab. For the Demographic Report, be sure to check the boxes for “Age” and “Gender” otherwise you won’t get the data you are looking for. When running a Geographic Report, you can use the columns drop down to adjust by region, metro area and city.
Search Query Report
The Search Query Report, or SQR is now under the Keywords tab. If you don’t already use this report, please run one right now. This report will tell you what searchers are querying when your ads are shown. Not only is this a super fun way to see what people actually search for, which can be very entertaining, but it can save you a few dollars when you then take the irrelevant queries that are costing you money and add them in as negative keywords.
Well, there you have it! I saved the best for last, as SQRs really are my favorite. If AdWords could create a new report that would pull any information you’d like, what would that report look like?