Until recently, AdWords managers have not had deeper insights to draw from in making optimizations. Now we can learn more from the past data, search funnels, and even post-click visitor behavior.
Wish you had additional insights into your AdWords performance beyond the click and conversion? Now you can. Five recent features provide reporting and data that include more detailed insights into account performance.
Some of the data has been around for a while, but added tweaks or accessibility in "columns" through the current account views is setting up these features to make a big impact on the way AdWords is optimized. A recent webinar from Google AdWords, "Taking Advantage of New AdWords Features," highlighted the following features.
"We are very excited about this recent slate of releases," says Jon Diorio, Product Management lead for AdWords Reporting & Insights. "These new features reflect our recent efforts to better integrate valuable Google data into your AdWords workflow while also giving you better tools to slice and dice the wealth of data that AdWords provides."
1. Time Period Comparison
In several account views, you can now see comparison data from other time periods right in the columns. After the primary time period to view is set, you can select to compare to another time period. A "+" sign will appear in the column header once the date ranges are selected. Expanding these "+"s will give you dates for the comparison time periods, absolute changes, and percentage changes.
Why use it?
Seeing current performance is great but it doesn't tell you if this is better or worse than you have done in the past. Create filters to find possible issues like decreasing CTRs or conversion rates.
2. Top Movers Report
The purpose of this report is to clearly isolate a handful of campaigns experiencing a change for a given metric and to help you understand if a change you made caused it.
In the Dimensions tab, in the view drop-down, select "top movers." Set a time period to explore. Only clicks and costs are available now, but more information is provided in the details.
Within each campaign or ad group listed, see details of key statistics, what changed, and possible causes for the change. If a change in the account is linked to a change in performance, a "possible explanation" is provided and can be explored.
Why use it?
This may be more difficult to use because the time periods are limited; you can't set this to see before and after a specific date. Insight into how the changes you made impacted the account can be invaluable in driving decisions. If you knew that increasing the bids would ultimately reduce the number of conversions, would you make that change?
3. Auction Insights Report
This report shows other advertisers who compete on the same keyword and how they can compare. It shows impression share, average position, overlap rate, positions above rate, and top of page rate.
How to read the data:
Why use it?
This can show how competitive you are for a particular keyword and may indicate you should be more aggressive or are satisfied with the current keyword approach.
4. Search Funnel Columns
In AdWords, the last click is measured as a conversion, meaning the last ad that is clicked on is the one that counts. However, we know that searchers will do multiple searches and often click on more than one ad prior to converting.
Now this search funnel data is available right in the main view reports by simply adding the columns via the customize columns button.
This data details if keywords "assisted" or were served as an impression or click prior to the searcher actually converting on the last click.
Why use it?
This is helpful information to check before deciding to get rid of keywords because they aren't converting. If they are assisting earlier in the search funnel, they have value and should remain in the account.
5. Google Analytics Columns
This new feature allows you to see Google Analytics data alongside the AdWords data to explore what happens after the click, such as bounce rate, average visit duration, pages per visit, and percentage of new visits.
In order to see this information in AdWords, the two accounts must be linked. The data is only available from the time the two accounts are linked.
Why use it?
This can help you determine and assign more value to your AdWords traffic, which will behave much differently from other traffic sources.
For example, if you're trying to acquire new customers, having a high percentage of new visits is good – you're reaching a new audience more frequently. Conversely, if your bounce rate is higher than bounce rates from other traffic sources, your ad and landing page may not be resonating with customers as it should and presents an optimization opportunity.
These five new AdWords features give AdWords managers deeper insights for campaign optimization. Now you can learn more from past data, search funnels, and even post-click visitor behavior.
Have you used any of these data features recently and what actions did you take? Tell us in the comments!
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Lisa Raehsler is the founder and principal strategist at Big Click Co., an online advertising company and Google AdWords Certified Partner, specializing in strategy and management of SEM and PPC for search engines, display, retargeting, and social media ad campaigns. Lisa has led strategy on dozens of PPC accounts and puts her experience into practice every day as a thought leader in integrating clients' search campaigns with ecommerce websites, behavioral targeting strategies, and web analytics. She has participated extensively in the local interactive community, as well as at national search engine marketing conferences. Lisa's recent speaking engagements include SES, OMS, MIMA, HeroConf, and SMX conferences, as well as numerous private and public training engagements. As a columnist for ClickZ and Search Engine Watch, she writes on the topic of paid search. Follow her on Twitter @LisaRocksSEM.
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