Finding actionable insights through Google Ads reporting: Google Best Practices

Frame Google Ads account analysis around what success looks like for you

An important first step toward successful analysis is knowing what success looks like for your Google Ads metrics. Use this guide to navigate the entire analysis and reporting process.


We’re closer than we’ve ever been to understanding which aspects of our marketing work. Impressions, clicks, conversions and more are all quantified and available for you to analyze. In most cases collecting the data isn’t the problem - the challenge is making sense out of everything that’s available.

Smart analysis and reporting in Google Ads highlights what matters to you and your bottom line. That information can directly improve the performance of your account. This guide covers how to surface the right insights and turn those insights into action. We’ll talk about important considerations as you analyze your Google Ads performance, and then we’ll cover how to turn your important analyses into truly special reports.

An important first step toward successful analysis is knowing what success looks like for you. Use that as a guide as you navigate the entire analysis and reporting process.

Define clear and consistent success metrics for your Google Ads account

Everyone has goals for their Google Ads accounts - a crucial part of using those goals successfully is consistency. Make your goals well-defined and stable. You don’t need the same goal for every single aspect of your account. Customize your performance goals based on what your desired outcome is.

Ground your analyses in those specific success metrics. That’s not to say you should only look at cost per action (CPA) if that’s your specific success metric. Instead, you should include secondary metrics that directly relate to that success metric. Cost-per-click (CPC) and conversion rate are going to affect what happens to your CPA, so they should be a part of your analysis.

There are plenty of different ways to gauge success in Google Ads. No matter what it looks like for you, focus on what matters most. For example, clickthrough rate may affect your performance, but don’t let it or any other secondary metrics distract you from your measure of success. Understand the relationship between supporting metrics and success metrics.

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

Once you have a clear sense of what success is for you, you can create analyses in Google Ads to identify ways to improve performance. Connect secondary metrics to your primary success metric, and create analyses that lead to action.

It isn’t enough to find something that’s interesting. Find something interesting that also leads directly to optimizations for your account. If you start by understanding what’s happening in your account, you can dig into the available metrics to uncover why something may be occurring. From there, take steps to replicate successes and eliminate shortcomings.

Here’s a helpful example for an account that is all about driving growth. This account wants more leads. They’ve been adding keywords and exploring other channels like Display, but they think that their CTR could stand to be better on their existing search terms.

Report: Identify a high-value ad group in the account and run an ad report segmented by keyword.

This report will show which keywords are performing well with the current creatives and which ones aren’t. After reviewing this you can update your ad rotation settings or even break out a new ad group to house the keywords that are below-average performers.

This is only one example, but it should help with the larger point. Start with your overall success metric (growth), create a report that illuminates a certain facet of that metric (CTR & growing your clicks from existing impressions), and use that report to drive action (creating new ad groups with more relevant ads).


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