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Measure video ad performance

In AdWords, you can see your video campaigns under “All campaigns” alongside any other campaigns you may be running. By selecting Video campaigns from this drop-down menu, you can view a summary of only your video campaigns’ performance. In this view, only the columns and features related to video campaign performance will automatically populate with performance data.

Some key metrics for your video campaigns include:

  • Core performance:
    • Views show you the number of times people watched or engaged with your video ad. Note: TrueView video ads views will also count towards your video's public YouTube view count only if a video is longer than 11 seconds.
    • View rate shows you the number of views or engagements your video ad receives divided by the number of times your ad is shown (video and thumbnail impressions).
    • Avg. CPV is the average amount you pay when a viewer watches 30 seconds of your video (or the duration if it's shorter than 30 seconds) or engages with your video, whichever comes first. Note that your average CPV may not be the same as your maximum CPV. Your maximum CPV is the most you’re willing to pay for an ad view.
  • Click performance:
    • Clicks show you the number of times people clicked on your video. Clicks can help you understand how well your ad is appealing to people who see it. Engaging ads are more likely to receive clicks.
    • Clickthrough rate (CTR) is the number of clicks that your ad receives divided by the number of times your ad is shown, expressed as a percentage.
  • Engagement performance:
    • Engagements show you the number of clicks on interactive elements such as teasers or icons to expand any cards that may be on your video.
    • Engagement rate is the number of engagements that your ad receives (for example, clicks on card teasers and icons) divided by the number of times your ad is shown, expressed as a percentage (engagements ÷ impressions = engagement rate).
  • Reach and frequency:
    • Unique cookies is the number of cookies (which store preferences and other information that’s used on webpages that they visit) specific to an individual browser on people's computers.
    • Unique viewers by cookie is the number of times your video ad was viewed by a unique cookie over a given time period.
    • Avg. impr. freq. per cookie is the average number of times your video ad is shown to a unique cookie over a given time period.
    • Avg. view freq. per cookie is the average number of times that a unique cookie viewed your video over a given time period.
  • Video viewership (also known as "quartile reporting")
    • Video played to: 25% shows the number of times that a video plays to 25% of its length.
    • Video played to: 50% shows the number of times that a video is played until the middle of its view length.
    • Video played to: 75% shows the number of times that a video plays to 75% of its length.
    • Video played to: 100% shows the number of times that a video plays to its completion.
  • YouTube engagement: Earned actions happen when a viewer watches a video ad and then takes a related action on YouTube. The following are different types of earned actions:
    • Earned views increment if a YouTube viewer watches subsequent videos on your YouTube channel or Watch pages. This type of earned action increments whether or not someone chooses to watch the same video again or any other video on your channel.
    • Earned subscribes happen when a viewer subscribes to your channel. This type of earned action provides unique value because the content from these YouTube channels and the channel avatars themselves may be viewed on the YouTube home page.
    • Earned playlist additions happen when a viewer adds the video to a playlist.
    • Earned likes happen when a viewer likes the video.
    • Earned shares happen when a viewer shares the video.

Many of the robust reporting features available for Search and Display campaigns are also available for video campaigns, such as:

  • Advanced filtering - Filter your account statistics to search for the data that interests you the most, for example, "YouTube earned actions" or "Max. CPV." You can either filter by label or create your own filter. Once you've created a filter, you can save it for easy access in the future.
  • Segments - Use segments to split your data into rows based on the options that matter most to you, such as format, network, device, etc. This makes it easier to view the data by isolating exactly what you want to see. You can also segment by view type to split out your performance by in-stream views versus video discovery views. Your segment choices vary, depending on the tab of your AdWords account that you're viewing.
  • Automated reporting - You can find specific performance data about your video campaigns that interest you, by customizing the statistics tables of your AdWords account using columns, segments, and filters. Once the tables look exactly how you want, you can download them as reports in a variety of formats and save them. You can also set up reports to run at specific intervals, and schedule them to be emailed to you or other people who have access to your account.
  • My Change History - The My Change History tool lists the changes you've made to your account. It shows each change within a timeline, mapped to your account data. You can view all changes for a particular time period, filter the results by the type of change (such as budget adjustments or ad group edits), or see changes for a particular video campaign. By comparing your changes with the timeline of performance data, you can find out which changes may have contributed to changes in your performance.
  • Modifying columns - When you're viewing your AdWords account from the "All campaigns" view, some columns might be pre-populated with information not relevant to your video campaigns. You can add and remove columns on any tab, by clicking Modify columns on the "Columns" drop-down menu. Whatever you unselect will be hidden the next time you sign in to your AdWords account. When you select "Video campaigns" on the campaign type drop-down menu, you'll see the following predefined types of columns:
    • Views - Use these columns to monitor your video views and audience engagement.
    • Audience - These metrics help you track the growth of your YouTube audience.
    • Branding - See how well your video ads are building brand awareness.
    • Conversions - Analyze clicks and conversions on your website.

Note

To create a video ad, your video content must be hosted on YouTube. This means views of your video ads will increase your video's view counts on YouTube (on the video's Watch page and within your YouTube account reporting).

The "Ad groups" tab

Use the "Ad groups" tab to see the overall results of your video ad groups within a specific date range for metrics like impressions, clicks, viewthrough rate (VTR), cost-per-view (CPV), etc. For specific definitions of each metric, click the ? tooltip icon in each column header.

Keep in mind

  • An ad group contains video ads with common targeting criteria and bids.
  • An ad group is defined by a specific video ad format and can contain only video ads of that format. However, in your video campaigns, you can run multiple ad groups--some with in-stream ads and some with video discovery ads. That is, a single ad group can contain only in-stream ads or only video discovery ads, but it can't contain both ad formats.

Tips

  • On the "Ad groups" tab, click Modify columns on the "Columns" drop-down menu to add the "Ad group type" column. This column will show you which ad groups are in-stream ads vs. video discovery ads.
  • When viewing a specific ad group, you'll be taken to the "Ads" tab where you can see the ads assigned to that specific ad group. When this happens, the "Ad groups" tab disappears, but the other tabs remain.
  • You can navigate back to an ad group by clicking the name of an ad group in the left navigation pane of AdWords.
  • You can also segment your performance on the Ad Groups tab by ad format using the ‘View Type’ segment.

Once you've created a new ad group, you'll most likely want to fill it out with more ads and the right targeting to reach consumers at moments that matter. You can do this by clicking your ad group's name, and then click its Ads tab or Video targeting tab.

Ad groups tab

The "Ads" tab

The "Ads" tab is where you go to create and manage your ads. Within this tab, you can create, edit, and preview your video ads. You can also see and customize your ads' statistics, bids, and more.

The Videos tab

So, you’re running your video campaigns and wondering how well they’re doing. By better understanding how well the YouTube videos in your video ads are performing, you’ll know what video content to focus on for your audience, and, in turn, can improve your video campaigns' performance.

The "Videos" tab shows your video performance in aggregate across all ads. By selecting from the "Views" drop-down menu, you can see charts that map the performance of all your video ads based on metric.

The "Video Analytics" page

Discover performance metrics and audience insights for each of your videos by viewing its "Video Analytics" page. On the "Videos" tab, just click the video title or Analytics in the drop-down menu next to the video title.

The "Video targeting" tab

The "Video targeting" tab has 2 purposes: to show performance metrics for each targeting method you're using and to allow you to add and exclude targeting methods directly to ad groups and campaigns.

Accessing the "Video targeting" tab

You can access the "Video targeting" tab at the all campaigns level, for a single video campaign, or at an ad-group level.

  • At the "All campaigns" level, clicking the "Video targeting" tab will show you performance metrics for each ad group in each campaign.
  • Within a video campaign, clicking the "Video targeting" tab will show you performance metrics within each ad group in that campaign.
  • Within an ad group, clicking the "Video targeting" tab will show you performance metrics only for that ad group.

To toggle between different ad groups and campaigns, use the left navigation pane or the "Campaigns" and "Ad groups" tabs.

Video targeting tab
Reporting, adding, and excluding targeting:

See performance metrics for each targeting type available for video campaigns, similar to what's available on the "Display targeting" tab. Once you understand how your campaign is performing, you may want to add or exclude targeting accordingly.

  • Demographics: Separate sub-tabs report on each demographic targeting method.
    • You can add or exclude specific demographic groups by editing each line item within the table.
    • A green dot will appear next to the demographic groups that you have added, and a red dot will appear next to demographic groups that you have excluded. You can add or exclude demographic groups by changing the status of the dot.
  • Interests: This tab lists all affinity audiences and in-market audiences that you've manually added.
    • Add audiences by clicking +INTERESTS and selecting the right ad group (if you haven't already selected one). You can also exclude an affinity audience or in-market audience from a specific ad group by changing its status in the table.
    • To exclude an interest from the campaign, use the +EXCLUSIONS table.
  • Remarketing lists: This tab shows all remarketing lists that you've manually added.
    • Add a remarketing list by clicking +REMARKETING LIST and selecting the right ad group (if you haven't already selected one).
    • You can also exclude a remarketing list from a specific ad group by changing its status in the table. Any exclusions you add will appear in this table.
    • To exclude a remarketing list from an entire campaign, use the +EXCLUSIONS table.
  • Placements: This tab includes 2 sub-tabs: the "Managed" sub-tab shows performance metrics for placements and channels you’ve manually targeted; the "Where your ads have shown" sub-tab shows performance metrics on all placements where your ads have served, including managed placements.
    • On either tab, you can view either all placements or toggle between YouTube placements and Display Network placements.
    • Placement performance metrics are aggregated at the individual placement level (video, site, etc.) as well as at the YouTube channel level or website domain level. For example, if your video ad appeared on 5 videos within the same YouTube channel, we’ll aggregate your performance metrics at the "Channel" level.
    • View performance metrics for a specific channel or site by clicking the box next to the channel and selecting Detailed view.
    • You can exclude a placement from a specific ad group by changing its status in the table. Any exclusions you add will appear in this table.
    • To exclude a placement from an entire campaign, click +EXCLUSIONS, under "Placements exclusions," on the "Managed" sub-tab.
  • Topics: This tab lists all topics that you've manually added.
    • Add topics by clicking +TOPICS and selecting the right ad group (if you haven't already selected one).
    • You can also exclude a topic from a specific ad group by changing its status in the table. Any exclusions you add will appear in this table.
    • To exclude a topic from an entire campaign, use the +EXCLUSIONS table.
  • Keywords: This tab includes 2 sub-tabs: the "Keywords" sub-tab shows performance metrics for keywords you've added. These keywords will target your video ads to viewers searching on the YouTube Search Network, as well as to contextually relevant videos and channels on YouTube and across the web. The "Search terms" sub-tab shows performance metrics on the YouTube search queries on which you’ve served your ads (similar to a search query performance report).
    • Add keywords by clicking +KEYWORDS and selecting the right ad group (if you haven't already selected one).
    • You can also exclude keywords from an ad group within the main table. Any exclusions you add will appear in this table.
    • To add negative keywords to your campaign, click +EXCLUSIONS under "Keywords exclusions."

The Targets tab also shows your video ad performance by targeting group. Select the Ad segment from this tab to compare the performance of each ad for each targeting group. Add retention and engagement columns to your statistics table to measure the percentage of your video that people watched and understand how your ad is driving traffic to your YouTube channel.

Troubleshooting issues with your data

Differences between view statistics in YouTube vs. AdWords

We can't guarantee that the views you're billed for and your YouTube view count will be equal. One common cause when looking at periodic view counts is that YouTube aggregates period statistics based on Pacific Time whereas AdWords aggregates period statistics based on the advertiser-defined time zone. However, discrepancies do arise, and we attempt to keep the cumulative numbers approximately equal. While you may be billed for an appropriate amount of engaged views, some of those views were not eligible for YouTube view counts.

Differences in video percentage views and call-to-action clicks in YouTube Insights vs. AdWords

Presently, video percentage views (quartile data) in AdWords is only for views on paid AdWords advertisements. This means AdWords cannot present this information for your video if it is accessed via a free search result listing on Google or YouTube search.

 

Example

A video you have hosted on YouTube may be found in Google or YouTube search results. If viewers click on this video through free search results and interact with the video, you won't be charged for a video view or the viewer's interactions. These interactions will not be included in the video performance metrics within AdWords.

Since YouTube Analytics includes video data for all videos, and AdWords provides data for a portion of those views (paid), there will be differences in video view totals.

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