Google’s New Top vs. Side Segment 101

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In any online business, one of the most important ways to make money is through advertising. If a business owner does not put their business out there in front of the public then people have no way of finding them, and if people can’t find them, they can’t make money.

A huge part of most businesses ad portfolio is pay per click ads. With these comes a huge amount of data that needs to be crunched in order to make sure the advertising budget is being spent in the right places. Ad managers only have limited resources and they need to make sure they are not being allocated to unprofitable ad campaigns. One important piece of data that ad managers need to look at is how effective an ad is in a certain position. Some ads perform better on the side, and others hit higher marks on top.

Recently, Google AdWords rolled out a feature that lets ad managers keep track of how their ads do on the side of Google search results versus the top. This is incredibly valuable information because it lets businesses know where they should invest more of their money when it comes to ad placement.

When it comes to data on a PPC ad campaign, there is no such thing as too much information, and this Top vs. Side feature on Google AdWords is just another piece of the information puzzle.

The first step is access this data. To do so is a fairly simple process. The follow is a step by step guide to access this data:

  1. Select the Campaign, then click the Ad groups, Ads or Keywords tab of the AdWords account.
  2. Click the Segment button in the toolbar above the data table.
  3. Select Top vs. side from the drop-down menu. The results will appear in rows beneath each of the ads in the selected campaign.

Having access to this data is great, but it still needs to be interpreted in order to really make proper use of it. This is where AdWords advanced reports come in, they make it so the data can be properly parsed for the important information, which can really help an ad campaign manager make the most of their budget.

The first kind of report to run is Head Keyword Performance. To run this report, follow these simple steps:

  1. Go to the Keyword tab on AdWords
  2. Create a filter that shows keywords with a minimum of clicks, impressions or conversions, depending on which metric the particular site uses.
  3. Select the proper campaign that shows the correct unbranded keywords.
  4. Go the segment menu and select Top vs. Side

This new report will present the most important keywords. Using this report allows ad managers to see which keywords are effective at a reasonable cost. Because these keywords are the highest performing, small tweaks and improvements can make a huge difference to the bottom line.

The next report this new tweak from Google allows access to is an Ad Text Performance report. This report will provide information about how certain keywords perform depending on which position they appear in on Google.

  1. Go over to the Ads tab in AdWords.
  2. Create a filter that show ads with a minimum of clicks, impressions or conversions depending on what metrics the site in question uses.
  3. Select the campaigns or ad groups that contain the ads information is need on.
  4. Look at the segment menu and select Top vs. Side

This will provide some incredibly valuable information about how keywords can affect performance, and really let the ad managers know what words to run on the side and what words should be placed on the top. Since the top costs more than the side, they will want to make sure they optimize what ads they are spending the extra money on.

Ad managers should take some time to really explore this new feature of Google AdWords. There are all kinds of reports they can run to truly narrow down when it is worth placing an ad at the top, and when it draws more attention on the side of the page.

Play around with the different kind of reports and find out what works best. Every company has different priorities, but the basic reports shown here will help a lot finding exactly what works.

Lior LevinLior Levin
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Lior is a consultant for Barilliance, a shopping cart abandonment company that provides services to websites from all over the world. He also advises BillGuard, a Passbook application company that created an app to follow credit charges from your phone.

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