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Finding Actionable Insights through AdWords Reporting: Google Best Practices

Official Guide to Reporting and Account Analysis in AdWords.


This guide covers how to surface the right insights and turn them into action. These AdWords reporting best practices can help improve your performance.

1. Frame AdWords account analysis around what success looks like for you

  • Define clear and consistent success metrics for your AdWords account.

Why: Without focusing on a clear goal it’s easy to get lost in the details.

  • Focus on insights that lead to changes that affect your success metrics. 

Why: Understanding what’s happening in your account and why it may be happening is crucial to replicating successes and eliminating shortcomings.

Read more about framing analysis around what success looks like for you.

2. Give AdWords account analysis the appropriate context

  • Detect anomalies in your AdWords account by being aware of baseline performance.

Why: The earlier you spot anomalies in your account performance, the quicker you can take advantage of new opportunities or fix poor performers.

  • Choose the right time periods when analyzing AdWords performance. 

Why: Context is important. Seasonality, strategy changes and external market pressures can influence performance.

  • Ensure that your ratios have the right amount of data to be legitimate. 

Why: Early returns can be misleading. By waiting for enough data, you can be more confident that your changes are the right ones.

Read more about giving analysis the appropriate context.

3. Tell a story that translates AdWords reports into action

  • Filter your analyses and reports to focus on high-value areas.

Why: Appropriately placed filters can direct your attention to the details that will ultimately determine your success in AdWords.

  • Segment your analyses and reports to highlight differences at every level of your AdWords account. 

Why: Looking at your data at the top level may obscure important differences that segments can reveal. Find efficiencies to exploit and inefficiencies to improve.

  • Create line, bar and pie charts to better visualize your AdWords data.

Why: Pictures are often easier to comprehend than spreadsheets. Use charts to turn your data into a story that anyone can understand and act on.

Read more about telling a story that translates reports into action.

4. Tailor AdWords reports to be uniquely meaningful to your needs

  • Create custom columns that focus on what matters most.

Why: It’s easier to focus on performance drivers if your AdWords reports are customized to include specific metrics that you care about.

  • Save your important, recurring analyses as reports. 

Why: Make it easy to repeatedly surface the insights that you find most valuable in AdWords.

Read more about tailoring your reports.

 

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