How to Compare Date Ranges in AdWords (& How AdWords Could Make Them Better)

August 8, 2017

Early this month I came across a blog post over at Vertical Leap about improving AdWords for the advertisers. There were lots of good suggestions in the post, and as you may know I like to make suggestions for AdWords myself. You never know when one of your suggestions will become a reality. I think it’s important to challenge AdWords and help them see things from the advertiser’s perspective.

One of the suggestions from the Vertical Leap post was to allow for the comparisons of date ranges. I thought this was a little odd since this feature is available today in the AdWords interface (very similar to the Google Analytics date range comparison).

It’s very easy to overlook new features at the rate AdWords has been pumping them out lately, and I don’t remember AdWords even announcing date range comparisons. I even did a search on the Inside AdWords blog and couldn’t come up with any news about date range comparisons, so this post is for all you PPC'ers who were never told about this great feature.

Building a date range comparison chart

Getting date range comparisons to show up on your AdWords chart is very easy and straightforward. Follow the steps below:

  1. Open your "Graph options" by clicking on the graph icon.
  2. Make sure you have "Show graph" checked.
  3. From the "Compare Metric" drop-down, choose "Date range."
  4. It will default to "Previous 30 days," but you can also customize.


How to Add a Date Range Comparison in AdWords on Prezi


You can do date range comparisons filtered all the way down to the keyword level, which is awesome.

How AdWords could improve this great feature

I thought it only fitting that I leave you with a couple of suggestions for how AdWords could improve the date range feature.

  1. When downloading report data, include the comparison date range used to make the chart.
  2. Allow for the use of date range comparison charts on the new Home tab.
  3. Add quick filters for: year-over-year, month-over-month, week-over-week, etc. comparisons instead of only previous 30 days and custom.

By including the comparison data in a downloaded report you would save an analyst a lot of Excel work

We really need the ability to save any visualization/chart to be available as a performance graph (need to be able to use more than one) on the Home tab just like we can use filters today. 

In any case, the ability to compare date ranges is a great feature and a must-have for adding important context to any AdWords visualization.

Chad Summerhill
This is a guest post by Chad Summerhill, author of the blog PPC Prospector, provider of free PPC tools and PPC tutorials, and in-house AdWords Specialist at Moving Solutions, Inc. (UPack.com and MoveBuilder.com).

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