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This post originally came to us from JD Prater (@jdprater). JD is now a Senior Account Manager at Hanapin Marketing and regular blogger on PPC Hero. You can find all his posts on his Author Page.


Are you a House of Cards fan? Good. Me too. In honor of House of Cards season three, let’s hone our inner Frank Underwood and examine how to stay ahead of the curve when managing our accounts. Like Frank, PPCers understand that knowledge is power and “power is a lot like real estate. . . The closer you are to the source, the higher your property value.”

With that in mind, let’s get close to the source of power and raise our property value. To this, I turn to Google Analytics, which is so full data that it can be difficult to know where to begin.

To help you get the most from your account, here are 4 Google Analytics hacks that will improve your account’s ROI.

“There’s no better way to overpower a trickle of doubt than with a flood of naked truth.”

Have you ever wondered how our ads perform in certain positions? Are they better in 1, 2, 3 or 4? Have you said to yourself, “Maybe I should raise that CPC so I can move from a 3.1 avg position to 2.2?” Have you stopped to see if the data warrants that action? Do you even know where to find that information?

To find the answer to this question, head over to Analytics?Acquisition?AdWords? Campaigns. From here, select the Campaign ? Ad Group where the keyword resides. Now, select the secondary dimension “Ad Slot Position.”


The Ad Slot Position shows all the ad positions for every keyword. Funnel your list down to the keyword you want to analyze by typing it into the advanced search bar.

Here’s an example of the same keyword’s performance across the top 4 positions sorted by Revenue.


This is fantastic information to help with your keyword bid strategy. Plus, it highlights that it may not be worth bidding for the top position.

Another way to look at your ad performance is by location in the SERPs. Run the secondary dimension “Ad Slot” to see how well your keyword performs at the Top or RHS (right hand side) of the hosting page.


You could also make Ad Content the primary dimension and run the secondary dimensions Ad Slot Position and/or Ad Slot to see how well you perform in certain ad positions. This is a good way to analyze your ad headlines to find the naked truth that leads to an increased ROI.

“I have no patience for useless things.” – Keyword Match Type

How well are my exact match keywords performing compared with my modified broad or phrase match keywords?

Like Frank Underwood, PPCers don’t have time to waste on useless keywords. If your keywords aren’t bringing in value, it’s time to take action.

Often, we target search queries with the same keyword but a different match type. To see how well that particular match type is performing, make your primary dimension the keywords you want to dissect. Next, learn how keywords are performing by examining their match type with a secondary dimension called “Keyword Match Type.”

It should look like this:


Above is a great example of a phrase match keyword that was added as an exact match keyword due to performance. Looking at the data, we can see that the exact match keyword is well on it’s way to an excellent ROI.

“I’ve worked too hard to come within arms reach of the prize only to have my hand cut off just before I seize it.” Destination URLS

As account managers, we know that too much work goes into keyword research, structuring accounts, writing ads and bid management — just to send people to a poor landing page. There are several ways to analyze your landing pages in Google Analytics. One way is to make Ad Content the primary dimension and Destination URL the secondary dimension. This allows you to see how well your ads are doing based on the landing page.


This report will help you diagnose which landing pages are performing with which ads. To take this a step further, review how your well your landing pages and keywords are working together by making Keyword your primary dimension and using Destination URL as the secondary.

However, always keep in mind which landing pages are working for which keywords. Once you know that answer, go to AdWords and set the destination url at the keyword level. This should increase conversions and keep your hand from being cut off.

“I can smell which way the wind is blowing”

Do you know how your ad spend is being used across Google’s Search Network?

Have you thought to check your performance on Google’s Search Partners? It’s a default under the Campaign settings that often goes unnoticed. However, left unchecked, Google’s Search Partners could be wasting a lot of spend.

To find this information in Analytics, start by honing in on the campaign. Then, choose the secondary dimension “Ad Distribution Network” and select “Ecommerce” in Explorer.

Your results should look similar to this:


From here, you can easily compare Google Search and Search Partners performance. For this campaign, the Search Partners results are a little better, so it might be beneficial to leave it on and continue to monitor it’s progress.

Take these hacks, use them, benefit from them and always remember to “Pay attention to the fine-print . . . It’s far more important than the selling price.”

JD Prater

I bring more than five years of Digital Marketing experience to my position as a Paid Search Specialist. My current position at Inflow enables me to create cutting-edge paid search strategies and manage clients in a variety of industries worldwide.


Denver-based Inflow (formerly known as seOverflow) is an award-winning Internet marketing firm with global reach. Founded in 2003, Inflow is currently renowned as one of the top inbound marketing and paid search companies in the country. Inflow is a proud Google Partner and one of only 50 Moz Recommended Companies, worldwide.