Databox Reports

The 10 Most-Important Google AdWords Metrics According to Our Data

After analyzing thousands of Datablocks, here are the most common and important AdWords metrics that Databox users are tracking.

John Bonini John Bonini on April 9, 2018 • 7 minute read

Successful advertising is all about matching your promotion with the user’s intent.

While intent itself is hard to measure, the digital ad landscape has enabled marketers and advertisers the ability to leverage user data to get closer than ever to matching their promotion with the people who need and/or want it most.

Perhaps no platform does this better than Google AdWords.

While other platforms, most notably Facebook Ads, can match Google when it comes to the amount of user data they have to monetize, Google still holds the holy grail–the search query.

As you can see below in the latest sampling compiled by Rand Fishkin of Sparktoro, the share of searches across the web is not even close.

jumpshot share of searches large

And nothing is a more powerful indicator of intent than what a user is searching for right now.

Moral of the story? Google AdWords is arguably the most powerful ad platform when it comes to matching your promotion with user intent.

Databox users agree. According to our data, AdWords is the most-used advertising platform of any of the platforms we currently integrate with (Google AdWords, Facebook Ads, LinkedIn Ads, Bing Ads. *Twitter Ads coming soon.)

To better understand which metrics are most important to track, we dug into our user data to identify the 10 most-tracked AdWords metrics by the number of Datablocks used in Databox.

We also leveraged our friends over at Smartbug Media, a Databox Premier Agency, to lend their insights from a qualitative standpoint.

Let’s get into our findings…

The Most Important Google AdWords Metrics

If you’d like to track the following AdWords metrics (as well as others that are important to you) in a similar fashion as what’s shown below, you can grab this free template here and visualize your data in minutes.

1. Impressions

Any time your ad is shown on a search result page via Google or the Google Network, this counts as one impression.

Essentially, it’s the number of times your ad is “seen”, although this is a term that should be used loosely, as just because your ad is shown on a search result page, it doesn’t mean that the user actually saw it.

Recommended Datablock: Account overview with comparisons on. – Jake Havenridge, Senior Paid Search Strategist, Smartbug Media

Screen Shot 2018 04 09 at 11.54.07 AM

“We like to show the impressions on a high level using the account performance Datablock,” said Havenridge. “We set the time frame for last month, and thanks to the color-coded percentages of increase or decrease to the right, are easily able to see our overall Adwords health.”

2. Cost

This is how much money you’ve spent on your ad campaign so far.

Recommended Datablock: Daily line graph.

Screen Shot 2018 04 09 at 12.08.00 PM

“Cost is something that is nice to have in a graphical interface, so we use the daily line graph Datablock. We also track and view cost data in the account, campaign, ad group, and keyword blocks, as well as to calculate cost-per-acquisition (CPA).” – Havenridge

3. Clicks

“Clicks” are recorded any time someone clicks on the blue, linked text of your ad. It’s important to note that if someone clicks your ad and is unable to reach your website (404 error, wifi issues, etc.) their engagement will still be logged as a click.

Recommended Datablock: Daily line graph with comparisons turned on. – Jake Havenridge, Smartbug Media

Screen Shot 2018 04 09 at 11.28.00 AM

“Similar to Cost, we track Clicks with a line graph block. This allows us to easily see peak performance and dips in volume, this month versus the previous month. We use clicks across account, campaign, ad group, and keyword blocks, and to calculate conversion rate.”  – Havenridge

4. Average CPC

This is the average that you’ve been charged for clicks on your ad campaign. Your average cost-per-click (CPC) is calculated by dividing the cost of your clicks (or the amount you’ve spent on the campaign thus far) by the total number of clicks.

Recommended Datablock: Account overview with comparisons turned on.

Screen Shot 2018 04 09 at 11.54.07 AM1

“We like to track Average CPC in the account overview block.  We set up an Adwords Metrics table block with the time frame “month to date”, which includes Average CPC, that gives an overview in a clean, effective display.” – Havenridge

5. Conversions

Conversions are counted whenever a user clicks your ad and then takes an action that you’ve defined as important, i.e. a visit to a specific web page, a signup, etc.

Recommended Datablock: Number block with comparisons turned on.

Screen Shot 2018 04 09 at 11.36.11 AM

“Conversions are tracked graphically, as well as by campaign and to determine cost-per-acquisition (CPA) and conversion rate. We use the Number block to track Contact conversion rate, month-over-month, alongside four other number blocks containing HubSpot contacts, HubSpot MQLs, HubSpot SQLs and Contact CPA. This gives us a better picture of where leads drop off from the funnel.” – Havenridge

6. Impressions by Campaign

This is the total number of impressions segmented by each AdWords campaign you have running. This might be helpful to look at in order to determine which subjects and keywords have the volume and ad inventory necessary for you to generate results. 

Recommended Datablock: Account overview with comparisons on.

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“In order to understand which campaigns are being seen the most, we use the information from this table Datablock alongside the total impressions data (with the same time frame) in the account overview block. We set our blocks to “last month” for EOM reviews, and “Month to Date” throughout the month to track live data.” – Havenridge

7. CTR by Ad Groups

An ad group is a group of ads that are targeting a shared set of keywords. CTR by Ad Group is simply the click-through-rate of each of your ad groups.

Recommended Datablock: Table.

download 15

“To really drill down into the data from our CTR by Campaign, we look at our CTR by Ad Groups. While a campaign might be performing higher than any other campaign, you could still be pouring money into an ad group that is low performing within that campaign. The table Datablock we use to look at CTR by Ad Groups helps us identify which ads our viewers are clicking.” – Havenridge

8. CTR by Campaigns

This is the click-through-rate, segmented by campaign, of any/all of your AdWords campaigns. Monitoring this will help you to see which campaigns, keywords, and/or ad groups are generating higher engagement.

Recommended Datablock: Table. (See example above.)

We track CTR by Campaign in a table Datablock (can you tell we really like the table Datablock?) using month-to-date timeframe so we can see live data on which campaigns are performing the best, and actively move funds to support those campaigns. Another way we track CTR by campaign is in the Campaign Overview table block.” – Havenridge.

9. Cost Per Conversion

This is the average you’ve been charged for a conversion from your ad campaign. It’s calculated by dividing the total cost of conversions by the total number of conversions.

*Remember, conversions are activities that you set in your AdWords campaign that note important business activities, such as purchases, signups, etc.

Recommended Datablock: Number Datablock.

Screen Shot 2018 04 09 at 11.54.57 AM

“Cost-per-conversion is critical data for us to see because it helps us project our future spending based on a goal number of conversions. It is so important that it gets its own dedicated Number block with month-over-month data. We also feature cost per conversion in the account overview block.” – Havenridge

10. CTR

Your click-through-rate is the overall ratio of how often people who see your ad actually click your ad. It’s calculated by dividing the total number of clicks your ad receives by the total number of impressions.

Recommended Datablock: Account overview.

Screen Shot 2018 04 09 at 11.54.07 AM2

“Our first look at CTR is always in the account overview Datablock. Again, having a clean and easy to read overview of all important metrics gives us a quick glance into our Adwords campaigns performance. We also like to view CTR data in a simple Number Datablock.” – Havenridge

Want to track all of your Google AdWords performance in one place?

Need an easier way to track your AdWords performance?

You can grab this template for free and start visualizing your AdWords performance in minutes.

You can even pull data from Facebook Ads (or other ad platforms) into your dashboard so you can track all of your paid acquisition in one place.

About the author
John Bonini
John Bonini is Director of Marketing at Databox. He's passionate about building brands that tell great stories. Connect with him on Twitter @bonini84.
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