February 03, 2022 in Tips by

How can we get more from our Google Ads campaigns? Check these reports regularly to identify opportunities for growth and savings.

I’ve often characterized the relationship between PPC providers and Google as “frenemies.” Google always wants us to spend more money with them but PPC managers want to get more from the same spend. Sure, sometimes clients can get more if they spend more but before you default to spending more, make sure your PPC campaigns are running efficiently as possible.

What does an efficient PPC campaign look like?

An efficient Google Ads campaign consistently receives the most conversions for the same spend. In other words, they get the most for their money. Now sometimes spend depends on demand (for instance, if you’re in a slow season) but we should always be looking to get as many sales or leads for our clients as possible.

To ensure my clients’ campaigns are most efficient, I review these Google Analytics reports on a regular basis. To get these reports setup properly, it assumes a couple things:

  1. You’re auto-tagging your Google Ads URLs to add information into your Google Analytics account.
  2. You have setup and have access to a Universal Google Analytics (not GA4- yet) account for the website associated with your Google Ads campaign.
  3. You’ve linked your Google Ads and Google Analytics accounts.
  4. You’ve setup goals in your Google Analytics accounts and then imported those goals into your Google Ads account.
  5. You know how to add secondary dimensions (and other modifications) to your reports in Google Analytics.

If all these items are true, you can setup these reports and get more from your Google Ads campaign.

Caution: this only accounts for goals trackable in Google Analytics. If you’re running call extensions (for instance) they won’t be considered a Goal completion in analytics. In other words, check before you take any draconian measures.

If you have any questions (or suggestions) on these reports, Tweet me.

Save Money from the Most Expensive Google Ads Search Queries

One important way to make sure you’re not wasting money is by actively maintaining your negative keyword list. This prevents you from bidding on something irrelevant to what you have to offer your customers. You can use this report in Google Analytics to make it easy to find new negative keywords you should add to your campaign or ad group.

  1. Use “Google Ads Search Queries” report. Click on the link to import it into your Google Analytics account.
  2. Filter by cost > 0 and goal conversion rate = 0
  3. Add secondary dimension: campaign
  4. Sort by cost
  5. Save report as “Most Expensive google Ads Search Queries”
  6. Schedule to send it to yourself every week. I recommend sending it as a CSV or Excel file.

What do with this data?

You’re spending money to get these queries but are these search queries relevant to what you have to offer? Are there any negative keywords you could add to prevent wasting money?

Spend Money Efficiently with Your Expensive Google Ads Keywords

When you start a PPC campaign, you will probably start very broadly- with as many keywords as you can that you think might bring you customers. Over time, however, you might find that some of these keywords don’t really bring you customers- and might be spending money that could be better spent on keywords that clearly bring new customers. Here’s a Google Analytics report that will show you if you’re bidding on the right keywords or wasting money on the wrong ones.

  1. Use “Expensive Google Ads Keywords” report. Click on the link to import it into your Google Analytics account.
  2. Filter by cost > 0 and goal conversion rate = 0
  3. Add secondary dimension: campaign
  4. Sort by cost
  5. Save as “Most Expensive Google Ads Keywords”
  6. Schedule to send to yourself every month.

What do with this data?

These keywords spend money, but don’t produce any conversions.

Get More from Your Most Effective Keywords

If you’re running a successful PPC campaign, you might discover some keywords that consistently bring you new customers. To find these, and get the most out of those clicks, use this report.

  1. Use the “Effective Google Ads Keywords” custom report. Click on the link to import it into your Google Analytics account.
  2. Add a secondary dimension- Keyword Match Type.
  3. Filter by impressions > 1 and Goal Completions > 1 and Keyword Match Type matches regex Exact|Phrase
  4. Sort by Goal Conversion Rate. Anything greater than the site average (on the top) is worth looking at)
  5. Show data by month (or week, if you have a bigger account).
  6. Save the report: Most Effective Google Ads Keywords
  7. Send it to yourself as a reminder to check this on a regular basis.

What do with this data?

Look at your CTR for these keywords. If a keyword has a lower than average CTR- you might need a better ad.

Take this information back into your Google Ads account to determine if…

Identify Ads and Landing Pages that Need Improvement

  1. Use the “Effective Google Ads Keywords” custom report. Click on the link to import it into your Google Analytics account.
  2. Filter by Goal Conversion Rate = 0 and Impressions > 1
  3. Add a secondary Dimension- Google Ads: Ad Group
  4. Sort by CTR
  5. Save as “Least Effective Google Ads Landing Pages”

What do with this data?

People are seeing your ads but aren’t converting. The problem might be:

You don’t always have to spend more money to get more conversions from your Google Ads account. Squeeze as many conversions as you can from your existing budget (using these reports will help) before you send Google any more cash.

WordCamp Philadelphia 2020

Did you hear David’s marketing workshop at WordCamp Philadelphia?

Learn why we're reliable.
Read our other credentials.


The Bottom Line

You need to reach people in your industry.

Reliable Acorn will help you create a custom digital marketing strategy that does just that.

Ready to Talk?