Today’s post is by Search Account Associate Thomas Li, restaurant explorer and world-class Ultimate Frisbee player (really).

You’re starting your day, and you want to make sure your accounts are looking all right. What do you look for?

Check Your Key Performance Metrics

Check your top-line KPMs (e.g. CPA, ROAS) and spend, and have an expectation of what they should look like at the time of day you’re checking. Check for today, and yesterday. Have a sense of the numbers that indicate a good day – if the numbers are falling short, dig in (we’ll get to that in a bit).

In addition to checking the top line, create some filters in the campaign view in order to check up on different campaign types.

Here are a few examples of campaigns to filter for:

-English GDN

-Spanish Remarketing

-Brand vs Non-Brand.

Your client will likely have different KPMs (also called KPIs) for different campaign types. Applying filters is very helpful in this case.

kpms google analytics

CPA/ROAS looks poor. What do I do now?

If the CPA/ROAS isn’t up to expectations, we look to pinpoint the reason.

1. Check settings.

Let’s admit it. There are often many moving parts in your account, and things get changed accidentally. The settings could reveal a quick and easy fix to your KPM problem.

The best way to check settings on a high level is on the settings tab. Adjust the columns so that all columns are selected, as shown here, then click apply.

campaign settings adwords

This way you can see your account settings at a glance – no need to dig into individual campaigns. Note that this view includes most, but not all, of the settings. Things that are not included here are IP exclusions and existence of ad extensions. You’ll have to go into campaigns individually to check those specific settings.

2. Identify poor-performing keywords.

One way is to sort keywords by spend (descending). If CPA/ROAS is bad, there must be a keyword that is spending a lot but not converting well. Scroll down and identify problematic keywords. If a handful of keywords drive the majority of your traffic, this step will be even easier.

Once you’ve identified your poor-performing keywords, download a historical keyword report to look at historical conversion data for each one. Try a 7-day look-back, and consider the following:

-For historically good performers, you can theoretically bid it down and still be profitable.

-For KWs that have never driven conversions, negging may be the right option.

If KPM is bad all-around and has been consistently, consider pausing campaigns to save KPMs, and discuss it with the client later.

3. Check the Auction Insights Report.

Select the keyword and click on “Details.” Select the auction insights report.

auction insights adwords

Auction insight reports show keyword movement and competition. This can help you identify if poor performance is due to increased competition for that keyword:

auction insights report

If your CPCs are suddenly increasing, this page can tell you if it is because of increased competition on your keywords.

One more (proactive) tip: set up Google Alerts

Don’t be caught off-guard by changes in traffic due to buzz surrounding your brand.

Go to to set up an alert surrounding search terms pertaining to your brand. (Bonus points if you catch the news before your client does!)

Any daily checks you’d like to share? Leave a comment!

– Thomas Li, Search Account Associate

1 Comment

  1. terry whalen July 18th, 2013

    Hi Thomas, good stuff – thanks. It’s nice to be able to check on key metrics for key accounts even before you get to a computer, and without having to navigate from account to account – a quick check when you wake up, for example. Do you use any tools for this type of thing? (Probably auto-email tools, but not necessarily.)

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