Most advertisers use columns provided by Google as a standard basis to work from, such as Impressions, Clicks, CTR and so on. However, many people do not realise that there is a wealth of hidden data, if you only knew where to look for it and how to use it.
Once you’ve had a campaign running for a little while, you’ll want to know the details of how it is performing, so here are 5 really useful tools that you really should dig into.
How to add new columns
Firstly though, you’ll need to know how to add a new column to your data table.
To add a column when checking your Google Ads data, just click the columns icon that can be found above the data table and under the date range in the Google Ads interface.
You’ll see a drop-down menu – click Modify columns…
…and you’ll see a list.
Clicking each of these reveals a further list of metrics you might want to use when analysing your data. For example, if you click Performance you’ll get: this:
First tick the metrics you want to see in your table, then head over to the right-hand side of your screen, scroll down, then drag and drop the metrics to where you want to view them. Click Apply and you’re done.
So, let’s have a look at some of the metrics you might want to add into your data analysis.
Average Position (Av Pos)
If you’re running Google Ads campaigns, you’ll want to know where your ads are appearing on the page. The metric needed here is Average Position or ‘Avg. pos’
Find it under Modify Columns > Performance.
If the average position is around or above 4, your ad, when it appears, is being seen on average above the Search Engine Results Page (SERP) results.
While this needs to be used in conjunction with other metrics, it is useful to understand whether your ads are being seen or not.
If you are measuring conversions that are meaningful for your business, having the data for how many conversions have been achieved over a certain date period can define your next actions.
Find conversion metrics by clicking Modify columns > Conversions.
When running PPC ads in Google Ads, it is important to understand and master Quality Score, because it has a huge impact on your cost per click (CPC) and your ad rank in Google’s auction process.
Quality score is Google’s ranking of the quality and relevance of your ads, your keywords and your landing pages. Google tells us that ‘higher quality ads can lead to lower prices and better ad positions’. So, ensuring your quality score is above 7/8 is a wise and cost-effective way to spend your time.
You’ll only find Quality Score when you have selected the Keywords tab. Find it under Modify columns > Quality score.
If you also want to understand where your Quality Score could be improved, tick the ‘Landing page exp.’ box and the ‘Ad relevance’ box that will give you data on which area to improve first.
We’ve included a useful video here featuring Hal Varian, the head economist at Google, which shows how important Quality score is to the auction process and why you too should take it seriously:
There is more information on Quality Score in our blog:
Search Impression Share
How often your ad shows depends on budget, bids, quality score, targeting settings and the competition for the keywords you are targeting.
If your ads are being shown rarely, you’ll be aware of this in the number of impressions and clicks your ads are receiving. To understand this further, it can be very useful to understand how often your ads are shown in comparison with how many times they are eligible to show.
Find it under Modify columns > Competitive metrics.
Google is extra helpful here and provides you two further metrics to give you an understanding of how much your budget is causing your ads not to be shown and how much your landing page is seen as the problem. In both cases, it gives you a clue as to where your time would be best spent.
Find it under Modify columns > Competitive metrics.
Note that you will only see the Search lost IS (budget) if your campaigns are limited by budget.
Estimated Top of Page Bid
If it’s your first Google Ads campaign, it can be difficult to pitch how high your bids should be. (The Google Keyword planner can be of help if you are unsure, although remember that the figures are an estimate and are often higher than you actually need to pay to get good results.)
Obviously, you want your ads to appear on the first page of Google search otherwise the potential for them being seen is low.
There are three columns that can give you the information you need to decide on how to bid for each of your keywords – Est. first position bid, Est. top of page bid and Est. first page bid.
Remember that it is not always profitable to be in the first position on the page. You may find that position 2 or 3 yields you the most conversions or the best ROI and this is the magic range where you want your ads to appear. So, use this information in conjunction with Quality Score and Conversions to make your decisions.
Find these three metrics under Modify columns > Attributes.
As your Google Ads gain impressions and clicks, remember that it is not just about driving traffic to your website – it is also about making a return on investment. Using the metrics described above will hopefully help you make better decisions in your Google Ad campaigns giving you better performance at a lower cost.