How to make Google analytics better for tracking AdWords

Google AdWords have released a new report for monitoring the search queries that trigger clicks on your adverts (I found this via SEOmoz).

I have just been playing around with this report on a couple of our client accounts and it’s brilliant.

Much of the data could be found by trawling through your server logs to find the actual queries that are leading people to click on your adverts when you do phrase or broad match, but I know I’m guilty of not spending enough time analysing logs in these days of powerful analytics software.

I have already found a few negative keywords that I should be excluding (I also found out that PSP is an airport code as well as a handheld console and a piece of software - not sure that most people searching for cars and PSP are looking for car rental from Palm Springs - I reckon more are looking for computer games...).

Now, this new report shouldn’t really lead me to find these new negative keywords, but as I mentioned - with Google Analytics being so good, I’m not concentrating on log files as much as I should be. So this got me to thinking - why can’t Google Analytics offer me some variant of this report?

The ‘traffic sources’ report in GA allows you to filter by ‘paid’ or ‘non-paid’ search and then subsequently by keyword, but if you filter by paid search, the keywords it displays are the keywords you bid on rather than the actual searches people carried out to find (and click on!) your advert. Why is this the only option?

Please include real search queries in the paid search monitoring

Dear analytics development team,

If you’re listening, please can we have a report within analytics that lets us compare the search phrases we bid on with the actual queries people carry out to find and click on our adverts?

Thank you,

A hopeful search marketer

PS I have found that there is a convoluted way of doing this, but it’s pretty advanced, and I see no reason why GA and AdWords couldn’t play nicely together here by default? Especially now you are making this information available in an AdWords report

PPS incidentally, why does the AdWords report hide data on some low volume queries? Why not let me decide for myself what’s significant and what’s not? Given that I could find this information myself from my logs, you’re not keeping secret any information that isn’t out there anyway, so where’s the harm in making it easier to find?

Will Critchlow

Will Critchlow

Will founded Distilled with Duncan in 2005. Since then, he has consulted with some of the world’s largest organisations and most famous websites, spoken at most major industry events and regularly appeared in local and national press. Will is part...   read more

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3 Comments

  1. I am sorry for the delay in getting here Will. This is a excellent suggestion and one that I will absolutely take back to the team. More later.

    Thanks,

    Avinash.

    reply >
  2. Hey Avinash. Thanks for stopping by and commenting - I appreciate it. Looking forward to juicy new analytics functionality :) I think I emailed you while you were on vacation - sorry for adding to what must be a huge inbox...

    reply >
  3. That's a really good point about negative keywords Will, it's so easy to overlook them and then discover you've been paying for a ton of irrelevant clicks. A quick search on Google and a scan of the top 10 or 20 results normally flags up and offenders!

    Cool blog BTW, I'll have a good look around now I've found you!

    reply >

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