Key Points from Interview with Frederick Vallaeys
- ValueTrack is the AdWords feature that allows advertisers to tag their URLs with parameters. The resulting URL can then be used within the advertiser’s own tracking systems.
- Too many advertisers settle for global level reporting and do not look further. Even if your top level metrics are OK, you can still get great gains in overall campaign performance by digging into more detailed reports.
- Segmentation is the biggest power reporting feature that is not used by many advertisers.
- Types of segmentation can include times of day, days of week, device type, social signals, and more.
- (Fred): “… no matter from which channel the +1 comes in, it all aggregates at the URL level.”
- (Fred): “In the social segmentation, you can actually see what the impact is of having each of these different variations.”
- You can run multiple segments via the downloadable reports or the API.
- (Fred): “… at the end of 2011, half of American consumers had a Smartphone in their pocket.”
- Google has a site at howtogomo.com that you can use to see how your site renders on a mobile device.
- (Fred): “Google Analytics offers multichannel funnels, and what these allow you to do is see what touch points people have with your online campaigns before a conversion happens.”
- (Fred): “One tool that we have is the AdWords Campaign Experiments. That’s a great way for an advertiser to explore how to improve their ROI. They can send 10%, 20%, 30%, whatever percentage they want of their traffic to that experiment.”
- (Fred): These (new ad formats) were a big thing for us in 2011, and will continue to be a big thing in 2012.
- The Bid Simulator tool will show you what to expect for different types of increases (or decreases) in bids.
- The Ad Preview Tool allows you to see whether or not your ads are running. It also allows you to test geotargeting in areas other than your current location, or various types of mobile devices.
- Top of Page bid estimates show you what your bid would have to be to show up in the space above the organic results.
- Impression share is a way to see what percentage of the time your ads are running. Tuning your campaign to increase impression share can be one of the best ways to get additional traffic.
- Google Analytics is planning to expand its social reporting to include more than just the data from Google owned properties – i.e. data such as Facebook Likes.
Full Interview Transcript
Eric Enge: Can you tell me some great power reporting features in the AdWords interface that people rarely use?
Frederick Vallaeys: When you look at AdWords, there are three high-level types of reports that we make available for our customers. You can go into the campaign management interface and pull reports right there in your campaigns. Then, we also have Google Analytics which goes a little bit deeper into some of the data, for example, with real-time reports, social reports and cross-channel reports that look at how ALL your campaigns are contributing to your success and your ROI. The third one is making reporting available for people who prefer using APIs or building their own reporting systems using our URL tagging feature, ValueTrack.
That is a way for us to attach some additional information to each click that comes to your website so that your own reporting software can capture that and then process it. If you look specifically at what is available in the AdWords interface, it’s really gotten very sophisticated in terms of segmentation. And, I think one of the biggest mistakes that advertisers make is they look at their reports at too high a level.
There are probably all of these micro-segments within your campaign where things are performing fantastically well …
There are probably all of these micro-segments within your campaign where things are performing fantastically well, but you don’t know it because you looked at things are an aggregated level. On the flip side you also have elements of your campaign that just aren’t working well. Examples of segments that you could be looking at are the specific time of the day, and the specific day of the week. You may for some reason find people just aren’t buying your product at certain times of day or days of the week.