PPC Chat Streamcap – The AdWords UI

This week Matt Umbro (@Matt_Umbro) came up with a good discussion about “The AdWords UI.” The following is the transcribed Streamcap from the live chat:

Q1: What is your favorite feature of the AdWords UI? Why?

  • Hands-down: segments. So many ways to slice and dice the data now – have seen huge improvements here. – Jessica Cameron Ruud (@Camruud)
  • The graphs – a wealth of info without generating reams of reports – easily configurable. – David Szetela (@Szetela)
  • Filters. I rarely ever look at a view within the interface that doesn’t have some sort of filter on it. – Michelle Morgan (@michellemsem)
  • Being able to climb the account ladder regardless of breadth, KWs for AG, to Ads for Campaign, to account SQs in min. steps! – Chris Kostecki (@chriskos)
  • The filters, being able to look at different ad types e.g. mobile performance separate from the whole account is brilliant. – Richard Banks (@RichardJABanks)
  • One of my favorite features is the Dimension tab…even though it took some of us a little while to accept. – Matt Umbro (@Matt_Umbro)
    • I agree, extremely useful for looking at what time conversions take place. – Richard Banks
    • I really wish the dimensions tab had filters on it. That would be ideal. – Michelle Morgan
  • Filters, labels and easily exported/formatted reports. Also, Analytics integration. – Nicole Mintiens (@Tregesy)

Q2: What are some pain points you have with the AdWords UI? Why?

  • Well, no filters on the dimensions tab. Want to be able to have that data for specific groups of campaigns, ad groups, etc. Also, the new graphs don’t use the max/min values and upper/lower bounds. Gives less of an idea of trends. – Michelle Morgan
  • Lately its been inconsistent report formats, most of my analysis is in excel, & having consistent outputs is key to templates. – Chris Kostecki
    • Ugh, inconsistent reports! I keep having that problem. 50% include campaign, ad group. 50% don’t. – Michelle Morgan
  • No total lines for segments – if you want to see a total number of something you have to export and add them up yourself. – Martin Rottgerding (@bloomarty)
  • Search Partners, ‘rotate’ options, ACE for campaign settings. A nice to have – comparison & segments applied to ‘totals’. – Jessica Cameron Ruud
  • Conversion data not consistent between Analytics & AdWords. – Nicole Mintiens
  • Would like to see more functionality in the SQR. Adding more than one match type, default BM negatives instead of exact match. – Luke Alley (@LukeAlley)
  • Talking of filters – You can’t filter Search Query Reports by the words in the queries. – Tamsin Mehew (@TamsinMehew)
  • Inconsistencies between adwords and analytics all day. – Richard Banks
  • Setting up remarketing audiences and custom combos can be tedious…but not sure how to speed up. – Matt Umbro
  • Also, after moving inhouse, I really really wanted to get into the home tab, too clunky & not refined to be a useful dashboard. – Chris Kostecki

Q3: What are your thoughts on the new Display Network tab?

  • The Display tab made a confusing topic even more confusing – especially for newbies. – David Szetela
    • Why are my RM audiences even harder to find now! – Aaron Levy (@bigalittlea)
  • I like how it stresses the importance of having remarketing as an option in AdWords. – Brian Gaspar (@BGaspar)
  • Love the performance by keywords. But if I reduce a keyword’s bid, it can still spend at the same pre-adjustment CPC. – Neil Sorenson (@iNeils)
  • Big fan of having keyword level data, but that was the biggest benefit. Everything else is just rearranged. – Michelle Morgan
  • Still haven’t understood how KW bid VS auto. placement bid VS managed placement bid works together. – Luke Alley
  • Was hesitant at first with DN tab, but it centralizes all your DN activity and has so far been beneficial. – Matt Umbro

Q4: How do you utilize labels in the AdWords UI (if you do at all)?

  • I look at the empty column and say “It would be cool if I set those up.” – Michelle Morgan
  • Have just set them up to help with cross campaign ad testing. Have lots of low volume campaigns with template ads. – Richard Fergie (@RichardFergie)
  • I use em to group campaigns with similar goals & different name structures. Helps me evaluate large(r) scale performance. – Aaron Levy
  • Have simply used them to label brand VS non-brand campaigns. – Luke Alley
  • Have already applied naming conventions to Camps & AGs (across different networds), have not looked to labels yet & probably wont use labels since they are only for AdWords, could see it be really handy for agencies juggling accounts. – Chris Kostecki
  • As an easier alternative to filters. This way you can compare sub groups – love it. – Martin Rottgerding
  • Labels are to identify campaign similarities (products), run label-level reports esp. with a large MCC, pull/view label trends etc. – Jamie Berger (@JamieHBerger)
  • Used labels last week when active campaigns needed to be paused for an hour across all accounts then reactivated. – Nicole Mintiens
  • Label reports have stats for each label separately, even if you’ve used them together… limits their use. Downside of labels is you have to apply them via the interface. Tagging thousands of adgroups 500 at a time isn’t fun. – Martin Rottgerding
  • Can you use multiple labels at a time? Ex: having 3 different categories that a keyword fits into, can I put all three on it? – Michelle Morgan
    • Yes, but the analysis will be confusing later. – Martin Rottgerding
    • I THINK you can give a camp. multiple labels if thats what you’re asking. – Aaron Levy
    • Sure can, and they’ll have multiple colors like a rainbow. I semi-heart them, easy to implement unlike in many bid mgt platform, but do offer same category org/groupings. – Jamie Berger
    • Only 1 column, so exports will be messy. – Chris Kostecki
  • 1. account labels for fast drill-down in nested MCCs 2. camp labels to reaggregate if camps are split by region etc. – Chris Gutknecht (@ChrisGutknecht)

Q5: Where can improvements be made in the My Client Center (MCC)?

  • Would love to see a cost per conversion column. Is it really that hard. – Luke Alley
  • I’d love cross-account billing WITHOUT mds. And dear lord let me change the columns on the dashboard! – Aaron Levy
  • Would be great to have custom preferences for columns, graphs, etc. you could apply to all your client accounts. – Martin Rottgerding
  • Perhaps some more streamlined reporting options. – Brian Gaspar
  • Would be great to be able to view Avg CPC at the account level UI as well as sort by CTR in adwords. – Nicole Mintiens
  • I recently found myself wanting a Dimensions tab in the MCC. – Melissa Mackey (@Mel66)
  • Billing Info cross-account, conversion tracking code data, more network column data=search/display, bid=CPC/CPM. – Jamie Berger
  • Ability to see timeframes side by side & trend data for any data points (keywords, campaigns, etc); not just a simple chart. – Brad Geddes (@bgtheory)

Q6: As part of your PPC services, do you help/train clients to use the AdWords interface? Why or why not?

  • I show them how to navigate around to see KPIs, keyword data. Seems to overwhelm though. If they want more I give it to them. – Luke Alley
  • If a client leaves, they get a crash course in everything. If they WANT to for their own sake, sure! I have nothing to hide. That said,have to remind them they pay me for a reason. Look, don’t touch. – Aaron Levy
  • I just talked to a friend who said his agency (a big one) doesn’t even give him access to the Adwords account. – Luke Alley
    • Unfortunately I see that trend a lot. Not a fan, but it is common among the big agencies. – Mark Kennedy
  • I would rather setup reports for them, its too tempting for them to touch something if they are logging in for data. – Chris Kostecki
  • I give them a login & let them see it & show them how to read it if they want. About 20-30% of clients opt for this. – Mark Kennedy (@markkennedysem)
  • Training is definitely not part of our regular services. But if a client wants access, we grant it. – Melissa Mackey
  • None of my clients have time or inclination to learn that stuff. Usually give them report access-we don’t want them messing. – Tad Miller (@jstatad)
  • If they want, we give them a tour. And we usually tell them where to find the change history. – Martin Rottegerding
  • Absolutely limit to reports-only access. Once had a client who kept making changes & messed up all our tests. Not cool. – Melissa Mackey
  • I let them have access, but I don’t want them messing around in there. Change report tattles on them if they do. – Robert Brady (@robert_brady)
  • As an in-house search marketer working w an agency, no question about access & independent conversion tracking. – Chris Kostecki
  • Since we recommend that the client owns the account, they always have full access. – Martin Rottgerding


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Who Does the PPCChat Streamcap?

This is a guest post by Paul Kragthorpe; WebRanking SEM Manager in Minneapolis, Minnesota, #PPCChat Streamcap Grabber, SEO Blog Author. Connect with me @PaulKragthorpe, and Google Plus.

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