Fundamental Guide to Google Ads Reports and Metrics
Whether an experienced specialist or a rookie in the digital marketing world, you should’ve learned that Google Ads campaigns are not “set up and forget” types of tasks. Yes, you’ve probably done hours of market research to pick the right keywords, choose the target audience, and decide on a budget; none of those actions means that there isn’t anything to improve. In contrast, there’s much to work on.
Google Ads campaigns require strict tracking, monitoring, analysis, and optimization to get the best out of them and increase Return on Investment (ROI). So, knowing the fundamentals to make sense of Google Ads plays a vital role in your campaign’s success.
What Are Google Ads Reports?
In short, reports display your data in an organized way to help you analyze and optimize your ads. You can create reports with multi-dimensional tables, charts, and dashboards to visualize meaningful patterns and trends.
Google Ads allows you to see some predefined reports, also, to create custom reports that fit your marketing strategies. To open a predefined report, you should sign in to your Google Ads account and click the report icon (the icon with a small bar chart), then select “Predefined reports” and choose one to open in the Report Editor.
If you’re looking to create a custom report from scratch, go directly to Report Editor and start adding columns. But first, let’s try to understand the metrics a bit more.
What Do Google Ads Metrics Mean?
You need to focus on particular metrics for different purposes. For example, concentrate on Impressions, Clicks, and Click Through Rate (CTR) to check if your account is running healthy. Furthermore, Cost Per Click (CPC) and Cost Per Acquisition (CPA) are to understand if you’re spending your budget efficiently. Ultimately, you would want a high ROI, and ensuring that number depends on what you spent versus what you sold. Last but not least, maximize your Quality Score (QS). Taking that action will affect almost all your crucial metrics since Google claims that QS influences ad rankings and how much you pay per click. Check our article on the significance of optimizing your Quality Score for successful Google Ads campaigns.
The impressions metric simply shows you how many times your ad appeared in searches. So, if Google has started to show your ad on Search Result Page (SERP), you’ve achieved at least the bare minimum to qualify for the auction and get a ranking—both are affected by the QS.
So, people see your ad, but do they click?
Clicks and Click Through Rate (CTR)
It requires no further explanation, but here it is: Clicks are how many potential customers clicked your ad, and CTR is the ratio of people who see your ad and click on it. Again, it goes without saying that a high QS has the potential to increase these values. How? We’ll come to that in a moment.
Cost Per Click (CPC) and Cost Per Acquisition (CPA)
Before explaining CPC and CPA, let’s stress that QS affects them, too, especially CPC. If you haven’t read our article on QS yet, here’s a hint: It’s possible to have a CPC discount if your QS is excellent. Awesome, right?
So, what are CPC and CPA? The former is the total cost of your clicks divided by the total number of clicks; the latter is the average conversion cost per customer. In other words, CPC shows how much you spend for a visitor, and CPA is how much a sale costs your organization. Of course, the aim is to keep these numbers as low as possible for efficient budget management.
Each of the previous metrics deserves a stand-alone article, but QS is probably the most important despite being the last on our list. By utilizing and optimizing QS, you can observe immense changes in other metrics, such as CPC, CTR, and Impressions.
Matching targeted keywords with compelling ad copy is essential for a high QS. While choosing the proper keywords helps you get into the auction phase, a successful copy gets clicks. Therefore, you will have higher Impressions, Clicks, and CTR, and if you could have an outstanding QS, you might even have a CPC discount that will help you have a lower bid and a more effective budget management opportunity.
Which of the Google Ads Metrics Is the Most Important?
Well, as cliché as it might sound, it depends. But, eventually, you want to make a profit, and looking at CPA is the best way to understand your ads’ impact. In addition, keep your eyes on Google Ads’ “Lifetime value (LTV),” another critical metric.
Lifetime Value (LTV)
Lifetime value quantifies the relationship between your brand and the customer. For example, let’s say you’re trying to get people to book early reservations for hotels and flights, maybe even car rentals. A customer might have bought a plane ticket by reaching out to your website via Google Ads. Later, they return to book a hotel and rent a car via the same campaign, and the cost of these two acquisitions is $100 for that specific customer, but if they spend $500 in total, it means that they have the potential to pay five times their acquisition cost, making $100 relatively insignificant.
How Can You Decide Which Google Ads Report to Look at?
As we mentioned in this article, you can use Predefined reports and create custom reports, but, for starters, beginning with the former would suffice. You can utilize three types of reports to find actionable data to make optimizations for your campaigns.
- Search terms report
- Time report
- Landing Page report
Search terms report enables you to filter for a campaign, ad group, and keyword level targeting. For example, you can use the data on this report to manage your keywords, keyword match types, and negative keywords to improve your QS. In addition, you can edit your copy accordingly.
Time report shows you the distribution of particular metrics in time, as the name suggests. So, say, you can see when your customers are inclined to buy. Then, you can manage your bids, allowing you to spend your budget more efficiently.
Landing Page report is one of the primary reports you should never take your eyes off since it allows you to identify your business’s most valuable landing pages. Also, you can use this report to identify your page’s bugs and technical problems. For instance, you can check your page’s mobile friendliness.
How to Use Google Ads Reports and Metrics to Optimize Your Campaigns?
Remember that “best practices” are not one size fits all. Of course, you can check them for inspiration, but your marketing strategy should primarily be unique to your industry, target audience, and business goals. Still, we can offer a general checklist to get the most out of Google Ads reports and metrics.
- Setting your goals clearly helps you define which metrics and reports to check or enables you to create personalized reports in Report Editor.
- Consider what might impact your campaign. For example, let’s assume you‘re in the travel industry and trying to sell early-bird bookings; running a campaign during summer might not be the best choice.
- Customize your reports to focus on what matters to your campaign.
Also, you can connect Adsbot to your Google Ads account to maximize efficiency by analyzing Google Ads reports and metrics. You can create automated reports delivered to your email and set up alerts and notifications to promptly take action if something goes wrong or, on the contrary, achieve your goal. Contact us today and start testing Adsbot to find out how you can improve your marketing game.