12 Underutilized AdWords features and how to use them
Google AdWords keeps changing as time passes by, new features are introduced while old ones get changed or taken away. That’s why it’s not only important but an imperative for PPC professionals to follow the latest trends and try out features that their competitors don’t use or know about.
We wrote this article to introduce you to some forgotten and hidden Google AdWords features that you (probably) didn’t know about.
We’ll show you the 12 most underutilized AdWords features and we’ll take a look at how you can use them to gain competitive advantage.
1. The Home Tab
This is probably the most overlooked feature in Google Adsense that many people forget it exists because it’s not the default starting page. You can find it in the green horizontal navigation at the top of the interface.
This tab provides a lot of interesting insights such as:
- Keywords which are below the first-page bid
- Suggestions for quality, low ranking keywords
- Suggestions for increasing your traffic with new keywords
- All of your disabled keywords and ad groups
- A list of alerts and announcements
If you want to make this your home page, you need to scroll to the bottom of the page and select the checkbox on your left.
2. Auction Insights
Google provides a lot of tools to plan and manage your campaigns but when it comes to evaluating your competitors, the choice is limited. One of the few tools at your disposal is the Auction Insights Feature.
This feature allows you to compare your campaigns with the campaigns of your competitors and see where you’re doing better and where you’re doing worse compared to them. Not only that but it can also help you identify some untapped opportunities to get more out of your ad spend.
The Auction Insights uses six KPIs to compare your campaigns with the ones of your competitors and those are:
You’ve got six KPIs to compare your campaign against your competitors:
- The Average Position of ranking
- The Top of Page Rate (How often your/your competitor ad was shown at the top of the page
- The Impression share (how often your ad shows up in the auction)
- The Position Above Rate (how often your competitor’s ad shows higher than yours when both were shown at the same time)
- The Overlap Rate: (how often your competitor’s ad received an impression in the same auction in which your ad also received an impression.
- Outranking Share: (how often your ad ranked higher in the auction than your competitor’s ad)
The auction insights is useful because it can help you see who your biggest competitors are, how much they might be spending, and what they are doing better/worse than you.
Take a look at this post for more information about Auction Insights.
Finally, note that this feature is only available for the Google Search network and Shipping campaigns. For the latter category, there are only three metrics available: Outranking Share, Impression Share, and Overlap Rate.
3. Automatic rules
With the Automatic rules feature, you can set and schedule changes in your campaigns with the conditions you choose. You can predefine pausing campaigns or raising bids when they are underperforming etc.
You can establish these changes rather easily. By using the Automate option, you can set multiple predefined automations, such as:
- Pausing a campaign when your all-time costs meet a defined amount
- Pausing campaign on specific dates
- Raising bids in case of…
- Pausing campaigns when impressions are higher than X/lower than X
- Raising bids on hours of the day that show the highest percentage of conversions
And many other options.
4. Drafts & Experiments
The Drafts & Experiments is probably the least used tool in Google Ads but it has the potential to increase your ROI significantly.
Using this feature, you can run split tests of ads to test different variables, like ad copy, landing pages, keyword matching options etc.
Drafts & Experiments can help you create and run new test campaigns without affecting the performance of your current campaigns.
You can see just how significant the power of Drafts & Experiments is on this screenshot:
Keep in mind that this tool is available only for Google Search and Display campaigns and it can’t be used for shopping campaigns and YouTube. Some other limitations are that you can’t pause a running experiment and you can’t use automated bid strategies.
But if you have a limited budget
5. Keyword Diagnosis
The Keyword diagnosis tool can help you make a quick health check on all of your keywords and show you whether your keywords are showing in the right place and if not, why they aren’t. This tool is perfect for eliminating the internal competition between your keywords and make sure the right search ads are showing for the correct search terms.
6. Ad customizers
This option allows you to create custom ads that will dynamically change based on the parameters that the user predefines.
This will allow you to quickly change the current promotion price in the website you’re advertising. You can even include a countdown that will measure how much time is left before your promotion ends.
You can also create custom text ads without having hundreds of ad variations. Instead, you can create one ad that will dynamically change based on he the values you predefine on your data feed that you will upload to AdWords.
Here’s an example of a data file with three parameters: product types, prices, and quantities of each product. This ad will appear for all ad groups and will dynamically change based on the numeric values in the feed.
Additionally, you can also create custom image ads that will appear differently to different users based on several different factors. You just need to adjust the variables in your remarketing code to allow AdWords to capture more information about the users visiting your site and determine a banner that will be tailored to their specific interest.
7. Image Ad Creator
The image ad creator can help you create rich media ads in different dimensions in only a couple of seconds. You can give your picture a headline, description, and a CTA and have several different versions of it with only one click.
Here’s how to do it:
Click on the “+New Ad” button, click on “Image ad” and start designing.
8. Search Terms Report
This report allows you to see what people typed in the search bar when your ad appeared. Needless to say, this data can help you add new keywords that you can bid on or more negative keywords you will want to exclude from your campaigns.
9. Google Ads Scripts
The ad scripts can be used for reporting, alerts, bulk changes, and for automating PPC tasks. You can save time copying and pasting by easily outputting data from your Google Ads account into Google Sheets. You can also automate tasks when budget threshold is reached or create other important alerts.
10. Time Lag Reporting
The time lag report is only available if you are tracking conversions. You can find it in the “Tools and Analysis” tab in the conversions field under the name “Search funnels”. Here you can select time lag that can show you exactly how much times does the average visitor needs to convert.
Most visitors take less than 24 hours but some people take more time.
If one buyer needs 7 days or more to complete a purchase, this might be a good indicator that you should start remarketing this customer who’s probably looking for the best deal. In this scenario, you can benefit from using remarketing to stay on the top of customers’ mind while they continue to browse.
11. Above-The-Fold CPM Bidding on the Display Network
Users today might access your website from different devices and you can never be sure that your ad will show above the fold. If you’re running a CPM and your goal is branding rather than a direct response, you will know when not to pay for impressions when no one will see your ad.
You can also exclude other categories that meet your criteria by clicking on the display network tab and scrolling down to the exclusions button.
12. +Broad +Match +Modifier
There’s nothing that can kill your AdWords campaign like a broad match. These keywords can be good once you already used all the other match types.
The broad match identifier allows you to add + sign to words in your keyword that must be present when the searcher types in a query.
This allows you to be in control and not giving Google the option to show your ads for synonyms or unrelated terms.
Was this article helpful? Have you used any of these features in the past? Tell us about your experience in the comments!