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Why You Need to Use the Google Analytics AdWords Report

anna-lewis
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If you use AdWords, then you're undoubtebly familiar with the AdWords interface and the reports it has to offer and possibly also use Google Analytics for many other areas of analysis on your website. But have you considered using the AdWords reports within Google Analytics rather than in AdWords alone? There are a number of benefits to having this data here, which I'll cover in this article.

The key points being:

  • Users without access to AdWords can assist with analysis (although for some this is a disadvantage).
  • Just a few select reports to highlight key pieces of information that can get lost in the AdWords interface itself if you aren't very experienced in it.
  • Easy access to search query data.
  • Keyword positions and day part information made more accessible.
  • Data shown from multiple AdWords accounts if you have linked more than one to that profile.

Available Reports are Available and What They Do

You can find the following AdWords reports in Google Analytics under Acquisition.

Important note: If you haven't already, to take full advantage of this report you must link your AdWords and Analytics accounts.

Campaigns

This report (not to be confused with the Google Analytics Campaigns report, which can also be found under Acquisition, and contains data from any Campaigns you have tagged) is limited to only AdWords campaign data. The core stats include cost data from AdWords, as well as Analytics specific data such as visits, new visits, bounce rate, pages per visit, and conversion rates.

Click through to break the data down into more detail and add secondary dimensions in to break out the campaigns by another piece of information such as ad group, target keyword, ad content, or destination URL. Ad Slot and Ad Slot position could be useful here as they will tell you which campaigns do well with lower positions or which need work to improve positions.

There are limited extra dimensions here, as the focus is traffic and advertising, but another useful one is Mobile Device Category, which can help you understand the impact your ads are having on tablets and mobile phones.

Bid Adjustments

As an AdWords user, you should be familiar with bid adjustments to promote your ads more or less depending on device, location, and time of day. Taking the analysis into Google Analytics can help you understand the full picture of each different adjustment broken down by interaction and revenue performance, making this report very useful for making bid decisions based on data.

Bid Adjustments

Using revenue data will be important for any ecommerce sites as the data starts to show you a picture of which ads and adjustments are giving you the best return. It could help you identify a successful time of day or location that you can give more focus on in order to tap into the good return and increase your success further.

AdWords Keywords

This report is relatively self-explanatory: it shows you the target keywords in your account. But it's how you use this report that makes it special.

The image below shows the options you have to change the report to highlight different metrics, whether interactions, goals or ecommerce, through the blue links above the graph:

AdWords Keywords

There are also options to segment the data based on Desktop, Mobile, or Tablet visits, making it even easier to segment data than ever before.

Additionally, Advanced Segment functionality is available in these reports, to help you analyze different user segments or visit patterns against each other.

If you use a variety of keyword match types in your campaigns, you may want to add a secondary dimension of Query Match Type to show you this information here. This makes the data more granular, helping you improve the details within the account rather than guessing which of the targets led to those results.

Matched Search Queries

If you're an experienced AdWords user then you're very likely to be familiar with reviewing the Search Queries report. In AdWords it's under the Keywords tab, click Details, then under Search Terms click All). In Analytics, here it is bold as brass!

It shows you the actual words typed in by the user, rather than only the keywords you have chosen to target as the standard reports show. This is very insightful and rather than just using AdWords metrics and intuition to decide whether or not it might be a valuable target for your account, you can combine the queries used with engagement and revenue to spot those which will lead to the best return on investment.

Another use of this report is to see what sort of terminology is common amongst your website users, perhaps you refer to your products in a slightly different way to them, or there are new terms starting to be used that you would benefit from implementing on your website to make it more relevant.

Day Parts

Here, AdWords data is broken down by hour of the day (a.k.a., a day part), allowing you to review when your peak times are. Again, interaction and revenue data are easy to see here and you have the ability to cleanly add secondary dimensions, view the data in a pie chart, or the simplest benefit – review the graph for a visual and compare conversion rate by hour alongside visits:

Day Parts

Use this to help you spread your budget out most effectively throughout the day, remembering that weekends and other countries will need to be reviewed separately to gain even more benefit.

Destination URLs

This report breaks down the data based on which pages of your site you targeted in your ads. Spotting lows within the data here can highlight problems that the URLs might have, from not being relevant to the target or not working properly for users on all devices.

This report combines data from both the search and display networks. To separate these out you can apply the Ad Distribution Network dimension as a secondary dimension, this then shows which URLs were on the Content network (display), Google search network and which showed in search partner websites.

Placements

This report is broken down into three sections:

  • Placement Type: To separate Automatic and Managed
  • Placement Domain: Website on which your ads were shown
  • Placement URL: The specific page on which your ads were shown

These help you to see results at a high as well as in detail, giving you the full picture on which to make decisions. And as with the reports I've already covered, you have the full picture of interaction in one place.

Keyword Positions

This is one of the clunkier looking reports, but that doesn't stop it being useful. The first column lists your keywords, placements, categories or other target alongside the visits generated. You then need to click on the target you'd like to analyze and boxes will appear on the right showing where the ads for this target have been shown.

The joy of this report is that you can change the drop down at the top and review metrics such as Ecommerce conversion rate by each position. This is the kind of metric you need to really understand whether or not your ads are working in each position.

Keyword Position

Here you can see the visits by position for a specific target:

Keyword Position Conversion Rate

This image shows how conversion rate can vary depending on the position, however, before making too many drastic changes on this information I would always recommend reviewing it against other data to ensure you have the full picture about why the conversion rates change by slot.

Closing Thoughts

There are a lot of reports available here which by even just starting to use one you may be able to improve optimization of your AdWords account. I recommend you continue to use the AdWords reports fully, but consider the extra functionality and cleaner feel of this data in Analytics.


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