One of the biggest challenges facing our clients is that they don’t seem to find the time to manage their AdWords campaigns properly, and they often end up just throwing money at the problems instead of actually diagnosing the campaign to find out why it may not be performing as well as it should be.

Here are some practical tips on how to diagnose and manage your Google AdWords Search Campaigns in under 30 minutes a week and get optimal results.

Identify your Key Performance Metrics:

When managing you AdWords campaigns you want to know the following:

Impressions: Did you select the right keywords and are they being triggered by searches

Average Position: If your ads are coming up, are they appearing on the first page of Google and in a position high enough to achieve your desired visibility and results

Clicks & CTR: If your ads are being triggered, are people clicking on them

Conversions: If they are being clicked on, are they converting or bouncing directly off your site (leaving the minute they arrive without going deeper into your website)

If the above are all in line with your expectations and target metrics, then you are well on your way to AdWords success. If not, then you need start to look further into the data to diagnose your key problem areas.

Customise your Keywords Tab Dashboard:

If you customise your dashboard (e.g. Customise the columns you view on your keywords tab) then you are able to scan your campaigns very quickly. Customise your dashboard so that the columns appear in the following order:


Ad Group




Search Impression Share

Search Lost IS (rank)


Average Position

Click Thru Rate

Quality Score


Bounce Rate

Estimated Top Page Bid


How to customise your Keywords Tab Dashboard:

Step 1: Make sure you are on the Keywords Tab
Step 3: Select the Columns drop-down menu
Step 4: Select Customise columns

How to Customise AdWords Keywords Image

Step 5: Select your Key Performance and Attribute Metrics on the left, click Add and then on the right, simply drag and drop each metric into the order listed above.

How to Customise AdWords Keyword Columns image
Step 6: Save your columns.

How to interpret your Keyword Data:

The next step is to interpret your keyword data. Here are some guidelines on what to look out for an how to act on the data.


to look for

to act on it

Impressions & Impression Share

you achieving the expected number of impressions?


your Search Impression Share.  Identify
if you have lost impressions due to budget or Ad Rank in the Search Lost IS
(rank) column.



you are not achieving maximum impression share then you must check to see if
it is due to Ad Rank or Limited Budget


share (IS) is the percentage of impressions that you received divided by the
estimated number of impressions that you were eligible to receive.


you’re seeing a high Search Lost IS (rank), then try increasing your bid or
improving your Quality Score.

Average Position


you achieving the desired first page or top of page position?

you are not ranking on the first page or at the top of the page, then you
need to check your quality score first. If you quality score is good then you
need to consider your CTR. If you CTR is good, then you probably need to raise
your maximum bid price (Max CPC).

Quality Score


quality score is a score out of 10. The higher the score, the more relevant
your ad copy and landing page is to your keyword.

the Quality Score is low (even 5 or lower) then you need to check if the
keyword you are bidding on exists in the ad copy and also on your landing
page (destination page).

Clicks & CTR


you have an above average CTR (should at least be on par with, or above, your
average Ad Group’s CTR as a guideline)

your Clicks and CTR is low then you need to rework your ad copy as it is most
likely not compelling enough for people to want to click on it. Ensure that
you are offering something unique and have a strong and clear call to action.



If all
of the above metrics are good, then it comes down to your landing page (destination
page). You need to check that you are getting the desired action when people
click to your website.

you have no conversions at all, first check to see that conversion tracking
has been installed correctly. If you have installed conversion tracking and
have a high number of clicks then you probably have a problem with your landing
page. Either it isn’t loading correctly or it simply doesn’t provide the
information that the user is looking for to get them to take the desired
action (e.g. Buy a product or fill in a lead form). Before changing your
landing page, first check to see if people are immediately bouncing off your
page (leaving) or if they are possibly distracted by other options on the
page and navigate to other pages on your site during their visit. You will
have to check your Bounce rate to see which keywords result in the user

Bounce Rate


to see which keywords have a bounce rate of higher than 40%.

bidding on keywords with a bounce rate over 40% to prevent wastage. Then,
either find a more relevant landing page for that keyword to use as the
destination URL, or if you don’t have a relevant landing page, create one. If
you can’t do either, then you shouldn’t be bidding on that keywords as it
will just end up costing you a lot of money without any return.

There is obviously so much more that you can learn from your AdWords data, and we will continue to publish useful tips and guides, however this is these are the absolute essential minimum steps that every AdWords Account Manager should take at least once per week to ensure that you are on top of your AdWords performance.

For any other AdWords Management questions, please feel free to contact us.