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Using the Dimensions Tab on a Limited Budget in Adwords

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

No matter what budget your PPC account has, it is important to make sure you are running your paid search campaigns as efficiently as possible. However, when dealing with smaller accounts, it can be extremely challenging to make an impact and get a return on your investment. One of the most helpful tools for identifying opportunities is the dimensions tab in Adwords.

The Dimensions Tab

The dimensions tab enables you to break your data down into different views so you can analyse your campaign performance in different ways. There are many different dimensions you can use but, for the purposes of this article, the dimensions that will be covered are Hour of Day, User Locations and Search Terms.

Hour of Day

hour of day

Viewing your account by hour of the day will help you to identify areas where money can be saved. For example, you may notice that you have had no conversions between the hours of 2am and 7am. However, the clicks you have received during these hours may have cost you a significant amount of money. The benefit of this dimension is that it also shows you which hours of the day are most profitable. Scheduling ads so that they do not run between the hours of 2am and 7am would save money so that you can use the ad budget during hours when people are more likely to convert. Possibly all that should happen is you stop showing your click to call ad extension while there is no one in the office to take that call.

It is worth remembering that the clicks which cost you money without converting shouldn’t always be considered wasted clicks. It is likely that many people who clicked during these hours are researching your product, and may come back again to convert at a later date. This is dependent on the type of business you have. For example, if your product has a longer conversion period, this research phase would be more important to you than if you are selling items where the users buying journey is shorter.

User Locations

User Locations (1)

The user locations tab presents stats by showing you what part of the country people are in when they are searching for your product. This allows you to see which parts of the country are most profitable. You can then exclude any locations that may be bringing less value so that your ads only appear for people searching in the locations you have selected.

For an example of how this might work in practice we will assume the country we are advertising in is the UK. First of all, define your date range and have a figure in mind that you believe to be too costly for a conversion. The next step is to set up a filter in the User Locations dimension to identify all locations that have used more than your defined cost without converting.

Your results may tell you that people searching from Newcastle and Manchester are costing a lot of money and not converting. These insights can help you to understand that it is not worth advertising in these areas on a small budget so you can now exclude people in these cities from seeing your ads, perhaps there isn’t enough brand awareness in these areas. The money you were spending in these areas can now be used for more profitable locations.

Search Terms

The search terms dimension is used to identify what exact keywords have been searched for by the users who have arrived on your site. By viewing these results for individual campaigns you can easily see which keywords are costing you money and are not entirely related to your product. You can then alter your match type or add negative keywords accordingly. You may also see opportunities to add keywords that are cheaper than the ones already running in your campaign.

For example, if you are advertising holidays you may have a phrase match keyword like “holidays to Florida”. If someone searches “holidays to Florida flying from Newcastle” your ad will still show, even if you don’t sell holidays that fly from that city. Your Search Terms dimension will show you that someone searched for this term and clicked on your ad without converting. You can then add this search query as a negative keyword, or change your match type to exact so that you stop showing for searches that are not likely to convert.

The dimensions tab is a great way of understanding who you are advertising to. The next step is to feed this information into Google Analytics; it will give you a better idea of how effective your paid search campaign is attributing to the overall conversion process. Please remember that we often use a range of devices, generating multiple ‘unique users’, this is important when looking at the bigger picture. However for those smaller paid search budgets that have less complicated attribution models and less time to analyse the results in depth, the dimensions tab in Adwords is a great place to start saving unnecessary advertising spend.

Happy advertising and may the profit be with you.

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