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Create a campaign that reaches new customers

Find out how your ad is doing

 

Once your ads start running, your AdWords account will start collecting data about how those ads are performing.

It's important to check your account at least weekly to see which ads and keywords are — or aren't — working for you. You can then use this information to make adjustments to your campaign and, ultimately, boost your return on investment.

See your most essential account statistics

You'll have access to an abundance of data — but where do you begin? We've broken down the most important information into 3 steps.

1. First, decide what level of your account you're interested in

Do you want to know how all the keywords across your account are doing? Or maybe you want to see performance data for just a particular campaign or ad group?

In AdWords, you can choose to see performance statistics at any of these levels in your account:

  • Campaigns
  • Ad groups
  • Ads
  • Keywords
Do it now: View statistics in each level of your account

Guided tour: Reports

Click the "Guide me" button below to go to your account and be guided through key performance metrics.

Guide me
  1. Once you're signed in, click the Campaigns tab at the top of the screen (you're usually taken to this page by default).
  2. Go to the Campaigns sub-tab. In the table you'll see all the campaigns in your account with performance data (we'll explain that in the next section).
  3. To see data for a particular campaign, click the name of the campaign in the table or in the side menu.
  4. You'll see a table with data for all of the ad groups in that campaign. Notice, you're on the "Ad groups" sub-tab for that particular campaign.
  5. To see statistics about a particular ad in that campaign, click the Ads subtab.
  6. To see statistics about the keywords in that campaign, click the Keywords subtab.
  7. Now let's try looking at data for keywords across your account. On the top of the side menu, click All campaigns.
  8. Now click the Keywords sub-tab. You'll see a table showing statistics for all of the keywords across your account.
  9. To see data for all of your ads, click the Ads tab.
  10. To see data for all of your ad groups, click the Ad groups sub-tab. Click the specific ad group to get to the Ads and Keywords sub-tabs and see data for the ads and keywords within that ad group.
 

2. Choose a date range for the data you want to see

No matter what level of your account you're on, you can use the date range selector to tell AdWords the time period you want to view statistics for, such as for the previous month, the previous year, or your own custom time range.

Do it now: Set a date range for your performance statistics

Let's set a date range for one of your campaigns.

  1. Once you're signed in to your account, click the Campaigns tab, then select a campaign from the table or side menu.
  2. Click the drop-down menu in the top corner and select the date range you want to see data for. Date range box

And there you go! The table will adjust to show only statistics for the time range you selected. It works the same from all levels of your AdWords account.

Do this now in your account

 

3. Understand the statistics you're viewing

The statistics tables in AdWords feature columns with different types of data about your account performance. Let's look at the most essential information every new advertiser should know, and where to find it.

Find your essential AdWords performance statistics How many times your ad was clicked ("Clicks")

Clicks are the number of times a user has clicked on your ad to visit your site. This can help you understand how appealing your ad is to people who see it. Relevant, highly-targeted ads are more likely to receive clicks.

You can view clicks for your campaigns, ad groups, ads, and keywords.

How many times your ad was shown ("Impressions")

Impressions (labeled Impr. in your account) are the number of times your ad has been shown. This is an easy way to gauge whether customers are seeing your ads, and gives you insight into the size of your audience.

You can view impressions for campaigns, ad groups, ads, and keywords.

How relevant your ad is to people who see it ("Clickthrough rate")

Clickthrough rate (labeled CTR in your account) is the percentage of people who clicked on your ad after they saw it. This is a key indicator of your ad's health — it tells you how many people are interested in your ad and visit your site as a result. (On the Search Network, a good CTR is generally considered to be 1% or higher.)

You can view CTR for campaigns, ad groups, ads, and keywords.

How much, on average, you're paying for clicks ("Average cost-per-click")

Average cost-per-click (labeled Avg. CPC in your account) shows the average amount you've paid each time someone clicks your ad. (This will often be less than the maximum CPC bid you've set.)

You can view Avg. CPC for campaigns, ad groups, ads, and keywords.

 

The statistics tables in your account are flexible, so you can make them as simple or as detailed as you like as you get more familiar with AdWords.

You can add or remove columns to see just the data you want by clicking the Columns drop-down menu from any table, and selecting Modify columns.

Reviewing these basic statistics at least once each week can tell you how well your ads attract visitors to your site. But how many of these visitors actually become your customers? In the next section, we'll show you how to do just that with conversion tracking.


Track how many ad clicks turn into customers

Once you start seeing clicks on your ads, you might wonder how many of those clicks are turning into actual customers. That's where conversion tracking comes in.

Use conversion tracking to measure your AdWords results

Why conversion tracking is valuable

Conversion tracking is a free tool in AdWords that can measure what happens after a customer clicks on your ads — for example, whether they purchased your product, signed up for your newsletter, or filled out a contact form. By tracking these actions, called conversions, you'll know which ads, keywords, and campaigns are bringing you business.

For example, you might see that a certain keyword generates many clicks, but only a few conversions. Alternatively, you might see that certain keywords generate few clicks, but many conversions.

Conversion tracking is flexible so you can customize it to your needs. For example, you can choose how long after a click you want to be able to count a conversion, how you count your conversions, and how much each conversion is worth to you.

How conversion tracking works

To use conversion tracking, you'll need to put a small snippet of code on the page your customers see after they've completed a valuable action on your site. For example, if you'd like to track online purchases, you (or the person who maintains your website) should place the code on the "Thank you" page your customers see after a purchase.

Conversion tracking code

When a customer clicks your ad and reaches the page with your conversion code, AdWords records a successful conversion for you.

Purchase confirmation page

Let's figure out which conversion tracking option is right for you.

What do you want to track after a customer clicks on your ad?


I want to track actions on my website, like online purchases, newsletter sign-ups, or completions of an online form

We can help with that! There are 2 steps to setting up conversion tracking for actions on your website.

  1. Get the conversion tracking tag from your AdWords account
  2. Add the conversion tracking tag to your website

Ready to start? Do it now.

I want to track phone calls that come from the call extension on my ads

Great! To track phone calls from your ads, you'll need to have an active call extension that uses a unique Google forwarding number. If you don't have one already, you can set it up right after you set up phone call conversions (instructions are included below).

Good to know

  • Call extensions with Google forwarding phone numbers are only available for numbers based in Australia, France, Germany, Spain, Sweden, the UK, and the US.
  • Call extensions in Display-only campaigns don't support forwarding numbers or calls as conversions.

Ready to start tracking phone calls? Do it now.


Do it now: Track actions on your website
Tracking conversions on a website with AdWords

Step 1: Get the conversion tracking tag from your AdWords account

  1. Sign in to your AdWords account.
  2. Click the Tools tab, and select Conversions from the drop-down menu.
    Select "Conversions" from the menu
  3. Click the +Conversion button.
    New conversion action
  4. You'll now see options for the different kinds of conversion sources you can track. Select Website. 
    New website conversion action
  5. In the "Name" section, enter a name for the conversion action you'd like to track, such as 
    "newsletter sign-up" or "wedding bouquet purchase." This will help you recognize this conversion action later in conversion reports. Click Done.
  6. Click Value. Select how to track the value of each conversion:
    • Each time it happens, the conversion action has the same value. Enter the amount each conversion is worth to your business.
    • The value of this conversion action may vary. Use this option if, for example, you’re tracking purchases of products with different prices. Later, when you add your conversion tracking tag, you’ll need to customize your tag to track transaction-specific values.
    • Don't assign a value.
    Learn more about using conversion values. Click Done.
  7. Click Count. Select how to count your conversions:
    • Every: this setting is best for sales, when every conversion likely adds value for your business.
    • One: this setting is best for leads, such as a sign-up form on your website, when only one conversion per ad click likely adds value for your business.
    Click Done.
  8. Click Conversion windows. Select options for each of the following:
    • Conversion window: select how long to track conversions after someone clicks an ad. The window can be 1 to 90 days.
    • View-through conversion window: select how long to track conversions after someone sees a Display Network ad. The window can be as short as 1 day or as long as 30 days.
    Learn more about conversion windows. Click Done.
  9. Click Category. Select the category that best describes your conversion. You can use this category to segment your conversion reports. You can always change it later. Click Done.
  10. (Advanced) Click Include in "Conversions." Uncheck this setting—selected by default—if you don't want to include data for this conversion action in your "Conversions" reporting column. If you uncheck this setting, data will still be included in the "All conversions" column.

    You might want to use this setting if you use an automated bid strategy to optimize for conversions, and you don't want to include this particular conversion action in your bid strategy. Learn more about the "Include in 'Conversions'" setting. Click Done.
  11. Click Attribution model. This setting lets you choose how to assign credit for each conversion: to the last click a customer made before a conversion, the first click, or a combination of clicks. Learn more about each option and how this setting works in About attribution models. Click Done.
  12. Click Save and continue.

You'll now see a screen with your saved settings and conversion tracking tag. Follow the instructions in the next section to customize and save your tag.


Step 2: Add the tag to your website

  1. Open the HTML for the page your customers reach on your website after they've completed a conversion—the "Thank you for your order" page, for example. This is called the conversion page.
  2. Between the body tags (<body></body>) of the page, paste your conversion tracking tag. (If you haven't already, follow these instructions to create your tag.)
  3. Save the changes to your webpage. And that's it!

Here's the HTML for a very simple webpage:

		<html>
		<head>
		<title>Sample HTML File</title>
		</head>
		<body>
		Paste your conversion tracking tag here.
		</body>
		</html>
	

Here's the same webpage after the conversion tracking tag has been added (sample only—this code won't work on your website):

		<html>
		<head>
		<title>Sample HTML File</title>
		</head>
		<body> 
		<!-- Google Code for Purchase Conversion Page -->
		<script type="text/javascript"> 
		/* <![CDATA[ */
		var google_conversion_id = 1234567890;
		var google_conversion_language = "en_US";
		var google_conversion_format = "1";
		var google_conversion_color = "666666";
		var google_conversion_label = "xxx-XXx1xXXX123X1xX";
		var google_remarketing_only = "false"
			var google_conversion_value = 10.0;
			var google_conversion_currency = "USD"
		/* ]]> */ 
		</script>
		<script type="text/javascript" 
		src="//www.googleadservices.com/pagead/
		conversion.js">
		</script>
		<noscript>
		<img height=1 width=1 border=0 
		src="//www.googleadservices.com/pagead/
		conversion/1234567890/
		?value=10.0&amp;currency_code=USD&amp;label=xxx-   
		XXx1xXXX123X1xX&amp;guid=ON&amp;script=0">
		       </noscript>
		</body>
		</html>
	

Keep in mind: Transaction: specific values

If you chose "The value of this conversion action may vary" when creating your conversion action, you'll need to follow these instructions to edit your tag to track transaction-specific values.

Do it now: Track phone calls from your ads
  1. Sign in to your AdWords account.
  2. Click the Tools tab, and select Conversions from the drop-down menu.
    Select "Conversions" from the menu
  3. Click the + Conversion button.
    New conversion action
  4. Select the "Phone calls" option.
    New phone call conversion
  5. Select Calls from ads using call extensions.
  6. Click Name. Enter the name of the phone call conversion you'd like to track. This will help you recognize this action later when it shows up in conversion reports. An example might be "Flower phone orders" or "Booking calls." Click Done.
  7. Click Value. Enter a value for each call, or select "Don't assign a value" if you'd prefer not to count one. Click Done.
  8. Click Call length. Enter the minimum length, in seconds, that a phone call needs to last to be counted as a conversion. Click Done.
  9. Click Count. Select whether to count all or unique conversions. "All" is best for sales; "unique" is best for leads. Click Done.
  10. Click Conversion window. Select a conversion window (how long after an ad click you want to track conversions) for this conversion action. The window can be as short as one week or as long as 60 days. Click Done.
  11. Click Category. Select the category that best applies to your conversion. Your choice here is used simply to segment your conversion reports. You can always change it later. Click Done.
  12. (Advanced) Click Optimization. Opting into this setting—selected by default—does two things:
    • Adds data from this conversion action to your "Conv. (opt.)" columns.
    • Optimizes bids for this conversion action when using automated bid strategies such as Target return on ad spend, Enhanced cost-per-click, or Conversion Optimizer.
    Uncheck the box if you don't want to optimize bids for this conversion action. Otherwise, leave it checked. Click Done.
  13. Click Save and continue.
  14. Click Go to call extensions.
    • If you already have a call extension that you'd like to use, continue on to the next step.
    • If you need to create a call extension, follow these instructions first, selecting settings according to the instructions below.
  15. Click the call extension you want to edit.
  16. Click the pencil Edit (pencil) icon next to the phone number you want to edit.
  17. Next to "Show my ad with," select A Google forwarding phone number and use call reporting.
  18. Click Advanced. Next to "Report phone call conversions," check the box to Count calls as phone call conversions.
  19. Select the name of the conversion action you just created. Click Done.

In AdWords, you can also set up conversion tracking for phone calls from people who visit your website, and clicks on the phone number shown on your mobile website. Learn more about all phone call conversion tracking options available in AdWords.

 

Need help setting up conversion tracking? Contact an AdWords expert today.

Contact AdWords

 

Make sure you can view your conversion data

Once you've set up conversion tracking, you'll want to view your conversion data as it starts rolling in. To do this, you'll need to add Conversions columns to the statistics tables on your AdWords account tabs. You can add these columns to any tables in your account.

Do it now: Add Conversion columns to your statistics table
  1. From your account's "Campaigns" tab, select the sub-tab where you want your conversion data to show ("Campaigns," "Ad groups," "Ads," or "Keywords" tabs).
  2. Click the Columns drop-down menu above the table and select Modify columns.
  3. Click Conversions.
  4. Click the arrows next to the columns you want to add, or choose "Add all columns" to add them all to your picker.
  5. To re-order the columns in your statistics table, click and drag on the different column names to put them in the order you want.
  6. If you want to save this set of columns so they'll always appear on this sub-tab, check the box next to Save this set of columns.
  7. When you're ready, click Apply.

Do this now in your account

To add Conversion columns to additional sub-tabs in your account, just select the sub-tab and follow the steps above.



Woohoo! Give yourself a pat on the back. You've completed this guide to creating an AdWords campaign that gets results.

Feeling stuck? Our AdWords experts can help get your campaign up and running and ready for positive results. Contact us today.

So, what's next? To make sure you're investing your online advertising dollars as wisely as possible, you'll want to check in regularly on how your ads and keywords are doing and make any adjustments to improve their performance. To find out how, continue on to the next guide in this series, Tracking and improving results.

Go to the next guide

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