Use the AdWords Dashboard

SMS Text

This post is focused around outlining some of the free tools and features that Google AdWords offers but people often don’t make full use of because they forget or don’t know they are available. In the past many AdWords campaigns were monitored from within Bid Management platforms or from within Google Analytics but the new AdWords home tab is seeking to change all that.

The past problem with running your campaigns within the AdWords interface was the limited ability to get a quick snapshot of account performance and quickly identify problems to resolve. The old platform was next to useless and most people quickly starting using the campaigns tab as the default page for their reporting and analysis even when using Google Analytics for discovering actionable insights has issues due to a 24-48 hour delay in importing data.

Old Dashboard

Benefits of PPC Dashboards?

The biggest benefit of the new AdWords home tab is that the your dashboard can be customised so you are able to focus on the campaign metrics that matter to each member of the team. It can be setup so your account manager, marketing manager and CEO can have a unique dashboard they are able to quickly view and monitor the top level details. While the new dashboard feature has been around for a about 2 months in most accounts it’s likely that most people have failed to notice the update as their default tab is campaigns or they never bother to login to their AdWords account.

One of the better parts about the new dashboard feature is that it can re-use your existing filters that you have created and been using to refine data showing in your campaign dashboard. The other benefit of the new dashboard interface as you don’t have to deal with the limitation that the old keyword performance module was not available for accounts with more than 10,000 keywords which made the previous module fairly useless for most large accounts.

New Dashboard

So How do I create new modules?

You can use the AdWords interface to create and save filters that can then be added as modules to display on your home tab which give you a lot more control over what information is contained on your dashboard. Some of the important filters I think most accounts should have are:

  • Keywords over your Average CPC Rates
  • Keywords over your Average CPA Rates
  • Keywords with a higher than average conversion rate
  • Keywords with a lower than average conversion rate
  • Keywords that have a lower than optimal ad position
  • Keywords that have a lower than optimal CTR
  • Keywords that changed status to limited, issues or not eligible to run

While these are just a few filters I have created that should help you focus on attaining a better ROI but also insure that your AdWords campaigns remain conversion focused. The dashboard modules work best when they are tailored to suit your campaign metrics and it is typically better to use multiple rules for your filters to get only the necessary information. You have the ability to quickly see just the keywords that are driving a bulk of your traffic, those giving you the most exposure via impressions or those making the cash register win via conversions.

Customize Modules

What about information overload?

Probably one of the best features of the AdWords dashboard is that if you label your filters well you can minimise the modules and you can see in the screenshot below that the count of items that qualify for that filter are shown in brackets.

Mini notifications

What about mobile dashboards?

A growing number of businesses need to have someone checking the campaigns when they are on the road or out of the office and credible mobile solutions are becoming increasingly important for both small companies and agencies using AdWords but is extending to the C-level with an always connected global work force. The new dashboard does load on mobile devices such as iPhone, Android and even WindowsPhone7 but besides quickly checking stats it doesn’t offer the full functionality people expect from mobile apps.

The full mobile version offers a bit more functionality as you can view your saved filters and view any custom alters for key accounts events but is not yet available for all mobile devices such as the Windows Phone 7.

While AdWords for mobile does offer a fairly limited level of functionality it’s likely the functionality will be vastly improved as Google seeks to move it’s platform into the hands of marketers so they can access it anywhere they can get a mobile signal. Outside of the update AdWords mobile dashboard there is only a limited number bid management platforms like Acquisio that have mobile apps for management of your PPC campaigns, so it’s hoping that Microsoft AdCenter rolls out a mobile application soon otherwise if you use platforms outside of Google AdWords you may have to consider a Bid Management platform if you spend a fair bit of time out of the office or at conferences.

What is the limitations of AdWords dashboard?

The downside is the information contained in the modules is not placed into context as you could in the previous version where you could see the top level performance of a particular campaign. The screenshot below shows the ease that you could see how individual campaigns were performing against a previous period of time but was limited as it could not be broken down by AdGroup, Keyword or even select multiple active campaigns only.

Old performance

David Iwanow

David Iwanow

Director of Strategy at BlueGlass
David has joined BlueGlass London as Director of Strategy having spent the last 3 years in Amsterdam, Netherlands working with the ebay classifieds group as... Read Full Bio
David Iwanow
David Iwanow
Get the latest news from Search Engine Journal!
We value your privacy! See our policy here.
  • I loved what youve done here. The design is elegant, your stuff classy. Yet, youve got an edginess to what you’re offering here. Ill definitely come back for more if you keep this up. Thanks for sharing these info with us.

  • good notes to refer. i’m having problem with adwords and the support team from adwords are not giving much help.. always asking me to refer to their faq or knowledgebase which don’t seem to help

    • some issues are painful and time consuming, best try and reach out via a friend who has a google AM and see if they are able to explore your issue in more detail

  • This is great information. Obviously there are a lot of useful tools and information in Adwords and I never knew that it can be used for these purposes too.

  • Seems like a very good and the clear information as i am about to start my new compagnie for one of my very useful project. I think this post going to help me a lot. Specially i like “How to create new Modules” part the most. once again thank you very much to David Iwanow for update us ! keep rocking.. good luck.

    • I agree with nirav and i also start new compagnie for my new project this is really great information to track the compagnie

  • Here is a similar story

    Google unveiled a new and improved ad preview tool back in January. The tool’s purpose was to give users the ability to view their ads without incurring extra impressions and clicks.

    This new preview tool also allowed users to view ads by region, state, city, country, or custom locations. Also, users can preview via high end mobile devices and even by mobile service providers.

  • Anonymous

    This is a great way to learn about that Google adwords.. Important tool to find a high traffic keywords.. This is beat way to increase our business.. Thanks for this great work.. Keep it up..
    Aluminium Kozijnen

  • Still you can’t get 100% conversion detail on adword. some how it’s not tracking it properly.

  • Great information…Obviously there lots of information include in your article.Suppose one person doesn’t know about PPC and he want to start PPC campaign so its tough or easy for that person.

  • I think this is one of the most important information for me. And I am glad reading your article. But want to remark on few general things, the website style is perfect the articles are really excellent Good job. Keep posting

  • These are great tools! I used Re follow a lot to find out when people weren’t following me back. Need to flush those out again too!