Practical Ecommerce

Pay-per-click Ads: Unlocking the AdWords Dimensions Tab

The AdWords interface is cluttered and hard to understand. A colleague of mine put it best when she said that AdWords is an enterprise tool. Unless you’re a regular user of the AdWords interface, you may not be aware of the insights available in the Dimensions tab.

Where Is The Dimensions Tab?

The Dimensions tab is in the main tabbed navigation inside AdWords. Here’s a screenshot with the tab highlighted.

The Dimensions tab is in the main tabbed navigation inside AdWords.

The Dimensions tab is in the main tabbed navigation inside AdWords.

The Dimensions tab should be viewable by default, but if not, click the down arrow on the right of the tabs and check it.

Information in the Dimensions Tab

Now that you’re in the Dimensions tab, look at the “View:” dropdown box to see how many ways you can look at your data.

Look at the “View:” dropdown box to see how many ways you can look at your data.

Look at the “View:” dropdown box to see how many ways you can look at your data.

  • Conversions. You can see by conversion name or conversion category. This is helpful if you have more than one type of conversion, such as a phone call, form fill, or purchase.
  • Labels. If you regularly label keywords and ads, this will help you to break out the performance by label, in AdWords — no need for an Excel pivot table.
  • Time. This is the biggest opportunity for most advertisers because it’s immediately actionable. You can see performance by day of the week, day, week, month, quarter, year, or hour of day. Day of the week and hour of day are my favorites because they match up with bid modifiers — see “Pay-per-click Ads: Importance of Bid Modifiers.” For example, if you see that cost and conversions from midnight to 5 a.m. are terrible, you can add a negative bid modifier so you aren’t bidding as much during those hours. Or maybe performance is good from noon to 1 p.m. (during lunch hour). You can boost bids during that time.
  • Destination URL. Here you can evaluate the performance of your different landing pages. You can determine, for example, if category pages perform better or worse than specific product pages in the same campaign.
  • Geographic. This is my preferred report for knowing which geographic areas are performing best for me. As you can see in the image above under “Most Specific Location,” many results are reported all the way to the zip code. However, if you want to see data by state or metro area you’ll need to pull the report into Excel and do a quick pivot table. Like the Time information, you can match up this data with your geotargeting to set bid modifiers.

There are several more reports to look at, but those five areas present data that can quickly be acted upon to improve results.

Taking Action

To set your bid modifiers, go to the Settings tab of a campaign. It will look something like this.

Go to the Settings tab of a campaign to set your bid modifiers.

Go to the Settings tab of a campaign to set your bid modifiers.

You have the option of setting bid modifiers in three different categories: Locations, Ad schedule, and Devices. The example above shows the Devices category; the campaign is using a negative bid modifier of 50%. This takes the default bid (whether keyword level or ad group level) and multiplies it by a -50% when entering an auction on a mobile device. So if the regular bid is $1.00, the bid for a mobile search is $0.50. Bid modifiers can range from -100% (essentially turning that targeting method off) to +300%, which effectively quadruples your bid (percentages can be funny like that).

One word of caution: Bid multipliers can get out of hand quickly. If you have a bid modifier on location, time of day, day of week, and device, you can end up with some really high bids (or really low bids if the modifiers are negative) once the modifiers start multiplying.

In short, the Dimensions tab is a treasure chest of data about your AdWords performance. You can learn which geographic areas produce the highest value customers or know what time of day gets you the most traffic and then optimize your efforts so that these high value areas receive the budget and bids they deserve.

Robert Brady

Robert Brady

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Comment ( 1 )

  1. Carlos Rivera February 5, 2015 Reply

    I agree, the Dimensions tab is filled to the brim with useful information.

    I would also like to add that if you are running a Google Shopping campaign, the Dimension tab contains a ‘Shopping > Item ID’ setting that you can use to view per-item clicking details. Awesome stuff!