Why Your Ads Fail: The Secret To AdWords Data

April 16th, 2014 by Search Influence Alumni

Within the past decade or so, it’s no surprise that everyone is hopping onto the data bandwagon. To businesses big and small, across all industries, it’s all about collecting data, data, data. However, while we focus endless efforts on collecting and analyzing data, we often lose sight of the reason why.

This is especially true in the world of online marketing, and in this case, online marketing through Google AdWords. If you’re running a PPC campaign, you know that AdWords provides a plethora of data and reports from all the typical metrics. From impressions, clicks, cost per click etc. to where your clicks are coming from, the day of week, the time of day—the list of metrics goes on. That’s why finding actionable data is like finding a needle in a haystack.

However, there are three simple data reports that can provide instantly actionable insights.

1) Search Term Report

The first report is the Search Term Report/Search Query Report. This report can be found under the “Keywords” tab. Select “Details.” Then select “All.”


This report is useful because it shows the search terms that people are actually typing in and searching for. This data can inform your decisions in creating new campaigns, new ad groups, finding negative keywords (keyword searches you don’t want your ad to show up for), and even give you ideas for your content creation strategy.

2) Auction Insights Report

The second report that’s useful is the Auction Insights Report. This report can be found under the “Campaigns” tab, under the “Details” section. Select “All.”


This report is useful because it shows how your campaigns, ad groups, and keywords are performing compared to your competitors’. It compares your impression share (how often your ads show up), your average position etc. with that of competing campaigns. Understanding what your competitors are doing, can better inform your bid decisions, how you design landing pages, and more. Remember, your competitors in the physical world may not necessarily be your competitors in the digital world.

3) Conversion Time Lag

The third report that’s useful is the Conversion Time Lag Report. This report can be found under
“Tools” (at the very top navigation bar). Click “Conversions,” then “Search Funnels” (on the left side of the page), then “Time lag.”


This report shows how long it takes for people who’ve clicked on your ad to convert. Based on your sales cycles, this can inform the number of touchpoints you need with your customers in order to drive them down the sales funnel. Depending on the time lag, you can then decide whether or not to reach out to your customers through a remarketing campaign, a content marketing campaign, an email marketing campaign, or through social media and how often you should do so.

In an online marketing environment where there’s a lot of hay, hopefully these three reports give you three useful needles in your haystack.