As data analysts, we often overlook the value of visualizing our PPC data. Lucky for us, the Google Ads Report Editor has made data visualization easier than ever. This handy tool allows your average PPC analyst to become an everyday Bob Ross of data visualization. Custom graphs and charts are an extremely useful problem-solving tool and continue to guide our Google Ads (formally Adwords) optimization efforts at Clearlink.


If you’re not using the Report Editor, we highly recommend taking it for a spin. We’ve provided our top 10 most useful graphs and charts to get you started. Visualizing your data with these reports will help you focus on the best optimization opportunities in your account.

1) Campaign Volume Over Time

This report is a must-have. We frequently see account performance fluctuate based on the traffic mix of campaigns, ad groups, and keywords. Getting all campaigns on one trended graph allows you to quickly spot your top-performing campaigns alongside any recent performance changes.

Once you’ve identified a questionable campaign, continue to dig in by running a similar report to analyze that campaign’s ad groups or keywords. Use this tactic to get ahead of any performance changes before they get out of hand.

Campaign Volume

2) Search Term Volume Over Time – Account Breakdown

Overlapping phrase and broad match keywords can complicate your account. This report brings any account back to the basics, regardless of structure or keyword match types. Aggregating like search terms from different ad groups provides a clean performance trend over time for your top queries. This report is a great way to monitor the health of your biggest search terms while promoting new ideas around account structure, ad copy, and keywords.

Tip: Search term graphs can get messy. Stay focused on top volume producers and significant volume fluctuations.

Search Term Volume Over Time - Account

3) Search Term Volume Over Time – Broad And Phrase

Search term analysis on broad and phrase match types can be one of your best means of keyword research. Trend these terms overtime to ensure that you are aware of any search terms that are on the rise. Quickly identify poor performing search terms to be negative-matched, or start speaking to up-and-coming search terms before your competition. We have found this report particularly effective in identifying customer service keywords that pop up due to service outages or long-tail terms related to news stories. This will be especially helpful for those who have yet to analyze the impact of Google’s close variant update. If you haven’t done this yet, do it now.

Search Term Volume Over Time - Broad & Phrase

4) Impression Share By Device Over Time

If your ads play in the top three positions, you should be looking at your impression share by device. Google is constantly bringing ads in and out of the auction as it optimizes for the best possible search experience. As a result, the impression share fluctuates. With more than half of impressions coming from mobile nowadays, advertisers can’t afford to overlook low impression share on any device.

Impression Share by Device

5) Cost And Performance By Region

Search volume, competition, and user intent vary by region. Google Ads’ geographic segments allow you to understand how each region performs. Use these reports to set geo bid modifiers where appropriate.

Cost & Performance by Region

6) Click Type Breakdown

What type of clicks are you buying? If you’re not using or optimizing ad extensions, it will be apparent in this chart. Remember to schedule regular testing for ad extensions, just like you would for ad copy.

Click Type Breakdown

7) Analytics Metrics Reporting

Analytics data can be a good leading indicator when Google Ads conversions are unavailable. Comparing session duration and pages-per-visit provides context about a specific traffic source’s intent.

Analytics Metrics Reporting

8) Impressions By Match Type

Are your ads as relevant to your searcher as possible? More impressions captured through exact-match types means more control when matching ad copy with search intent. If a large percentage of your clicks are coming through broad and phrase match, dig into your search term reports to see if any queries would benefit from more specific ad copy.

Impression Share by Match Type

9) Click Type By Device

Mobile users want information as soon as possible, and ad extensions provide a helpful alternative to navigating on a tiny screen. Comparing click type by device illustrates this point. If you’re not seeing a variety of click types on mobile, double-check the status of your ad extensions. If they are approved, but underperforming, try including sitelinks with a mobile device preference. This separate mobile extension will allow you to speak specifically to searchers on-the-go and improve your ads’ relevance.

Click Type by Device

10) Performance By Hour Of Day And Day Of Week

User intent and competition vary at different times throughout the week. CPC and position can indicate at which times competition fluctuates. Conversion rate or session duration can show intent. Based on your results, adjust your ad schedules or set bid multipliers where applicable throughout the week.

Tip: Buying habits often differ on weekends. Use the handy day of week filters to analyze hourly trends on weekends, separately from weekdays.

Performance by Time

Final Thoughts

The Google Ads Report Editor is one of the most useful improvements to the interface in recent years. Data visualization using the Report Editor is an extremely effective way to identify opportunities in your account. The range of metrics, dimensions, and filters provide a ton of ways to visualize the data that matters.

This is only a sample of The Report Editor’s potential. What data matters to your account? If you’re struggling with where to get started, here’s a post from one of Hanapin’s own analysts about how to create actionable PPC reports.


Post updated by Connor Regan (prior post date: 02/03/16)