AdWords Fundamentals: Exam study guide
3.1 Measure your results
Now that you've created a campaign, it's time to measure your ad performance. You can analyse basic account, campaign and ad group information using the different data and reports available in AdWords. There are also advanced reports that go beyond the number of clicks or impressions that you're getting, allowing you to see the impact that AdWords has on your business.
You'll want to think about your AdWords goals and decide which statistics are most important for measuring progress towards those goals. Then, you can customise the data in your statistics table to see how your campaigns, ad groups, ads and keywords are performing. Customising your data to see only what interests you can make managing your campaigns faster and easier, too.
There are several ways in which you can customise your data – adjusting date ranges, columns, segments, filters and graphs. Let's take a closer look at segments as a way to analyse and improve your performance.
Segments allow you to split your data into rows based on the information that matters to you most, such as periods of time, click type, or device. There are multiple segments that you can use and your choices vary depending on the tab of your AdWords account that you're viewing.
When using segments, you'll want to prepare your data by choosing the account level at which you want to look at your data (such as a campaign or ad group) and a date range that's long enough to give you meaningful data.
Here are some insights that you can gain about your data with segments:
- Click type: See which clicks resulted in visits to your website, or clicks on your phone number when your ad is shown on a mobile device (also called click-to-call).
- Device: Compare performance across devices: computers, mobile devices with full browsers, and tablets with full browsers. This can help you to work out whether you're getting a better return on investment from ads showing on different types of devices.
- Top vs. Other: Find out where your ad appeared on Google's search results pages and search partners' pages. Segmenting your data by “Top vs. other” can help you to optimise your search campaigns to serve your ads on the parts of the page that perform best for you.
- Time: Isolate changes in your performance using the time segment options (day, week, or day of week, month, quarter or year). If you segment your data by day, for example, then you'll be able to identify differences in ad performance on different days of the week and make changes to your campaign accordingly.
Since there are a variety of segments that you can choose from, give each a try to see which segments give you meaningful insights into your ad performance.
You can use the Dimensions tab to look at data across your entire account, an individual campaign, or an ad group. Use the different dimensions, such as different times of the day or days of the week, to gain more insight into your ad performance and help you to identify opportunities for optimisation.
Here are a few ways to use the Dimensions tab to filter your data:
- Time: Use the Time view to see how ads in your ad group performed during a specific time period. For example, you might want to track an ad’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.
- Geography: A couple of useful views are the Geographic and User locations views. You can see the individual regions that your clicks originated from and use the information to refine your location targeting.
- Landing page: The Destination URL view lets you see what page your customers are going to on your website when they click your ads. Make sure that the Destination URL you use for each ad directs customers to the most relevant page within your website. Ideally, that web page will be dedicated to the specific product or service that's highlighted in your ad.
The Search terms report allows you to see the terms that people were searching for when your ad was shown. You can also see the performance metrics for those searches.
Here are some ways in which you can use your search terms data to optimise your keywords and ads:
- New keywords: Add well-performing search terms to your ad group as keywords. You'll want to consider adjusting your bids and ad text as well, to help make sure that you capture the traffic that these search terms are already receiving.
- Negative keywords: If there are search terms that aren't performing well or helping you to meet your goals, add them as negative keywords. This will prevent your ad from showing to people who are looking for something that you don't sell, helping you to increase your profitability and better controlling the flow of traffic to your account.
- Match types: Find the correct match type (broad, phrase, exact) for existing keywords. The "Match type" column shows how closely the search terms that triggered your ads are related to the actual keywords in your account. You can use this information to refine the match types for your keywords to show your ads to the right customers.
- Ad text: Get a better understanding of what potential customers were looking for, or were interested in, when they searched for terms that include your keywords. That way, you can make your ad text more relevant to what people are looking for.
The top movers report lets you see which campaigns have the biggest changes (increases or decreases) in clicks, costs and conversions, and shows you some possible causes for those changes. The report compares performance for two consecutive time periods of equal length, and finds the campaigns and ad groups that experienced the largest change between the two periods.
You can use the report to identify which campaign and ad groups you need to take action on, and see the impact of changes that have been made to your account. The report can also help you to notice whether your overall account metrics have moved in unexpected ways – if your costs go up or clicks go down, you'll want to know why. And even if your overall performance metrics don't appear to be changing too much, you can regularly review the report to identify changes that might have been overlooked.
Here are a few things to bear in mind about the data:
- Top movers are the campaigns and ad groups (up to 10) that saw the largest change up or down as measured by the size of the change – not the percentage change.
- Changes will only be attributed once. For example, if a campaign has only one ad group, and that ad group sees a huge increase in clicks, then the campaign will, too. However, only the ad group will show in the report as a top mover.
With the paid & organic report, you can see how often pages from your website are showing in Google search results, and which queries triggered those results to show on the search results page. Bear in mind that in order to use the paid & organic report, you'll need to have a Search Console account for your website, and you'll need to link that Search Console account to your AdWords account.
This information helps you understand how paid and organic search work together to help you reach people searching online, identify new, potentially valuable keywords, and gain an overall view of how your online presence is performing overall in terms of attracting views and clicks.
Below are a few uses for the paid & organic report.
Discover additional keywords
Use the report to look for queries where you only appear in organic search with no associated ads.
- Identify queries with a low number of paid impressions by adding a filter for "ad impressions = 0" or "ad impressions < X" (if you have multiple accounts, all organic search data will be imported in each account).
- Downloading a paid & organic report in a My Client Centre (MCC) manager account will allow you to find duplicate organic queries and identify queries that have no paid impressions across any accounts.
- Add an additional filter to identify queries containing specific text, such as your brand name or your most important products and services.
Optimize your presence on high-value queries
Improve your presence in paid results and monitor your high value queries for organic results.
- Identify relevant queries for your business that have low organic traffic volume and target these queries to strengthen your paid search presence.
- Tailor your ad text and use ad extensions to show a more useful, prominent, differentiated message from your organic listings.
Measure changes holistically
Monitor the impact of changes to your website, bids, budgets or keywords across paid, organic, and combined traffic.
- See how changing your keyword bids increases or decreases your overall combined clicks for related queries, and work to cost effectively increase your overall traffic for your most important queries.
- Understand how ads may impact upon your combined performance for certain queries by comparing the "organic only" and "both shown" segments for the same query. See how your clicks/query differ when you have both types of listings on the page, compared to when you just have one or the other.
Use the Auction insights report to compare your performance with other advertisers who are participating in the same auctions that you are. With the Auction insights report, you can see how often your ads rank higher in search results than those of other advertisers, and how your share of total possible impressions compares with theirs.
You can use the information in the Auction insights report to help you to make strategic decisions about bids, budgets and keyword choices by showing you where you are succeeding and where you may be missing opportunities for improved performance. You'll also want to consider using the report to identify significant competitors in the auction, or benchmark your performance against other competitors.
Fiona's Search campaign has been running for one month, giving Antoine enough data to measure how the campaign is performing and to identify improvements. Antoine wants to see how Fiona's ads performed on different types of devices – computers, mobile phones and tablets.
Antoine uses the device segment to customise the campaign data and sees that the click-through rate for ads that appear on mobile phones is .45%, compared to .25% for computers and .34% for tablets. Based on this data, Antoine increases the campaign's mobile bid adjustment +30% for searches on mobile devices.