5 Hidden AdWords Columns To Help Improve Performance & Save Time

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Call them hidden gems, or maybe they’re just the handful of many AdWords columns that do not appear in your performance grid by default. Whatever the case, there’s little doubt that these five columns can help advertisers save time, increase conversions, and gain an edge on the competition.

What’s also great about the columns mentioned below is that they are available to anyone with an AdWords account. No additional integration is needed. Simply sign in to AdWords, view your campaigns, ad groups or keywords and start adding these columns.

1. Click-Assisted Conversions

click assisted conversion column

Most advertisers will prematurely pause, remove, or lower the budget for keywords that do not yield direct (last-click) conversions, but the column for Click-Assisted Conversions will give advertisers visibility into how their keywords are impacting a bigger picture.

Looking beyond last-click conversions, this column will report the number of assisted clicks your keyword contributed in the path to conversion.  This is important as most advertisers will see that 15% – 60% of conversions involve more than one interaction.

The example below shows 647 click-assisted conversions and 2,272 converted (last-click) clicks.  This means 28% of the conversions involved more than one interaction on the search network.

Example view of Click assisted conversions

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Use the number of “Click-Assisted Conversions” to:

  1. Validate poorly performing keywords (based on last-click conversions) before prematurely reducing bids, pausing or removing keywords.
  2. Reward assisting keywords, ad groups and campaigns with an increased bid or budget. Rewarding assisting keywords can incrementally improve conversion volume.

 2. Ratio Of Click-Assisted Conversions To Last-Click Conversions

click-assisted-last-click

Now that we’re considering Click-Assisted Conversions, this column reports keywords, ads, ad groups or campaigns that contribute greater or fewer assisted conversions than last-click conversions.  Advertisers can use this column to quickly identify keywords that are top assistants in the conversion funnel.

What To Look For?

Any value greater than one will show keywords that generate more assists than last-click conversions. Sorting this column from high to low will quickly reveal the top assistants. As we mentioned earlier, rewarding these keywords with higher bids can impact volume of conversions over time.

click-assisted-last-click 3

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3. Search Impression Share

search impr. share

How often an ad appears in the Search Network will depend on budget, approval status, bids, quality score, targeting settings, and the competitive landscape. Adding a column for “Search Impression Share” helps quantify these variables using a single metric. The competitive metric reports on the percentage of ad impressions received out of the total number of impressions eligible to receive.

This is useful in quickly identifying keywords, ad groups or campaigns that are not generating impressions (and clicks) as often as they could. Once identified, it’s good to look closer at the bid, overall budget, Quality Score and even targeting settings to determine next steps.

What Is A Good Impression Share?

To remain competitive, advertisers will generally want ads to appear more than 65% (or 2/3) of the time for non-brand keywords and more than 80% (or 4/5) for brand keywords. Exceptions to the rule include campaigns or keywords targeting competitor search queries and very broad, “top of the funnel” keywords.

4. Quality Score

Adwords Quality Score Column

Quality Score has been around for years, but the column in AdWords does not appear by default. Displaying this can help you quickly understand why your “Search Impression Share” is lagging or why your average ad position rarely appears “top of page.”

What’s A Good Quality Score?

This is a common question that has resulted in a variety of studies and discussions. The consensus suggests that a Quality Score of 6 and above is where advertisers see a competitive advantage in average CPC, auction eligibility and ad position.

 5. Estimated Top Page Bid

est top page bid

The fifth and final column is very much aligned with monitoring and optimization best practices — especially if you’re managing bids manually in AdWords. Otherwise, how else will you know what’s needed to get into the top three positions in the auction?

The column for Estimated Top Page Bid lets advertisers know their ceiling in the auction. This way, we can bid slightly above or below the estimated top page bid and ensure ads are in a competitive position.

Final Thoughts

As AdWords campaigns mature and accumulate a greater number of impressions, clicks and conversions, keep in mind there’s an additional layer of data that is stored behind the scenes.

You can easily unlock this repository and reveal a new set of insights, simply by adding a handful of columns to your AdWords grid. As a template to consider, I’m happy to share the below example of columns often used at the keyword level.  This has saved me time in auditing, helped me spot ad groups and keywords that are top assistants, and resulted in improved campaign performance.

Custom Adwords Columns

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