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5 Ways to Take Your AdWords Campaign to the Next Dimension

By Tim Benson | April 24, 2015

Let’s face it -- Google AdWords gives you so much data, it's hard to know what it all means. With so many metrics to decipher, the abundance of data in AdWords can feel like both a blessing and a curse. Although it's overwhelming, knowing where to find important statistics will help immensely.

Let’s take a look at some of the ways you can look at your campaign performance that you may not have known about. A little analysis goes a long way when it comes to optimizing your AdWords campaigns.

Using the Dimensions tab

Have you ever noticed the Dimensions tab? If you haven’t, it’s time to take a look. The Dimensions tab is a gold mine of information that will simplify your life as an advertiser.

1. Use statistics about day and time to adjust your bids

Think of the Google search engine as a real marketplace, like a grocery store. Do you ever find that at some days of the week or times of day, the grocery store is just packed, while others it’s virtually empty? Well, Google searches are pretty much the same. Different times of day and days of the week have different patterns in search volume. If the marketplace is more congested, you’re going to have to do something to make yourself stand out.

Often times, certain days of the week convert better. A lot of people don’t think to bid up or down on their keywords based on the day of the week or time of day. But missing out on this opportunity is a surefire way to lose many potential conversions and let your competitors beat you to the punch. If you receive ten times the impressions on Tuesdays at noon than Fridays at noon, why would you want to bid the same amount for both of those days? You should bet that your competition is going to know exactly when the fish are nibbling. You need to adjust your bids accordingly.

Adjust your bids in Google AdWords

This is a great way to not only stay competitive in your market, but to really get a good return on your investment. AdWords is all about whittling down your advertising dollars to just focus on what’s going to turn into revenue.

2. View geographic performance

If you market to a broader geographic area, Dimensions also allows you to see geographically where you’ve had the most success. This can you help you identify where in the world you’ve had the best conversion rates, and where you need stop wasting money.

Just as bidding differently for different days of the week will help you optimize your budget expenditure, it may make sense to focus your campaigns on one region versus another to spend your advertising dollars in more successful areas.

Geographic performanc Google AdWords
3. View your biggest performance shifts under Top Movers 

Another great and simple way to look at the big picture of your campaigns is in the “Top Movers” report in the drop-down menu under the Dimensions tab. If you feel like you’re drowning in the plethora of numbers AdWords throws at you, start with Top Movers to get a sense for where the biggest change has occurred. It simply shows you which campaigns and ad groups saw the biggest shift in performance during a given time period. Whether it’s your cost that has drastically changed, or something more relative, like CTR, look to Top Movers to get a sense of what’s going on.

View your biggest performance shifts under Top Movers

Useful campaign statistics located outside the Dimensions tab

Dimensions most likely aren’t the only thing you’ve overlooked in AdWords. Let’s take a look at some other dropdowns that help simplify what all these numbers mean for your business:

4. Segment > Top Vs. Other shows you how your ad performs in various page positions. 

Many of my clients assume that showing ads on the top of the page is the single most important factor to a campaign’s success. While some campaigns tend to do better in a higher position, others operate just fine, sometimes even more profitably, when they show up in the middle of the page. To find out just how vital positioning is to your campaigns, you can use the “Top vs. Other” option under the Segmentdropdown when in the Campaigns or Ad Groups tabs.

Segment > Top Vs. Other shows you how your ad performs in various page positions.

This shows how your ads performed in the top three positions for the given time period, as opposed to anywhere else on the page.

Segment > Top Vs. Other shows you how your ad performs in various page positions

You may find that CTR or conversion rates are higher when your ads are closer to the top of the page. Or you may find that you get just as many conversions lower on the page, but at a much cheaper cost-per-click. Positioning is like anything else with AdWords – go with the data, not your assumptions.

5. Date range > Compare date ranges option shows progression over time. 

The last, and arguably most important way to analyze your campaigns, is by comparing your time period selection to the one before. In AdWords, you can do this by turning on the Compare option under the Date Range dropdown in the top right-hand corner of your AdWords screen. This can help you make sure any one of your campaign metrics is headed in the right direction.

Date range > Compare date ranges option shows progression over time.

I start the optimization of every campaign by looking at a few key metrics (clicks, CTR, CPC, etc.) to make sure the account is progressing toward optimal performance. This is a great way to organize the tidal wave of data that hits you every time you open your AdWords account. Just looking at a simple comparison helps you know whether or not your strategies are working.

When attempting to read and understand your AdWords data, it’s important to know how to use the tools at your disposal. Remember, every opportunity available for optimizing your campaign is also an opportunity available to competitors. But with a few simple tricks, you can stay ahead of the curve.

Tim Benson

Tim graduated from the University of California- Santa Barbara with a degree in Mass Communication. A Colorado native, Tim has lived in the Pacific Northwest since 2013. When he’s not writing, Tim enjoys hiking, running along Portland’s Eastbank Esplanade, and watching or playing sports.