How Do You Like Your Columns in the Morning? I Like Mine With a Custom Metric | DMA

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How Do You Like Your Columns in the Morning? I Like Mine With a Custom Metric


Fried, scrambled? What can I make?

To create a custom column you combine two pieces of information: metrics & segments.


- Performance; including cost, average position, clickthrough rate and average CPC

- Conversions; including cost per conversion, view-through conversions, total value and estimated cross-device conversions


- Network (with search partners)

- Device

- Top vs. Other

- +1 annotations

- Conversions, split by conversion name

How do you whip up some of these?

1. In either the campaigns or ad groups tab click on 'Columns' and then 'Customise Columns'

2. Under 'select metrics' click 'Customised columns'

3. In this view, select '+ column'

Custom Columns Instructions

4. Add a name for your column, and a description if you wish

5. Choose a metric you would like to measure and the segment you would like to view data for

Custom Columns Instructions

How do we like our columns in AdWords?

I like mine with a…

….conversion name segment

Got different conversions types? Now you can create specific columns for conversion totals, cost per conversion, conversion rate etc. for each of these. Splitting these metrics allows quicker optimisation for campaigns or ad groups which are more, or less, effective at generating the more important conversion type.

….device segment

With the growth in mobile and tablet search it's increasingly important to be able to see performance and optimise for different device types. Viewing both traffic and conversion numbers can help inform decisions for mobile specific ad copy, landing pages and extensions. Using mobile conversion rate, CPA or total conversion value columns can make it easier to implement bid multipliers, especially at an ad group level which, previously, have been very clunky to apply.

….top vs. other segment

It is always difficult to find the optimum ad position but being able to view performance when ads appear at the top of the page vs. other positions gives you a good indication of how aggressive you should be.

With custom columns you can now quickly compare traffic volumes, CTR, conversion rate and CPA for ads appearing at the top or in other positions on the page. You can also choose to not include search partners in these segments.

In Claire's blog Finding Your Optimum Keyword Position is as Easy as A, B, C… she explains how to use Google Analytics to decide where your keywords should ideally appear. However, custom columns gives us a faster way of viewing ad group or campaign performance or making decisions for bulk changes to keyword bids.

Leads or sales, I'm satisfied as long as I can analyse them in Excel

Although helpful to remove Excel from our analysis of data, custom columns do also feed into more complex Excel analysis very well.

When normally downloading a report and segmenting by conversion names you lose key information, such as clicks and impressions. However, by setting up columns for each conversion name you can import both conversion information and standard metrics into Excel. Now you can analyse data and trends for specific conversion types. For instance, comparing spend and registration numbers, leaving out other less important, conversion types such as newsletter signups.

If your conversion path is very linear you can also look at how often your leads turn into sales using lead/sale rate. This may be useful to highlight campaigns or ad groups which have a strong lead to sale rate or to see how this has altered over time.

Dark or light the world's all right as long as I get my columns

No matter how you like your columns in the morning there are countless ways of using them to help analyse and optimise any account. Quick to implement and easy to use they'll make your morning (or entire day) that little bit smoother.

To view the article as written by Natalie Hilton for Periscopix's blog, please click here.

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