Last month we shared two simple reports that could save you thousands in wasted AdWords spend: search partner performance and device performance. These types of reports are great for small and medium-sized businesses because (once you know they exist) they only take a few minutes to pull, and they can give you quick insight into a dimension of your campaign you may be altogether neglecting.
Today we’ll walk through two more easy to pull reports that could uncover thousands in potential savings: the placement report and the audience report.
Quick Win #1: The Google AdWords Placement Report
The AdWords search query report is frequently talked about on PPC blogs like this one (we did a whole series on search query mining, for instance), but placement reports get less coverage, and subsequently I find fewer advertisers making use of them. If you’re running a display campaign and aren’t currently looking at placement reports, there may be thousands of dollars of waste hidden behind a few clicks:
If you haven’t been making use of the managed placements, you can simply click “show details” for automatic placements and instantly see data for each of the sites your ads have been displaying on. If you pull back the date range to look at a large period of time, you’ll frequently find websites that are underperforming (converting but at an extremely high cost) or not performing at all despite eating up significant amounts of spend. This is because despite setting up campaigns with specific keyword targeting or even audience targeting, you still may be showing your ads on irrelevant sites or sites with the wrong types of prospects.
When you do identify a site that’s been under-performing, you can quickly correct the situation by either excluding the bid or managing the placement separately from your automatic placements and bidding less aggressively on (see the highlighted buttons above, which are enabled when you check a domain). Similarly, this is also a good way to identify the placements where you are performing well and could be bidding higher – you can add those as managed placements as well, and bid more aggressively on them to drive more qualified traffic to your site.
Quick Win #2: The Google AdWords Audience Report
We recently did a series on leveraging Google AdWords Audiences within your display campaigns. If you’ve created audiences, particularly for your re-targeting campaign, you may not be leveraging this data at all. Like the placement data, over time some obvious patterns in the data can emerge, and you can quickly see some audience segments that are simply underperforming and should be either excluded or bid down:
As you can see a couple of these audiences are underperforming and their ad group is paused, but maybe that ad group could have been cost-efficient if those audiences had been either excluded or the bids for it had been turned down.
These and the first round of “quick wins” are just a few of the possible angles from which you can view your AdWords data, but by pulling these reports you can get a quick snapshot of whether you’re throwing away money in areas of your campaign you may not be actively monitoring.
About the Author
Tom Demers is co-founder and managing partner at Measured SEM, a boutique Boston SEO and PPC agency offering search marketing consulting services including pay-per-click account management, comprehensive SEO audits, content marketing strategies, SEO reputation management and link building services for a variety of specific niches such as B2B SEO.