AdWords Custom Columns, Helping You Keep Track of What Actually Matters

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I’m going to get a bit geeky here, but at the end of 2014 Google quietly released a new AdWords reporting feature; the ability to create your own customised columns.

Although it isn’t called Panda, Penguin or any other species of animal, if AdWords is an integral part of your business, making use of AdWords custom columns might just help you save both time and money.

Creating a new custom column is simple. At the campaign level and ad group level navigate to: Columns > Customize Columns then down the bottom ‘Custom columns’. As shown in the three screenshots below.

Step One

Screenshot - Navigate to columns button in AdWords

Step Two

Screenshot - Select

Step Three

Screenshot - create a new custom column

You can name your new column, give it a description then choose the main metric you want to show (i.e. cost), where your new column differs from a traditional column is that you then have the ability to choose how you want that metric segmented (i.e. by device or network or conversion name). Essentially allowing you to segment existing column metrics in order to get more detailed insight. It is now faster and easier to see how your campaigns and ad groups are performing against your specific  business objectives.

Better align your AdWords interface with your business objectives

With mobile becoming an ever increasing focus, you may want to set up custom columns only looking at mobile traffic. For example a custom column which only shows clicks done on mobile devices.

Along with device you can now create custom columns segmented by network and ad position (Top vs. Other) as well as my personal favourite; conversions.

Finally, you can create columns reporting on individual conversions

It’s unusual for a business to have only one action on their website that requires tracking, and often these different actions represent very different values to the business.

For instance, your business may be interested in generating newsletter signups and form submits. It makes sense to track both these actions as conversion goals in AdWords, however on average a form submit may generate 10x as much revenue as a newsletter signup. The problem historically has been that the AdWords conversion column lumps all conversions together – making the numbers in the column much less meaningful.

With new custom columns, you can see at a glance how many form submits a campaign generated without creating an additional row of segmented data.

Save time and money

Custom columns are a good step by Google to better enable advertisers to get detailed insights on their particular business objectives.

We would still like to see Google develop this further and allow this same level of reporting detail at the keyword and ad level, plus we would like to see Google integrate custom column data into the visual charts. Getting geekier, we would like to be able to further segment certain segments like conversions, in order to see for example how many form submits were generated by mobile devices…the more useful data we are able to gather the better the decisions we can make.

Please contact us if you have any questions around custom columns we are always happy to talk search marketing.

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