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The 5 Most Useful Reports in AdWords

Published: March 22, 2016

Author: Caitlin Halpert

Reports are your bread and butter in digital marketing, but where to start? These AdWords reports will get you underway (we’ll cover Facebook and Google Analytics in later posts).

1.   Search Terms

If you’re not already using this report, that’s a serious issue. This is the primary report where you can see exactly what users are querying that’s triggering your ads. You can use this to add new keywords from top-performing queries and to exclude poor performers.

2. Dimensions > Ad Group Details

This report was released last year and is a fantastic tool to audit your account. You can see a report of all details for each ad group right next to the ad group data. This allows you to check how many ads are in each ad group, how many keywords are in each group, if sitelinks are applied, and if those extensions are approved. To me, this is the best “snapshot” view of an account.

3. Dimensions > Paid & Organic

This report is available once you link Google Search Console to AdWords. This will allow you to determine how much lift you’re receiving from having paid ads on terms where you rank well organically. The data only starts recording once the accounts are linked, so it’s important to link ASAP even if you’re not sure how you might use the data in the future.

4. Audience Insights

I’ve recently fallen in love with this report. You can use your remarketing lists to understand how Google is categorizing your site visitors (or subsets of those visitors). This has been a great source of initial targets for the Google Display Network since the Affinity Audiences and In-Market Audiences here are exactly the same as what you can target in the GDN. It’s also interesting to compare this data to what you see in your Facebook account or from your own company data.

5. Tools > Attribution > Time Lag

When evaluating your account performance on a day-to-day or week-to-week basis, it’s important to understand how time lag is impacting your results. The more your revenue lags from day of click, the more you need to be careful when making bidding decisions on a short/recent time frame. In most accounts, longer lag is associated with your biggest ticket items, so you need to understand your lag to inadvertently turn down keywords that are driving the biggest purchases.
These 5 essential reports can tell you a lot about your marketing efforts (and refine them). Be sure to share your favorite AdWords report in the comments.

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