Digging Deeper – Are Your AdWords Reports Actually Telling You Anything – Part 1


If you’ve managed AdWords accounts for several years you’ll no doubt be aware of the improvements made to the reporting side of the system. A few years ago the information available to account managers was very top level and there was a need to rely on analytics reports to add more insight and value for a client. Happily, AdWords Reports today are not only more informative but there are also more of them. So which ones should you be using?

First let’s take a look at how the recent Enhanced Campaigns update has affected the type of reports that we can get. As already discussed in previous Blogs, the main features to be ‘enhanced’ were time, location and device. Each of these areas should now play a major part in your AdWords strategy, and they are all able to be reported on at a much more interesting level than before.

The Right Place at The Right TIme

To get more from the time, location and device reporting it goes without saying that you need to use those features, the more you use them the more information you’ll get back and the better informed you’ll be when making business decision. You can almost ignore each feature, or let it target all time, all places and all devices, and you may get results, but to get better results here are a few tips:

  • Ad Schedule – The default setting on this feature is to show ads 24/7, obviously. Now that may be the strategy you want to adopt but that doesn’t necessarily mean you’re getting the most from your budget 24/7. I’d recommend putting in place time periods that relate to your working day so that you can get more granular information back. You can still use a 24/7 approach but if you break the 24 hours down into 6 lots of 4 hours you’ll start to understand what your audience are doing at particular times of the day. You may find that most of your sales or enquiries occur between the hours of 2pm-6pm. If that’s the case it’s time to update your strategy.

  • Locations – Most businesses I deal with target the UK or England. Previously to get valuable information about specific cities or towns it’s been necessary to look at Analytics reports, not any more. Using the Locations feature it’s possible to target the UK but also put specific cities or towns into the campaign. It’s a good idea to put 10 places into the feature and see what stats come back. Again, you’re not missing out on the rest of the UK by doing this, but you are getting extra information about specific places. You may find that conversion from Manchester cost 50% less in terms of CPA than any other major UK city. If that’s the case you may want to make sure you’re doing all you can to commence top page position, market share and visibility in that area.

  • Devices – The most controversial aspect of Enhanced Campaigns! You can choose to opt out of mobile altogether but you’d be turning your back on an important audience that’s only going to grow. My advice is to address this issue now and make decisions based on the information you get sooner rather than later. Targeting mobile traffic will give you several valuable insights into your audience. First you’ll find out if your audience are ‘mobile’. If they are, shouldn’t you be targeting them? You’ll also get an idea how much this audience will cost to target and what the potential returns are. You may find that mobile traffic converts at a far higher rate than desktop traffic. If you’re a business that relies on phonecalls this is often the case.

Each of these reports is available as a downloadable spreadsheet or PDF and can significantly improve your decision making when it comes to optimising your account. In the next Blog we’ll go through the reports that are available for Ad Extensions, an area of AdWords that is often overlooked and not fully taken advantage of.

If you’d like to discuss AdWords reports further, or are interested in learning more about how Paid Search can help your business call one of our qualified PPC Account Managers on 0800 046 4079 or send us your questions via the website.


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