Evaluating ad performance on the search network

You've created your ad, and it's up and running. Your next step is to find out how it's performing. Tracking statistics like clicks, impressions and click-through rate is a great way to start. It's also important to think about what you're trying to accomplish with your campaign, so you can focus on the statistics that can help you achieve your goals.

If you're new to tracking your performance, start by clicking the Campaigns tab in your AdWords account. The statistics tables on your Ads and Keywords tabs under the Campaigns tab provide a complete, customisable view of all of your data. You can keep the reporting simple or dig deeper for more detailed insights into the success of your campaigns.

Clicks, impressions and click-through rate

To help you get comfortable tracking data for your ads running on the Search Network, we suggest monitoring the clicks, impressions, and especially the click-through rate (CTR) of your ads and keywords. CTR is the percentage of people that clicked your ad after they saw it. By tracking it, you can make sure that your ads and keywords are attractive to customers. Find these statistics listed in columns in your account's statistics table. If you don't see them, click the Columns button and select the ones that you'd like to enable.

This video explains the importance of clicks, impressions and click-through rate for measuring success in your Google AdWords account.

You may also want to keep an eye on the following information about your ads and keywords:

Ad performance
  • Status: In the "Status" column of the statistics table on your Ads tab, you can see whether each of your ads is running.
  • Average position: Look for the "Average position" (Avg. pos.) column in the statistics tables on your account tabs to find out exactly where your ad is appearing on Google's search results page. Positions one through 10 usually appear on the first page of search results. This is the best way to check on the positions of many ads at once.

    If you don't see the column in your statistics table, you can add it by going to your Keywords tab, then clicking the Columns button and choosing "Customise columns" from the drop-down menu. Click Performance, then add "Avg pos".

  • Ad variations: If you have more than one ad in an ad group, your ads will be rotated and take turns showing. By comparing the performance of your different ads, you can find out what your customers find the most compelling. For example, see which ad has the highest CTR and improve those ads with the lowest CTR. We suggest testing between two and four ads in an ad group at a time.
Keyword performance
  • Keyword status: The Status column of the statistics table on your Keywords tab tells you whether each of your keywords is triggering ads to run. Click the speech bubble icon Speech bubble to read a summary of each keyword's status. Or click the Keyword details drop-down button, then select Diagnose keywords to see multiple keyword statuses at once.
  • Quality Score: This column helps you monitor the Quality Scores of your keywords.  The column is disabled by default in new accounts, but you can make it appear in your statistics table by going to your Keywords tab, then clicking the Columns button.
  • Search terms: You can see the actual search terms that drove traffic to your ads on your Keywords tab. From the Keyword details drop-down button, in the "Search terms" section, select All to see a list of the searches that triggered your ads. You can use this information to identify which keywords are the most successful and to find new keywords to add to your account. If you see that irrelevant terms are triggering your ad, you can add these as negative keywords to prevent your ad from showing on these terms.
Track statistics based on your campaign goals

It's always important to keep your own campaign goals in mind when you look at your account statistics. Depending on what you want to achieve, certain statistics will be relevant and helpful to you, while others may not be as useful. Choose a goal from the list below to see more suggestions of what to track:

Track statistics for mobile ads on high-end devices

Use the Segment button to see the data in your campaign segmented by device. This allows you to compare statistics such as clicks, impressions, CTRs or conversion rates for desktop computers and high-end mobile devices. Segmenting your data can help you identify which campaigns, ad groups, ads or keywords are driving the best performance for a particular type of device, especially for campaigns combining desktop computer and mobile devices.

Tip

Here's some data that you might not know about. You can see how your Destination URLs are performing for your entire account, or specific campaigns and ad groups. Just click the Dimensions tab, then click View and select "Destination URL" from the drop-down menu.

Next steps