Compare and track your ads' performance over time
Curious about whether your ad is clicked more often on Fridays than Sundays? Want to easily compare ad group impressions by quarter? Google Ads provides several ways to compare performance over time. This article will show you how to compare performance across two date ranges. You’ll also learn how to use segments to drill down to specific data sets.
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Compare performance across two date ranges
Let's say that you want to know how your campaigns did last week compared with the week before. Or maybe you want to see data for the current month compared with this month last year. You can see all this by using the "compare dates" option in the date range drop-down menu.
- Sign in to your AdWords account.
- Click the Campaigns tab.
- Click the down arrow in the date range in the upper right corner of your screen.
- Make sure that the "Compare dates" option is set to ON.
- In the top section of the menu, select the date range that you’re interested in. Then, in the section below "Compare dates" select whether you’d like to compare the Previous period or the Same period last year or create a Custom comparison. (If you select Custom, you’ll be prompted to enter a specific date range.)
- Click Apply. You’ll see results for both date ranges charted in your performance graph.
To see the comparison metrics in your statistics table, you’ll need to click on the + icon that has now appeared in each of your column headers. Doing so will expand a column to show 4 columns: the current date range, the previous date range, the numerical change between the 2 date ranges and the percentage change.
Once you choose a date range, both alone and as part of a comparison, those dates apply across your account (until you change them).
The "compare dates" feature lets you compare performance across 2 date ranges, but not more. For example, if you want to look at performance per day over the last month, it’s better to use segments, which we describe below.
Segment your data by time
Segments can provide a more granular view of your data. For example, say that you used the date range box and selected "Last week" in order to look at overall performance for the last week. But then you decided that you wanted to see that week broken out by day. For this, you would use segments.
Once you create a 'Day of the week' segment, your single row of data will become eight rows of data: the original row plus one new row for every day of the week.
Click the Segment button above your statistics table and select Time from the drop-down. This splits your statistics table into rows based on the date range that you select.
- Day of the week (e.g. Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday)
- Day (e.g. Wed. 21 December 2011)
- Hour of Day
View performance by time with the Report Editor
The Report Editor lets you slice and dice your data by date range across an ad group, a campaign or your entire account. For example, you might want to track an ad group's performance on an hourly basis to see how well it's performing at different times throughout the day. Then you can use these insights to schedule your ads for the hours when they're most likely to receive the greatest number of impressions and clicks.
For example, you could run a report to compare your total clicks in January across ad groups, or find out whether a certain campaign has a better CTR at 10 a.m. or 2 p.m. How you view your data is up to you.
Here's how to see performance by time in the Report Editor:
- Sign in to your AdWords account.
- Click the Reports tab.
- Click the + Report button, and click Table in the drop-down menu.
- Select a date range from the date selector above the canvas.
Drag the following tiles from the sidebar onto the canvas:
- An item you want to measure, such as Ad group
- A metric, such as CTR
- A unit of time, such as Day of week
From here, you can further customise your data using filters.
- For example, you can filter your ad groups to see a single ad group, or filter the days of the week to see your data for weekdays only.
- Finally, click Save as to save your report for later use. You can also download your report by clicking the download button .
Learn more About the Report Editor.