Take Advantage of Advanced Reports

Wednesday, December 23, 2009 | 7:02 AM

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The AdWords Report Center has always been the place to go to find detailed data about your campaign performance. Reports with dimensions like geographic performance and time of day can give you new insights that aren't available in the campaigns tab.

But there can be drawbacks to using the Report Center: customised reports take time to set up and run, and you have to navigate back to the Campaigns tab to take action on any insights you discover.

We're addressing these issues by better integrating advanced performance data into campaign management. Now, instead of running a placement performance report, you can manage your automatic placements in the Networks tab. Rather than run a search query report, you can use the "See search terms" option on the Keywords tab to see which searches are bringing up your ads. And if you prefer to look at your reports in a spreadsheet program, you now have the option to download nearly every table in your account (look under the "More actions..." menu above each table).

You can also use new segmentation functions to slice and dice your data directly within campaign management. Click on the "Filter and views" menu above your statistics, then choose the "Segment by" option to see different levels of detail available.

The segmentation options available to you differ depending on whether you're looking at keywords, ad groups or campaigns. If you're looking at keywords, you can segment by match type. If you're looking at campaigns or ad groups, you can segment by network to quickly compare your performance on Google and search partner sites to your performance on the Content Network.

In addition to these segmentation options, we've recently introduced time-based segmentation for your campaigns, ad groups and keywords. Now you can break out statistics by day, week, month, quarter or year to isolate changes in your performance. For example, if your performance summary graphs show a sharp decrease in clicks, segmenting by day can show you changes in other statistics that might explain why your drop in traffic occurred.

You can also segment by day of the week. This option is helpful if you're looking for help with ad scheduling. Try segmenting your performance for the past few months: if your performance is dramatically different on a given day of the week, you can modify your bids to account for the change in user behavior.

We'll be bringing even more data from the Report Center into the Campaigns tab over the coming months. So next time you're searching for insights you can use to improve your performance, you won't have to look very far.