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10 Visual Google Ads PPC Reports You Should Use

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As data analysts, we often overlook the value of visualizing our PPC data. Lucky for us, the Google Ads Report Editor has made data visualization easier than ever. This handy tool allows your average PPC analyst to become an everyday Bob Ross of data visualization. Custom graphs and charts are an extremely useful problem-solving tool and continue to guide our Google Ads optimization efforts at Clearlink.

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If you’re not using the Report Editor, we highly recommend taking it for a spin. We’ve provided our top 10 most useful graphs and charts to get you started. Visualizing your data with these reports will help you focus on the best optimization opportunities in your account.

1) Campaign Volume Over Time

This report is a must-have. We frequently see account performance fluctuate based on the traffic mix of campaigns, ad groups, and keywords. Getting all campaigns on one trended graph allows you to quickly spot your top-performing campaigns alongside any recent performance changes.

Once you’ve identified a questionable campaign, continue to dig in by running a similar report to analyze that campaign’s ad groups or keywords. Use this tactic to get ahead of any performance changes before they get out of hand.

Campaign Volume

2) Search Term Volume Over Time – Account Breakdown

Overlapping phrase and broad match keywords can complicate your account. This report brings any account back to the basics, regardless of structure or keyword match types. Aggregating like search terms from different ad groups provides a clean performance trend over time for your top queries. This report is a great way to monitor the health of your biggest search terms while promoting new ideas around account structure, ad copy, and keywords.

Tip: Search term graphs can get messy. Stay focused on top volume producers and significant volume fluctuations.

Search Term Volume Over Time - Account

3) Search Term Volume Over Time – Broad And Phrase

Search term analysis on broad and phrase match types can be one of your best means of keyword research. Trend these terms overtime to ensure that you are aware of any search terms that are on the rise. Quickly identify poor performing search terms to be negative-matched, or start speaking to up-and-coming search terms before your competition. We have found this report particularly effective in identifying customer service keywords that pop up due to service outages or long-tail terms related to news stories. This will be especially helpful for those who have yet to analyze the impact of Google’s close variant update. If you haven’t done this yet, do it now.

Search Term Volume Over Time - Broad & Phrase

4) Impression Share By Device Over Time

If your ads play in the top three positions, you should be looking at your impression share by device. Google is constantly bringing ads in and out of the auction as it optimizes for the best possible search experience. As a result, the impression share fluctuates. With more than half of impressions coming from mobile nowadays, advertisers can’t afford to overlook low impression share on any device.

Impression Share by Device

5) Cost And Performance By Region

Search volume, competition, and user intent vary by region. Google Ads’ geographic segments allow you to understand how each region performs. Use these reports to set geo bid modifiers where appropriate.

Cost & Performance by Region

6) Click Type Breakdown

What type of clicks are you buying? If you’re not using or optimizing ad extensions, it will be apparent in this chart. Remember to schedule regular testing for ad extensions, just like you would for ad copy.

Click Type Breakdown

7) Analytics Metrics Reporting

Analytics data can be a good leading indicator when Google Ads conversions are unavailable. Comparing session duration and pages-per-visit provides context about a specific traffic source’s intent.

Analytics Metrics Reporting

8) Impressions By Match Type

Are your ads as relevant to your searcher as possible? More impressions captured through exact-match types means more control when matching ad copy with search intent. If a large percentage of your clicks are coming through broad and phrase match, dig into your search term reports to see if any queries would benefit from more specific ad copy.

Impression Share by Match Type

9) Click Type By Device

Mobile users want information as soon as possible, and ad extensions provide a helpful alternative to navigating on a tiny screen. Comparing click type by device illustrates this point. If you’re not seeing a variety of click types on mobile, double-check the status of your ad extensions. If they are approved, but underperforming, try including sitelinks with a mobile device preference. This separate mobile extension will allow you to speak specifically to searchers on-the-go and improve your ads’ relevance.

Click Type by Device

10) Performance By Hour Of Day And Day Of Week

User intent and competition vary at different times throughout the week. CPC and position can indicate at which times competition fluctuates. Conversion rate or session duration can show intent. Based on your results, adjust your ad schedules or set bid multipliers where applicable throughout the week.

Tip: Buying habits often differ on weekends. Use the handy day of week filters to analyze hourly trends on weekends, separately from weekdays.

Performance by Time

Final Thoughts

The Google Ads Report Editor is one of the most useful improvements to the interface in recent years. Data visualization using the Report Editor is an extremely effective way to identify opportunities in your account. The range of metrics, dimensions, and filters provide a ton of ways to visualize the data that matters.

This is only a sample of The Report Editor’s potential. What data matters to your account? If you’re struggling with where to get started, here’s a post from one of Hanapin’s own analysts about how to create actionable PPC reports.

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Google to pay $391.5 million settlement over location tracking, state AGs say

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Google to pay $391.5 million settlement over location tracking, state AGs say

Google has agreed to pay a $391.5 million settlement to 40 states to resolve accusations that it tracked people’s locations in violation of state laws, including snooping on consumers’ whereabouts even after they told the tech behemoth to bug off.

Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry said it is time for Big Tech to recognize state laws that limit data collection efforts.

“I have been ringing the alarm bell on big tech for years, and this is why,” Mr. Landry, a Republican, said in a statement Monday. “Citizens must be able to make informed decisions about what information they release to big tech.”

The attorneys general said the investigation resulted in the largest-ever multistate privacy settlement. Connecticut Attorney General William Tong, a Democrat, said Google’s penalty is a “historic win for consumers.”

“Location data is among the most sensitive and valuable personal information Google collects, and there are so many reasons why a consumer may opt out of tracking,” Mr. Tong said. “Our investigation found that Google continued to collect this personal information even after consumers told them not to. That is an unacceptable invasion of consumer privacy, and a violation of state law.”

Location tracking can help tech companies sell digital ads to marketers looking to connect with consumers within their vicinity. It’s another tool in a data-gathering toolkit that generates more than $200 billion in annual ad revenue for Google, accounting for most of the profits pouring into the coffers of its corporate parent, Alphabet, which has a market value of $1.2 trillion.

The settlement is part of a series of legal challenges to Big Tech in the U.S. and around the world, which include consumer protection and antitrust lawsuits.

Though Google, based in Mountain View, California, said it fixed the problems several years ago, the company’s critics remained skeptical. State attorneys general who also have tussled with Google have questioned whether the tech company will follow through on its commitments.

The states aren’t dialing back their scrutiny of Google’s empire.

Last month, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton said he was filing a lawsuit over reports that Google unlawfully collected millions of Texans’ biometric data such as “voiceprints and records of face geometry.”

The states began investigating Google’s location tracking after The Associated Press reported in 2018 that Android devices and iPhones were storing location data despite the activation of privacy settings intended to prevent the company from following along.

Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich went after the company in May 2020. The state’s lawsuit charged that the company had defrauded its users by misleading them into believing they could keep their whereabouts private by turning off location tracking in the settings of their software.

Arizona settled its case with Google for $85 million last month. By then, attorneys general in several other states and the District of Columbia had pounced with their own lawsuits seeking to hold Google accountable.

Along with the hefty penalty, the state attorneys general said, Google must not hide key information about location tracking, must give users detailed information about the types of location tracking information Google collects, and must show additional information to people when users turn location-related account settings to “off.”

States will receive differing sums from the settlement. Mr. Landry’s office said Louisiana would receive more than $12.7 million, and Mr. Tong’s office said Connecticut would collect more than $6.5 million.

The financial penalty will not cripple Google’s business. The company raked in $69 billion in revenue for the third quarter of 2022, according to reports, yielding about $13.9 billion in profit.

Google downplayed its location-tracking tools Monday and said it changed the products at issue long ago.

“Consistent with improvements we’ve made in recent years, we have settled this investigation which was based on outdated product policies that we changed years ago,” Google spokesman Jose Castaneda said in a statement.

Google product managers Marlo McGriff and David Monsees defended their company’s Search and Maps products’ usage of location information.

“Location information lets us offer you a more helpful experience when you use our products,” the two men wrote on Google’s blog. “From Google Maps’ driving directions that show you how to avoid traffic to Google Search surfacing local restaurants and letting you know how busy they are, location information helps connect experiences across Google to what’s most relevant and useful.”

The blog post touted transparency tools and auto-delete controls that Google has developed in recent years and said the private browsing Incognito mode prevents Google Maps from saving an account’s search history.

Mr. McGriff and Mr. Monsees said Google would make changes to its products as part of the settlement. The changes include simplifying the process for deleting location data, updating the method to set up an account and revamping information hubs.

“We’ll provide a new control that allows users to easily turn off their Location History and Web & App Activity settings and delete their past data in one simple flow,” Mr. McGriff and Mr. Monsees wrote. “We’ll also continue deleting Location History data for users who have not recently contributed new Location History data to their account.”

• This article is based in part on wire service reports.

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5 Tips to Boost Your Holiday Search Strategy

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With the global economic downturn, inflation, ongoing supply chain challenges, and uncertainty due to the Ukraine war, this year’s holiday shopping season promises to be very challenging. Will people be in the mood to spend despite the gloom? Or will they rein in their enthusiasm and save for the year ahead?

With these issues in mind, here are five considerations to support your search engine optimization strategy this holiday shopping season:

1. Start early.

Rising prices are likely to mean shoppers will start researching their holiday spending earlier than ever to nab the best bargains. Therefore, retailers must roll out their holiday product and category pages — and launch any promotions — sooner to ensure their pages get crawled and indexed by search engines in good time.

Some e-commerce stores manage to get their pages ranking early by updating and reusing the same section of the website for holiday content and promotions, rotating between content for Christmas, Mother’s Day, Valentine gifts, Fourth of July sales, etc. This approach can help you retain the momentum, links and authority you build up with Google and get your holiday pages visible and ranking quickly.

2. Make research an even bigger priority.

With all the uncertainty this year, it’s vital to use SEO research to identify the trending seasonal keywords and search phrases in your retail vertical — and then optimize content accordingly.

With tools such as Google Trends you can extract helpful insights based on the types of searches people are making. For example, with many fashion retailers now charging for product returns, will prioritizing keywords such as “free returns” get more search traction? And with money being tighter, will consumers stick with brands they trust rather than anything new — meaning brand searches might be higher?

3. Make greater use of Google Shopping.

To get the most out of their holiday spending, consumers are more likely to turn to online marketplaces such as Google Shopping as they make it easier to compare products, features and prices, as well as to identify the best deals both online and in nearby stores.

Therefore, take a combined approach which includes listing in Google Shopping and at the same time optimizing product detail pages on your e-commerce site to ensure they’re unique and provide more value than competitors’ pages. Be precise with product names on Google Shopping (e.g., do the names contain the words people are searching for?); ensure you provide all the must-have information Google requires; and set a price that’s not too far from the competition. 

4. Give other search sources the attention they deserve.

Earlier this year Google itself acknowledged that consumers — especially younger consumers — are starting to use TikTok, Instagram and other social media sites for search. In fact, research suggests 11 percent of product searches now start on TikTok and 15 percent on Instagram. Younger consumers in particular are more engaged by visual content, which may explain why they’re embracing visually focused social sites for search. So, as part of your search strategy, create and share content on popular social media sites that your target customers visit.

Similarly, with people starting their shopping searches on marketplaces such as Amazon.com, optimizing any listings you have on the site should be part of your strategy. And thankfully, the better optimized your product detail pages are for Amazon (with unique, useful content), the better they will rank on Google as well!

5. Hold paid budget for late opportunities.

The greater uncertainty and volatility this holiday season mean you must keep a close eye on shopper behavior and be ready to embrace opportunities that emerge later on. Getting high organic rankings for late promotions is always more challenging, so hold some paid search budget back to help drive traffic to those pages — via Google Ads, for example. Important keywords to include in late season search ad campaigns include “delivery before Christmas” and “same-day-delivery.” For locally targeted search ads, consider “pick up any time before Christmas.”

The prospect of a tough, unpredictable holiday shopping season means search teams must roll out seasonal SEO plans early, closely track shoppers’ behavior, and be ready to adapt as things change.

Marcus Pentzek is chief SEO consultant at Searchmetrics, the global provider of search data, software and consulting solutions.

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Google Home App Gets an Overhaul, Rolling Out Soon

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Google Home app

Google refreshes its Home app with a slew of new features after launching a new Nest gear. This makes it faster and easier to pair smart devices with Matter, adds customization and personalization options, an enhanced Nest camera experience, and better intercommunication between devices.

This revamped Home app utilizes Google’s Matter smart home standard – launching later this year – especially the Fast Pair functionality. On an Android phone, it will instantly recognize a Matter device and allow you to easily set it up, bypassing the current procedure that is often slow and difficult. Google is also updating its Nest speakers, displays, and routers – to control Matter devices better.

Google Home App New Features

  • Spaces: This feature allows you to control multiple devices in different rooms. Google has listed a few things by room: kitchen, bedroom, living room, etc., although it’s pretty limited right now. Spaces let you organize devices how you see fit. For instance, you can set up a baby monitor in one room and set a different room’s camera to focus on an area the baby often plays. With Spaces, you can categorize these two devices into one Space category called ‘Baby.’

Google Home app Spaces

  • Favorites: This one is pretty self-explanatory. It allows you to make certain gears as a favorite that you frequently use. Doing so will bring those devices into the limelight within the Google Home app for easier access. 

Google Home app

  • Media: Google adds a new media widget at the bottom of your Home feed. This will automatically determine what media is playing in your home and provide you with the appropriate controls as and when needed. There will be song controls if you listen to music on your speakers. There will be television remote controls if you’re watching TV. 

Google probably won’t roll out this Home app makeover anytime soon. But you can try it for yourself in the coming week by enrolling in the public preview, available in select areas.

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