Thursday, 26 July 2007

New Google AdWords report options

Google has recently been adding new options within the reporting function on the AdWords PPC system that can help advertisers achieve different insights into the way the campaigns are performing.

Some months ago Google started to include data at the Campaign and Account level on the number of invalid clicks that had been identified and removed from the campaign. This was to counter the increasing concerns about click fraud although figures for these will continue to vary depending on the source of data and the interpretation of click fraud.

More recently, Google has just added 3 new pieces of data at the Campaign level, which look at Impression Share (IS). This figure is equivalent to the 'share of voice' metric that many offline advertisers will use and essentially indicates how many times an advert appears to be seen out of the total possible opportunities, or what share of advertising one campaign may have against a competitors.

With Google Adwords, this means that if x number of people search for a term over a certain time period, the Impression Share will show advertisers how many times their advert will have appeared to this audience. So, if an advertiser has limited competition or is bidding at the highest level, the IS is likely to show 100%, but if the advert appears on the 2nd page of results, this figures is likely to be lower since all searchers won't necessarily click onto the second page of results.

Two other figures that Google provides are Lost IS (Rank) which will indicate how many ad impressions may not have been seen due to the ranking position of the advert/s, and Lost IS (Budget) which indicates whether a daily budget or other spend control criteria may have prevented adverts showing for all searches.

Together, these IS figures help advertisers to see how good their coverage of the potential market has been and indicates what changes could be made to improve this. Of course, the IS figures shouldn't be used in isolation and other factors like clickthrough rates and Quality Scores will be important, but they can provide more summary information on a campaigns performance and clues to ways that it could be made to work better.

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